Welcome to the third installment in our multi-part “Collective Wisdom” series of content marketing strategy articles. In this Pubcon-themed episode, you’ll learn powerful methods for creating engaging and bookmark-worthy messaging, featuring insight from some of the world’s top digital marketers who spoke at Pubcon Pro Las Vegas 2018.
Previously in “How to Boost Your Content Marketing Efforts By Planning Ahead,” we looked at implementing a smart and robust content planning strategy, while “The Art Of Crafting More Powerful Content: 5 Top Tactics from the Experts” began exploring five of the most fundamental content creation methods.
Now it’s time to focus on five additional smart tactics for creating engaging and powerful messaging to help you create a successful content marketing campaign.
Crafting Powerful Messaging — Pubcon Style
As we began exploring previously, smart content crafting is one of the most important steps on a successful content marketing journey, because it’s the centerpiece of what you present — and using the right messaging in your content is also a step you don’t want to skip over.
Insight 1: Use The Right Tone For Dopamine-Inducing Messaging
The content we create should ideally be the type that creates dopamine in our brains, to get us truly excited and make us want to seek out more.
It’s the type of powerful brand messaging that Mindset Digital Founder Debra Jasper espouses, which she detailed in her recent Pubcon keynote presentation.
It’s never been harder to differentiate your content from the vast digital sea of messages bombarding us from every angle thousands of times every day, yet that’s exactly what we should strive to do, by incorporating smart planning, careful message crafting, and savvy promotion.
When I first connected to the Internet in 1984, it was commonly said that the entire volume of new content created online over the past 24 hours could be downloaded at 300-baud in a relatively small text file easily saved to either an 8” or 5.25” floppy disk, with plenty of room to spare.
This year, by contrast, Cisco has estimated that by 2021 in just one second 105 terabytes will be transferred globally online — including a million minutes worth of video content.
Take heed, as it’s against this daunting backdrop of information overload and mega-competition that your messaging needs to stand out, but don’t worry, as your target audience will likely represent only a small fraction of worldwide Internet traffic, and we’ll look at how to focus on the micro-moments that you can more easily control.
Jasper encourages the use of the SOS methodology for the most effective messaging:
No matter your intended audience, including the important “what,” “why,” and “now what” elements should also be included near the beginning of any messaging, in a world where today’s professional typically has only an eight-second attention span.
“Today’s clients and colleagues have an eight second attention span. Eight seconds. To break through the noise, you must communicate with more power, clarity and impact.” — Debra Jasper @DebraJasper Click To Tweet
Insight 2: Use Clarity In Your Messaging
What can we learn about content creation from some of the latest research into artificial intelligence, voice search, and chatbots?
Microsoft Senior Manager of Global Engagement Purna Virji sees presenting clear and concise messages as vital both for today’s content marketing and bots, as she explored in “How to Optimize Customer Experience with AI – Top Tips from Microsoft’s Purna Virji” at Pubcon.
Our messaging should include elements of all four of Purna’s principles of conversational design:
Combine these to write for the ear, not the eye, Purna suggests, and ask yourself if your messaging reflects the way you would talk to someone in person.
Insight 3: Understand Personalization to Know Your Audience
Learning how to make smart decisions for personalizing your content messaging is one of the the specialties of former Head of Social for Ford, Scott Monty, who shared his insight into the area recently during Pubcon in his “Top Brand Personalization Secrets From Scott Monty at #Pubcon 2018” presentation.
Doing due diligence to know your audience will help you create meaningful messages, and the kinds of emotional stories that appeal to your intended viewers.
However, personalized messages don’t need to be lengthy to be truly impactful, as Scott pointed out when he shared the story of Ernest Hemingway’s famous $10 bet to achieve a meaningful story in six words or less.
“For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” won the bet — powerful emotions from just a few words, and while we can’t all be Hemingways, using the right language and tone for our intended audience can help make your messaging successful.
“Customers want experiences that are more about them and their needs. To increase customer retention, marketers can use date to deliver on more personal experiences.” — Scott Monty @scottmonty Click To Tweet
Our CEO Lee Odden took a detailed look at when short-form content is appropriate, and when it’s better to choose the long-form, in his “Power Pages and Best Answer Content: Should You Go Long or Short Form?”
“When it comes to long vs. short form content, the lesson to learn is to avoid just checking off boxes that say you need to write 2,000 words to satisfy Google,” Lee said.
“Know your customers well enough through data to create a best-answer content strategy and content mix that is relevant, optimized for discovery, useful and actionable,” Lee added.
Insight 4: Better Messaging Through Collaboration & Credibility
For at least six years Lee has also identified “being the best answer” for your audience as imperative, a message he explored recently at Pubcon, as our own Tiffani Allen explores in “5 Secrets for Growing Influence in Marketing: Key Takeaways from Lee Odden at #Pubcon Pro.”
“By building internal credibility, activating customers, creating a content collaboration ecosystem and working with influencers, marketing can improve credibility, influence and trust.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden Click To Tweet
Businesses using influencer marketing with an eye towards relationships can use content co-creation and messaging to grow those relationships, Lee pointed out, adding that when an influencer relationship grow stronger, the content is bound to become better and drive further involvement from the influencer.
Insight 5: Focus On The Most-Desired Messaging Outcomes
It’s also important to make it easy for your audience to engage with your messaging and ultimately to have them turn into conversions, with the kind of content that they’ll want to return to again and again over time.
Neuromarketing author and Pubcon speaker Roger Dooley recently explored the importance of reducing friction for your audience, as Tiffani looks at more closely in “Reduce Friction, Increase Loyalty: Key Insights from Roger Dooley at #Pubcon Pro.”
“Want a higher conversion rate and customer loyalty? Make it easier to do business with you. Reducing friction in every interaction is the path to getting and keeping more customers.” — Roger Dooley @rogerdooley Click To Tweet
By minimizing what he calls cognitive friction, through the use of simple and easy-to-read fonts, brief copy, and an easy-to-read design, our messaging can be highly successful, Roger has explained.
From Messaging To Promotion — The Journey’s Just Begun
By using clarity, the right tone, personalization, the power of collaboration and credibility, and striving for dopamine-inducing messaging, you can ensure that you’ve got the necessary elements for powerful content messaging.
These aren’t the only tactics you can use in your messaging tool bag, however, and next up in our “Collective Wisdom” series we’ll examine even more, and move on to the art of content promotion.
- ITSMA Marketing Vision 2018 on November 7 in Cambridge, MA. — “Influence the Influencers – How B2B technology companies can build brand awareness with content and influence”
- MarketingProfs 2018 Marketing B2B Forum on November 15 in San Francisco — “The Confluence Equation: How Content & Influencers Drive B2B Marketing Success”