When it comes to creating content that your customers keep coming back to, there are three things to consider. Truly effective content must be: relevant, engaging and actionable.
Your content must be relevant to your target demographic. But it must also be relevant to your brand. We were recently asked to manage an FMCG client’s social assets. When we looked at their brand page, it was full of posts about cats. Cute? Definitely. Tons of likes? Undoubtedly. Relevant to their brand equity or consumer profile? No. But it was an adorably misguided attempt.
To gauge your content’s relevancy, ask the following questions. Does it:
- Respond to known trends or patterns? Google Analytics gives visibility on where your site’s traffic numbers, destinations and time on site. Bear in mind though that analytics won’t answer why you’re seeing these patterns.
- Answer consumer questions or needs? SEO keywords reveal what people search for. Your content should answer these questions and – more importantly – add value.
- Position your brand as a credible authority? You should be participating in conversations with your consumers in areas your brand can plausibly own.
Like you and your fiancée both swiping right on Tinder, ‘engagement’ as a concept can be hard to quantify. But at its heart, your content should resonate with its intended audience both emotionally and rationally. And while creating engaging content is a fundamentally creative process, there are a few key guidelines to adhere to:
- Localise. We’re an increasingly globalised world, but MNCs in particular are guilty of using Western content regardless of the ethnicity or cultural background of the audience. My ‘favourite’ example was a recipe for a mum-focussed campaign that called for pork and applesauce… for a Malaysian Muslim audience. Don’t be generic. Localise your imagery (avoid blond-haired, blue-eyed stock photography for an article about New Delhi), and account for cultural, religious and societal sensitivities and interests.
- Personalise. User-generated content, interactive elements and user profiling are functionality-led, but they allow you to provide users with content specifically targeted to them.
- Measure. I know I said engagement’s subjective, but there are digital metrics – user time on page, scroll below the fold, click through to related content, or social shares – that you should be measuring and reviewing, to ascertain what’s resonating with your users.
Ultimately, you want your user to do something, and this action should relate to your brand’s overall business objectives. To achieve this, do the following:
- Always be closing. Regardless of whether it’s a video, social post, article or infographic, every content piece content should ask the user to take an action: generate leads, consume more content related content, write a review, download, opt-in to membership, or just make an enquiry.
- Make it easy. That action you’re asking your user to take should be as obvious and easy as possible to achieve. This is more about functionality than content, but it’s critical to not losing people.
The above is not comprehensive, but hopefully it sets out the baselines for great content. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. (See what I did there? Always be closing!)
Next week, I’ll look at an Asian brands that is absolutely nailing these fundamentals and creating relevant, engaging and actionable content.