How content can help you connect with your audience

How content can help you connect with your audience

10 minutes

During our recent roundtable lunch, we discussed the role of content and how it can help brands increase engagement.

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People sharing content

Content marketing can achieve a number of different goals. From increasing SEO and boosting web traffic to improving brand perception and generating leads, content can be an extremely powerful tool within the overall marketing mix. But above all else, content is about creating connection. Once you create engagement and encourage your audience to feel emotionally connected to what your brand has to say, then all of the other results will follow.

Why is content important?

Every day consumers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages across a variety of channels and devices. There’s so much competition for consumers’ attention and people are becoming more switched on to traditional marketing methods. Consumers no longer engage with sales-focused messaging, instead seeking out content that aligns with their own beliefs and values. Many brands are doing more and more research around buyer personas, to really understand their target audience and create personalised, relevant content that resonates.

Cut through the noise

With many brands acting as publishers, there’s now more content to consume than ever before. According to Social Media Today, here’s what happens in an Internet minute:

973,000 Facebook logins

People watch 266,000 hours of Netflix

481,000 tweets are sent

There are 3.7 million Google searches

All of this activity creates a challenge for brands trying to reach and engage with audiences, but content marketing can really help cut through the noise.

How to create content that resonates

We know that when it comes to making decisions, consumers rely heavily on content:

80% of decision makers prefer to learn about a company through content rather than advertising.
Forbes
9 out of 10 buyers say content has had an impact on their decision making.
Forbes
Conversions are 6 x higher for companies using content marketing as those that don’t.
Content Marketing Institute

So, how do you create content that resonates? If you’re just beginning to invest in content marketing (or you’re looking for some fresh ideas) here are a few things to consider:

Who are you talking to?

Understanding your audience, the content they want to consume and the channels they consume it on is crucial to achieving success through content marketing. Whether it’s creating personas from your current customer data or using industry insights, the first step should be to really identify your core target audience and what they’re interested in. Researching the platforms they’re most likely to use will also help you to create an effective cross-channel marketing strategy and will ensure you’re creating the right message, for the right people, at the right time.

Storytelling

It’s a buzz word within marketing at the moment, but brand storytelling can really help you to build connections with your audience. A variety of studies have shown the importance of storytelling and the impact it can have - one study found that it can increase the levels of Oxytocin in the brain, the hormone responsible for increasing feelings of trust and empathy. So whether it’s sharing the story of your brand so far or calling upon customer testimonials and case studies to highlight a product, storytelling is a proven way of creating an emotional connection.

Use a variety of content

While video is an excellent way of increasing engagement within an email, a long-form article might perform better on your website (especially if you’re trying to increase your search ranking). And while you might use an infographic on Twitter, you might consider an image or live video on Instagram. When creating your content, consider the platform you’re distributing it on and the goal you’re trying to achieve as well as the audience you’re trying to connect with.

Have you got a content marketing strategy in place? Follow us on Twitter and let us know your thoughts! And if you missed our recent roundtable lunch, you can check out all of our upcoming events here.

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Hayley Clark
Hayley Clark
Hayley has over a decade of experience, starting out as a journalist before moving into digital content and strategy. She has worked with clients across a variety of sectors (from property and finance to FMCG), specialising in content marketing and helping brands find their tone of voice.
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