By Michael Stevens | Publisher Recruiter
Content marketing is an exceptional marketing strategy because it puts the user in charge of the experience. They move the process along by consuming content that contains messaging that correlates with their interests and lifestyle. This can be in the form of an informative article, an entertaining video, or even a relevant infographic. Content marketing compels audiences to engage via social channels, comments, actions, or further media consumption. Though the user is in charge of driving the experience forward with their interest, it is the high-quality and engaging content that that sets the process in motion.
The real challenge with content marketing is creating content that conveys a subtle brand message while also juggling the task of crafting content that is primed for mass appeal and high levels of engagement. In order to generate ideas that will contribute toward unique and organic content, you must bridge the gap between advertisers and audiences by discovering semantic links that hook your topic to audiences’ interests.
To find these semantic links you will want to spend some time researching the culture, history, and existing thought leadership of your advertiser’s vertical. This will allow you to cultivate a better perspective of the sphere that your advertiser is competing in. Your main goal with your research is to see the “big picture” and where your unique voice fits in. These semantic links should be relatively simple ideas—anything that gives meaning to your advertiser’s service or product. This is where you can brainstorm and create semantic maps that connect these various concepts and ideas back to your advertiser.
In order for content marketing to work, you need to think about what response you want your content to elicit rather than what you want your content to say. The path to great content is paved with good intentions. Your goal here is creating content that has genuine value for the user. Really engaging content should do at least one of three things to have value: be relevant and ethical, inform or evoke an emotional response.
Relevance is of the utmost importance. An article that is relevant should appeal to the reader in a way that engages them on a social and cultural level. Ethics is part of relevance in that it aids in engaging the principles of the user. Your main goal with ethics and relevance is to create an air of credibility and compel the user to trust the content.
Information builds on credibility and relevance by providing audiences with factual data. These are the facts and figures that ground your content and provide some educational context, providing your content’s tone with utility and authority. Your main goal with providing facts and data is to educate your audience and give them information that they can use.
Finally, providing an emotional response gives your content an immediate visceral hook to grab your audience. The emotion or “pathos” of your content can exist in your headline, your tone, your vocabulary or all throughout. When ideology and logic go out the window, audiences can—at the very least—be “hooked on a feeling.”