The World Wide Web holds an estimated 4.82 billion indexed pages, approximately the equivalent of 136.2 billion pieces of papers.
With all this content out there battling for users’ interaction, how can we stand out and create a lasting impression in such an already saturated digital world?
As a business or brand you need to create a lasting impression on your target audiences in order to achieve your objectives whether this is selling a service/product or simply promoting brand awareness and loyalty. To tackle these objectives it is good practice to lay out a content marketing plan. Creating and sharing content regularly is so important when attracting new customers and promoting brand awareness. However in order to make an instant impression on the user the content needs to be carefully considered and directed toward the correct target market, here are four things to bear in mind.
Strive for emotional attachment:
Exploring the human element to a piece can help to generate a lasting impression, however these can be extremely difficult to create. They don’t tend to be directly promoting your company’s product or service though it does have the brand at the forefront of the creation. Take the John Lewis Christmas ads for example, Monty the Penguin and the Man on the Moon. It’s not heavily product based and does not over reference the brand but it pulls the viewer in by showing them something different, ‘it’s an advert with a heart’. It portrays this beautiful story that the viewer can relate to, they feel at ease with what they are viewing and enjoy the story telling without feeling pressured into a sale. They are able to develop an emotional attachment to the piece and referencing that heart-warming feeling with the brand, eventually creating a loyalty and trust to the store itself.
Consider your audience:
Millennials, those born between 1982 and 2004, are an important demographic to consider. Researchers Howe and Strauss referred to them as “the next great generation”. They are starting to become the spenders of this age and the target audience for many brands. They are also quite different from the other generations having been brought up with technology and the internet constantly at their fingertips. 50% would be more willing to purchase from a company if their purchase supports a cause. 46% have 200+ Facebook friends as compared to only 19% of non-millennials. This generation is used to quick pass marketing with short bite-size content piece continually appearing in their day to day activities. 80% of the millennials want brands to entertain them and 40% want to participate in the co-creation of brands and products.
How does the environment affect your content?
Where to place your content is important in an online environment, many sites are flooded with ads that distract users from the content causing them to lose interest and move on quickly. The environment your content is going in should be studied before content creation. A thought piece might not get completely read on a site like Yahoo where site sponsored ads are continually pulling the user onto the next piece of content. A better alternative would be to place it on a site like LinkedIn where it can be studied in a less distracting context. You also need to consider where your audience are and what they have been brought to that website for. Example of this is when seeding out a game: people are less likely to play it on a news site than a dedicated gaming site, as the gaming site targets passionate gamers who want to expand their knowledge and discover the next big thing.
Simplicity is key:
You will only have a few seconds to create an impression that lasts so it should be possible to interact with your content and understand it immediately. You must keep it concrete and tangible. Aim to directly target unanswered question your audiences might have, to help break it down step by step. Keep it engaging, useful and bite-size. Often by stating the obvious and not trying to be too clever, people can relate to the message and understand it instantly and are therefore more likely to remember it.
Remember we all work in a world of technology and are striving for people’s attention. We need to create content that shows the viewer something different. Don’t expose your restrictions, reveal the person behind the brand and don’t feel limited by the unknown; confront your weakness. This raw untouched content will look to create an emotional attachment with the piece and the reader will relate to the honesty that is exposed.