“Content creation can be a challenging endeavor in many respects,” remarks Jodi Harris in a recent post for the Content Marketing Institute. “With so many techniques, formats, and channels for your content efforts, it’s easy to become paralyzed by indecision when it comes to executing your carefully constructed content marketing strategies.”
However you’ve mapped out your content strategy, your overarching content marketing goal will always be to drive audience engagement. You might have a great story, an exciting video, or an alluring image, but the content will only connect with your audience if you present it with them in mind.
Luckily for us, Harris has analyzed a large batch of content creation examples to determine a handful of tips. Here are three approaches that can help you to drive deeper audience engagement with inspiring content marketing:
If “a picture is worth a thousand words,” is an image worth a thousand-word blog post? It depends on the audience, the channel, and what you’re trying to achieve, of course, but visual imagery can create a deep, lasting impact on your audience.
Harris writes, “Visual content platforms like Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram are more popular with consumers than ever – providing plenty of opportunities for brands to tell compelling stories and forge meaningful connections based on their mutual areas of interest.”
Show your audience that you’re a human being. Don’t just be a mindless machine pushing your brand and products, be a real person. Humanize your brand by supporting your audience, their endeavors – both business and personal – and the causes they care about.
Instead of looking to shove your own agenda in front of them, look to interact with your audience by focusing on their own thoughts, interests, and ideals. Don’t always look to control the narrative; look to join the conversation, connect, and inspire.
Give Your Audience a Platform
One of the best ways to forge a connection with your audience is to inspire them to include your brand or product in their everyday life.
“Empowering your fans and followers to show off their personalities in a brand-relevant way is a win-win,” says Harris. “You gain a better understanding of their needs and interests, and they get a powerful, prominent platform for self-expression and creativity.”
When brands emphasize customer evangelism as part of their content marketing strategy, they’re encouraging the audience to find creative ways to explore their passions through the integration of the brand and its products. Brands like GoPro have gotten everyone from action sports enthusiasts to NHL players to create their own videos and share them with the world. These aren’t just use cases for their products; they’re ringing endorsements.
Whether you’re using eye-catching images, inspiring messages, or user-curated content, focus on the audience – and what they care about – to drive deeper, more powerful customer engagement. As Harris points out, “scratch their backs, and they’ll have yours.”