Consumers are in control and have lost trust in marketers and the brands they represent. People have become suspicious of marketing messages unless they are highly relevant and in context.
So, how do companies make an impact with savvy consumers and gain their trust?
Truly helpful content has a way of nurturing trust with consumers over time while also benefitting the bottom-line.
However, with over 3 million blog posts created daily and over 50% of businesses investing in content marketing, it’s quickly becoming a crowded space, even when you put your customers first and honor storytelling traditions.
What’s a marketer to do?
Attend content marketing world. Over 4,000 attendees from 550+ companies made the pilgrimage to Cleveland to learn the latest content marketing strategies to help their brand connect with consumers.
Linkmedia was among them. And, staying true to the classic three-arc story structure you may be familiar with from English class, we’ve broken down three impactful sessions from content marketing world 2019 (with more to come). Continue reading to learn:
Between Survey Monkey, Orbit Studios and Mantis Research, it was a veritable packed house of forward-thinking content marketers during the session on Wednesday, September 4th. The consensus is clear: People prefer data over opinions. 82% of people would prefer to read an article based on data rather than the writer’s perspective, in fact.
The method to captivate the audience of today is through thoughtful education and original research, not through theorization. Information gaps are present in nearly every business sector, and original research fills in those gaps while educating core audiences. Survey data adds credibility to content in ways that can’t be duplicated, even with the best of prose.
So, how does a content marketing team go about choosing a topic that original research can support? The panel of experts provided the following insight:
Tip #1: Look for something that is frequently said that doesn’t currently have support – Not only will this new original data fill in a blank that was missing in your industry, it will give your company the credit for providing the definitive answer to that missing gap in information.
Tip #2: Do people believe something to be true that isn’t? Disprove “known” facts with original research – It’s commonplace in science to scrutinize facts, challenge our way of understanding and test theories. So too, is that the case with marketing when original research is implemented. If there’s an established methodology, your company could conduct research to challenge and even provide an update via the insights gathered from research.
Additional tips from this session include:
Original research provides numerous benefits for businesses and any company can utilize it with the proper methodology, strategy and budget.
Remember when you were younger and how you would swap stories with friends? Whether it was around the campfire, the school bus, or amongst one another; each of us was trying to one-up the other in sheer epic-ness, scale and detail in our storytelling prowess.
Companies are executing brand storytelling on a macro level and it’s playing out in a similar fashion to when we would attempt to outdo each other’s’ stories when we were young. It’s becoming more difficult to stand out and authentically tell your customer’s or clients’ stories.
During Michelle Park Lazzette’s session on Thursday, September 5th, she spoke to three inherent dangers that all content marketing teams face when telling unique stories, and she provided tips to overcome those dangers:
Tip #1: Stories that rock are torn apart and rebuilt – Call it the construction and/or deconstruction process essential to the success of all narratives. That said, Michelle provided seven specific tactics to overcome the doldrums that brand storytelling can sometimes take:
Tip #2: Stories that rock try new things – Want better results? Don’t do more of the same. Think to the stories that have affected you and apply them to your content marketing strategy. Michelle laid the groundwork for calculated risk-taking by providing five essential pieces of wisdom:
Tip #3: Stories that rock answer the right question(s) – It’s important to prevent prospective customers from swimming in a sea of ambiguity. Specifics matter. To tell stories that rock, Michell advised the following:
Does your business want to create heavenly content in its brand storytelling? During Thursday’s session at content marketing world 2019 on September 5th, Jonathan Kranz led content marketing novices and seasoned experts alike through ways to immerse audiences through strategic content creation.
Several tips should help content marketing teams:
Tip #1: Go where the action is – Creatives love being comfortable, but that isn’t always where they’ll make the most impact. Make an emphasis to get creative team members out of the cubicles and into the action. Conversely, if you yourself are a creative, don’t be hesitant about requesting to be taken on more visits. Bringing content marketers and copywriters to onsite visits can spawn multiple blog posts, articles, premium content ideas, social media posts and more.
Since your content team is constantly in a state of ideation, it’s natural to expect them to look for topics that may be overlooked by other teams. This unique skillset ideally places them to unearth creative opportunities and inspire countless pieces of content.
Tip #2: Imagine – While your content marketing team imagines, it should look to explore and unearth tensions and celebrate the imperfections that exist in your audience. After all, audiences crave authenticity, so the more authentic your content marketing team can articulate shared truths and challenges the more successful your content ultimately will be.
During the ‘imagine’ stage, your team shouldn’t hide from internal pain points or controversy. Pursue anomalies, question assumptions and examine contradictions your audience has (with well-founded data and research). During the ‘imagine’ stage, your team of writer’s should challenge the conventional wisdom of your audience. This isn’t a combative stance. In fact, this could open your audiences’ eyes.
Tip #3: Invest – A return on investment, or ROI, isn’t possible without investment. Some pieces of content don’t find their ideal audience at first and will require a budget to expand to a wider audience. An amplification budget will give your content the opportunity to be immersive to an audience that was previously unaware of your offerings.
Tip #4: Overcome challenges – To immerse your audience with compelling content, sometimes your team will need to overcome challenges of its own. Below are four common challenges content marketers find themselves in, with potential solutions that your team can execute:
Challenge #1: Fixed in a content rut?
Solution: what if we broke our own scripts?
Challenge #2: Communicating a complex idea
Solution: What if we tied a complex idea into a simple and familiar metaphor?
Challenge #3: Separate the wheat from the chaff
Solution: What if we used less to communicate more (condensing ideas and concepts into their simplest and most succinct form)
Challenge #4: Applying talented team members to specific content objectives
Solution: Conduct hands-on workshops
By overcoming its own unique set of challenges, your team of content writer’s, specialists and experts will be able to create truly immersive content that audiences will look forward to receiving.
Asking the right questions, telling stories more compelling than competition and creating immersive content for audiences are daunting tasks. Luckily, a conference like content marketing world exists to bring the best minds together to forge new paths forward.
The unique challenges facing companies don’t intimidate us. Our team of content marketing experts take the challenges of client partners head on. This occurs while we simultaneously learn the latest tactics available to communicate a brands unique story in engaging ways for audiences.
What we’ve shared above? It’s just a sliver of the total learnings during this impactful conference. Contact our team and we will be glad to share insights, takeaways and session recaps that pertain the most for your unique business needs and objectives.