Our experiences are what make us who we are. In an age when content is being fed to us at unprecedented rates. Companies have to work twice as hard to create unique offerings that work to attract users. Think of content as a layered cake of which you are the Architect. You construct every layer individually, and then when it all comes together, it like a bite delivered by the gods.
What I want to draw your attention to is how meticulously designed your plan needs to be to gain a community-driven marketplace. It is all about fostering long term connections by leveraging both content and social media marketing strategies.
For the purposes of this article, however, we will be focusing on content marketing and the creation of audience experiences.
Wait, Content? Isn’t the basis of a good sell marketing?
That is what has changed. Marketing is no longer a transactional relationship. Outbound marketing has been phasing out for quite a while now. Push isn’t how we roll anymore; pull marketing has gained momentum.
For a business to be successful, you are at every point, trying to create engagement. Every piece of content, which, by the way, is an umbrella term, is aimed at talking to one of the personalities attached to your initial research.
How Do You Begin?
The first step to creating a great audience experience is to understand your personas thoroughly. Market research drives every aspect of what we do. Audience personas are the fictional representation of the target audience that you think are the perfect buyers.
Audience personas enable you to develop a thorough understanding of what an ideal customer’s challenges, needs, and desires are. That understanding is what can further be leveraged to create content that speaks to the audience.
Engagement with the Audience: The Foundation of an Experience
Engaging with an audience is what every piece of content that you create needs to fulfill. You might have multiple personas that you are targeting but ensure every piece of content is geared towards just one particular persona. That is one way in which you do not clutter your content and get your message across.
The biggest flaw considered in push or outbound marketing would be the misleading messaging that would, in turn, put off a lot of people at the fulfillment of the product of service. This has been eliminated in inbound marketing where instead of just selling, you are developing a relationship with the audience. No relationship can be successful in the absence of trust and transparency.
The correct content can drive organic traffic towards your products, which is the end goal for undertaking this entire process. As important as content is, there is one other thing that goes hand in hand with it that is SEO. If Content is the soul, then SEO is the body that propels the content forward. The SEO strategy is built around content as the whole internet is built around words, made into sentences into paragraphs into websites.
Interactive Content: Immerse the Audience
This is a design-driven form of content marketing where content is presented to the audience in a manner that that is intriguing and new.
This format molds your content into various aesthetically pleasing forms to drive engagement.
Become a Quiz Master
“What bagel are you?” or “The Unicorn that is the most like you” both sound extremely silly, but at the same time, you want to hang back and have another look at them. This is one way that interaction with the content is generated away from the monotony of just scrolling through the written passage.
Of course, the chances are that your product or service is not geared towards the audience that cares about the bagel that best describes them. For you, this is a great outlet to showcase statistical data that generally would fall flat if just presented as a block of text.
Ratings are a Goldmine
This drives interaction as you get a black and white representation of what is working and what isn’t. Just add a bar next to the content, and that will more or less do all the work. Plus, who doesn’t like clicking on a gold star?
You also manage to fulfill the basic human need to give an opinion.
Use Animations to Generate Interest
Simple and clean. Animations have the ability to elevate your entire presentation while piquing the interest of the user.
Use visual cues to help the user complete the journey through the end of the expression. The visual cue could be something as necessary as a guided interaction designed with a mascot to guide them through the website or application.
Your goal here is to keep the user on the page by keeping their attention where it needs to be, to continue reading.
Offer Variety In How You Display Content
Look at your content and try to visualize the variety of ways you can display it. Break your content down in points to make it easier to design. Your design can be anything from a map to a staircase to a GIF highlighted in the corner of the screen. Your content needs to move beyond blocks of text to generate an impact.
Content variety creates an attractive design and also makes it much similar to navigate through the website. For Inspiration, the entirety of the internet is your oyster.
Utilize the Pre Built Features like Tabs, Carousels, and Charts
Along the same line of the sentiment echoed above, your content needs to shine. This cannot happen if it just literally blocks of text dumped on top of one another. You have the option to utilize some of the pre-built plug-ins that websites offer.
Tabs help you segregate multiple paragraphs of content on similar topics for a streamlined read. Carousals can be designed like a book, that will fulfill a twofold need. One to break the content down and second to keep the user wondering what is coming next.
Charts are a slightly trickier undertaking. But as long as the tables that you design are interactive and relevant to the user, they will work. Charts usually showcase pricing and plans. Create variation in the chart by playing with colors and text sizes.
