What do mustaches, mason jars, and skinny jeans have in common?
They stood out—and were arguably much cooler—when only a select number of people wore or used them. Just ask any hipster, and he’ll tell you that once something goes mainstream, it can no longer be used as a way to separate himself from the crowd.
But it’s not only hipsters who worry about standing out and making a statement. Brands that want to create content to connect with their audience now face a new challenge as more companies embrace content marketing.
According to Contently’s annual State of Content Marketing report, a third of organizations said content marketing was their biggest priority this year— and they’re finally starting to walk the walk. Forty-five percent of B2B companies plan on increasing their content marketing spend this year, while 34 percent said the budget will remain the same.
But with all of those companies creating content, how can any single one expect to stand out?
To get noticed, there are a few items to add to your content strategy checklist:
Appealing to the right crowd.
This requires gaining an understanding of your target audience so you can identify its content needs. Find out what motivates the audience; what they believe in; what their needs are that your organization can solve. You’ll want to create content that resonates among this group.
Grabbing their attention.
This involves paying attention to both the smallest details and the big picture. From the headline to the type of content you create, it should be something that will get people to want to interact with it. Instead of only creating blog post after blog post, for example, consider creating visual content, such as an infographic or a video.
Holding their attention.
To create compelling content, try looking at your content marketing strategy through a psychological lens. What makes a person engage with some content but not other content? According to Jeff Fuhriman from Adobe, content should be unique, magnetic, and valuable.
Creating new content isn’t always easy, but it’s something that must be done when hundreds of similar companies are writing about the same topics. To stand out, try taking a new angle on a story to freshen up the topic for readers.
Whole Foods, for example, has turned its website into a great resource for individuals seeking information for healthy food choices, despite the fact that this type of information can be found in a number of different places on the Internet.
However, it reinforces the brand’s commitment to whole foods and brings credibility to their brand, while still providing value to consumers.
This is the kind of content that connects with the audience’s basic human emotions, desires, and beliefs. This personal connection is essential for brands to build trust with consumers. Don’t be afraid to address your consumers by name and make their experience a customized one.
Compelling content can tug at the heartstrings of your readers as well. Chipotle’s Scarecrow video, for example, inspired viewers to take better care of their bodies and the world by eating better and supporting sustainable businesses, such as the fast-casual food chain.
Educate them, entertain them, or do both—whatever you decide to do, you should bring some value to the consumer. In other words, make sure the content is focused on them, not your awesome company. And don’t be afraid to think outside the box, either.
Image courtesy of The Biz Seller.
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