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Does your content drive action – the acid test for 2017

Does your content drive action – the acid test for 2017

Is it still all about the story? We think so. However, does the way in which this story is communicated needs to change in order to gain cut-through with your target market?

We ask five questions that will ensure your content drives action – read through for our insight on these critical success factors to become a content sensation.

Does your content take your audience on a story journey?

Does your content tease?

Is your content bold, original and useful – is there a takeaway message?

How personal is your content?

Do you act with pace?

Read through for our thoughts on these questions.  From bite-sized chunks of information to resonate in the fast world, through to visualisation to make it easy – be it video, infographics – there’s nothing new with any of these content forms but the way in which they are brought together will be the defining success factor in 2017.  So what is new or still critical to ensure your content drives action?

1. Do you take your audience on a story journey? 2017 will be the year that focuses on how the journey engages to drive action. What are the steps to consider:

The headline – the first thing that should be provocative and grab attention. Measure hit rates, test times to share content and check what works work.

The highlights (or key take-aways) – what they might find out should they choose to read, watch, etc the piece of content

The introduction – setting the scene and context as to why they should continue, essentially, the purpose of the article

The options – is it a video, or a white paper, a trends report or a blog?

The conclusions – did the audience agree with your message? Do they share their views, share your content and come back for me?

2. Does your content tease? Attraction is still the name of the game. Most people love intrigue and learning something new. But is the chase half the fun? Check if your content requires action to get the full story. From click throughs from teaser blogs to headline dashboard, you need to give your audience the opportunity – in fact make it a requirement – to take action and interact to find out more. Whether it’s an interactive chart, a more accessible video or presentation, sure this is the acid test – if no one takes that required next step, not only can you measure this (content failure) but it should make you take stock of the content you’re producing.

3. Is your content bold, original and useful? Thought leadership is still the holy grail for most organisations. Whether you lack confidence in your ability to credibly communicate original views, or simply fear the reaction of raising your head above the parapet with engaging opinion, you’ll undoubtedly fail to drive engagement and action. Bland, me-too content – no matter how creatively it is presented – no longer cuts it (if it ever did). It’s about managing the risk; ensuring your position is informed, backed up with evidence and delivered by a spokesperson with expertise and insight (even if ghosted) will endeavour to best mitigate those risks.

2. Does your content tease? Attraction is still the name of the game. Most people love intrigue and learning something new. But is the chase half the fun? Check if your content requires action to get the full story. From click throughs from teaser blogs to headline dashboard, you need to give your audience the opportunity – in fact make it a requirement – to take action and interact to find out more. Whether it’s an interactive chart, a more accessible video or presentation, sure this is the acid test – if no one takes that required next step, not only can you measure this (content failure) but it should make you take stock of the content you’re producing.

3. Is your content bold, original and useful? Thought leadership is still the holy grail for most organisations. Whether you lack confidence in your ability to credibly communicate original views, or simply fear the reaction of raising your head above the parapet with engaging opinion, you’ll undoubtedly fail to drive engagement and action. Bland, me-too content – no matter how creatively it is presented – no longer cuts it (if it ever did). It’s about managing the risk; ensuring your position is informed, backed up with evidence and delivered by a spokesperson with expertise and insight (even if ghosted) will endeavour to best mitigate those risks.

4. How personal is it? There’s nothing new about content, accept that there are increasingly vast amounts of it. So it needs to be targeted to individuals to reach the attention of its desired audience. Each consumer or business person believes their situation, challenge, barrier, is unique – so make sure your content talks to those individuals. It needs to be relevant, targeted and talk their language to hit the mark. Fundamentally, it needs to deliver against a genuine need.

5. Do you act with pace? You may do all the above, but if you fail to act with pace, you can be sure someone else will get there before you. It then becomes a missed opportunity – from being seen an authoritative leader grabbing attention through to driving interest in your business.

There’s no room for content that doesn’t deliver action. Let’s be honest, for most that means driving new business – whether growing existing customers or attracting new ones. Engaging content that does its job takes time to get right – from the message, the medium, through to the measurements. But without a doubt, content marketing is still proving to be the most cost-effective way to help drive businesses success. Just make sure you’re evolving with new tips and techniques as we move into 2017.

Posted: 3 January 2017

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