Emotional Marketing: A Sure Shot Way to the Creation of a Good Experience
Emotion. The heartbeat of human existence. When it came to outbound marketing, this was the baseline of how one would try to appeal to a massive number of users. In inbound, you apply the same principles just with added finesse. You aren’t even promoting a product here, just adding the name. A case in point would be the “Like a Girl Campaign,” What does soap or lotion have to do with a woman feeling like she can rule the world.
Think about what you are feeling right now. I do not mean what your body is feeling at this point in time. Your body would not be the emotion you’re feeling. Your mind and where it is at this moment is what I mean when I ask you to identify a feeling. You could be going on a date right after this, or you could have had a great workout, or you could be thinking about your pet back home waiting for you.
If you think about it, there is no neat categorization of emotions available to us. You are out, you are enjoying yourself, but a part of your head is also back home with your pet waiting for you. Emotions like sexuality have emerged to be on a spectrum. We are a lot more complex beings than we give ourselves credit. There is a show that has gained quite a bit of critical admiration called Euphoria. The tagline of the show simply says, “Feel Something.” Nothing more, nothing less.
Your audience for emotional marketing to work needs to feel something. It is as simple as that. Our emotions highly drive us. You, as a content creator, need to tap into our want to feel. How do you ensure we feel what you are trying to project us?
Take an Honest Approach
Be authentic in what you are trying to tell them. Your content needs to look like it is you talking directly to the consumer. Craft a tone and persona for your brand. If you talk like a person and not a business, chances are people will respond to you warmly.
Although we are in the middle of a streaming war, you will never see Netflix put out content that seems like promotion. Instead, it is like you’re talking to a real person on the other end, and that is how you keep your audience engaged.
Empathy Over Everything Else
Your customer persona is an essential part of empathy. Only if you are aware of what challenges your target audience is facing, you can gauge their wants and needs.
Every brand needs to understand the feelings of their customers and what they aspire to be. Only then can you become a stepping stone in their journey.
Story: The Essence
A great strategy to ensure that your audience is engaged in the usage of a story to get your point across. Stories give the audience something to hold onto. Weaving a story with your words is as good as a visual representation as it makes the whole experience more memorable and exciting.
Ensure that your narrative is relevant in association with your audience’s pain and how you have the solution to help them in their time of need. Case studies are an excellent example of emotional marketing where your client is portrayed as a hero and you as their helper.
Focus on Creating a Positive Vibe
This one is a given, but I will mention it anyway. The emotion you manage to entice in your customer need to be positive. If you make them feel sad or angry, chances are they would leave. The world is a big place, and customers are the commodity and not the business.
Chances are in the back of your head. You would think that why should be a B2B brand concentrate on emotions. The truth is, at the end of the business, there is still a human making decision, and a humanized approach will provide you with an entire avenue of new opportunities.
Resonance of Content: Influencer Marketing
Socialites. Remember the term? In the early 2000s, it was Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie transforming the landscape on how to sell to the masses. All they had to do was wear the brands and be scandalous enough to stay in the headlines. This, with the arrival of social media, has become an avenue available to the masses.
Influencer tap into a feeling called FOMO- Fear of Missing Out. Every influencer is selected based on their follower count and the demographic that they appeal the most to. If you want your audience to experience what you can offer them, who better to tell them than someone they look up to?
There are two major categories of influencers that can be tapped – Celebrities with massive followings or micro-influencers with an audience of about 5-10 K. Once you have figured out what kind of an audience you want, select what influencer’s voice resonates with your brand.
This is the most common type that you find on the market. Influencers here are aspirational and projected more significant than life. The audience that you achieve here is also people aspirational. They want to project a certain way. Just imagine a Kardashian promoting SugarbearHair, You know chances are you will never actually look like it, but you try anyway.
These influencers usually don’t command as big as a following, but what they do is loyal and organic. They are topical experts who know what they are talking about. Makeup artists promoting brands are a leading example.
Influence is a funny thing; it does work the best when we get it from people who we consider our friends. This is peer influencing. There are specific influencers who are deemed to be so relatable that they could be your best friend. These are the ones with smaller audiences and higher conversion rates.
Engagement = Emotion
You are understanding that the key to creating experiences for audiences lies in the smaller details. If you open Pinterest, there is this one cheesy line that you will be graced with. People won’t remember who you are but rather what you made them feel. So, for ensuring that your audience has a great experience, try and ensure they feel something, nothing more, nothing less.
Source Images: Accenture.com – softwareadvice.com – joelesina.com
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