three top ideas for effective content


You spend so much time and effort on your digital marketing strategy that you hate to think it’s not getting the results you need. Assuming you’ve taken care of the basics – analyzing your best keywords, integrating your website, email and social media marketing, and filtering and targeting prospects for each campaign – there are just three more items on the effective content checklist.

Stir the target’s emotions

The reason we do marketing is to create differentiation from our competitors and to arouse the emotion of “want” in our targets. It’s the “want” that causes people to choose one product over another that might be equally suitable, and want is a strong enough emotion to overcome price differentials and availability issues.

Creating the desire for your product — the want –requires more than just a fact sheet and a list of bullets. You need to analyze your target prospect and determine what makes them tick. If you’re selling to consumers, you’ll be trying to tap into basic human needs for status, belonging and love. The best consumer pitches make the target feel like they will be cooler, prettier, smarter, or that they’ll find true love if they use the product.

For selling to business, you’ll focus more on saving money, increasing revenue or improving cash flow. Those wouldn’t seem to lead directly to wanting one product over another, until you realize what your target is thinking. They are making the connection between your product’s cost savings and their next raise or promotion.

Say something interesting

Perhaps it’s true that there’s nothing new to say about your product or the problem it solves, but that’s unlikely. Your job is to find a way to add a new take on an old idea. One sure-fire way to create interest is to add a new case study and include a few enthusiastic quotes from the subject of the study. People love case studies because it gives them a feeling of connection with the subject, and, by extension, a connection with your product.

Look at forums or sites where your target prospect gathers, and see what the hottest topics are. Pick one, and incorporate your ideas and opinions on it into your content. Find a way to put a new twist on the conversation so people have a reason to read your content. You’ll be building your brand’s reputation and getting people to engage with your site.

Be audacious or memorable

Beige is a great color for a wall and vanilla is a great flavor, but neither inspires the strong emotion of chocolate, chili peppers or fiery red. You need to create something bold and memorable to excite the interest of your targets. Add humor to your content, coin a new phrase or at least add an interesting graphic. Customers are bombarded with advertising and sales content constantly in email, social media, websites, print and TV. They’ve learned to tune much of it out. You must do something to make your messages stand out from the crowd or you’ll fade into the background like that beige wall.

Consider Kmart’s recent “Ship my pants” campaign. Crude – yes. Funny – yes. Memorable – emphatic yes. The ad not only reached its target market, but it also got coverage in mainstream news media that caused people to seek out the ad to see what all the fuss was about. Like the ad or hate it, it broke through and grabbed attention.

As you work on your digital marketing campaigns and strategy, keep these three simple concepts in mind and you will find that your content is more effective at attracting attention and improving your conversion rate.

randy bowden – t | f | g+



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