In last week`s newsletter, I had talked of the difference between people`s attention spans and their interest. For some unfathomable reason, marketers and content providers have started substituting one for the other. There`s a difference, people.
Today, because of content explosion, a reader/prospect/lead/customer`s attention is a commodity everyone`s vying for. After all, we live in a customer-centric world.
It`s like fishing in this gigantic pond with fellow anglers (read, competing marketers). Your bait (content) must tempt the fish (prospect) to get hooked (attention).
There`s an old advertising maxim - sell the sizzle, not the steak. I have a slightly different take on that.
Sell the sizzle AND the steak.
The steak (your product or service) has to be of a certain standard to ensure repeat buys. Think of it, how many times has a great piece of content grabbed your attention only for the product to turn out to be a damp squib? Preview was better than the movie?
The market today punishes those who use content to prop up an otherwise poor product.
But I am getting away….this newsletter is not about product but about content.
So, let`s start off by assuming you have your piece of content, whatever that may be - a blog post, a direct mailer, newsletter. But content does not speak for itself. That`s why it needs some razzle-dazzle. Your content itself needs packaging…..and marketing. That`s right. To peddle a product, you need to market your content.
Like it or not, the world we live in does judge your content by its cover. (Remember, people`s attention is a commodity?)
So, unlike the days of print when a well-written headline, a bare-boned graphic or a clever photograph was enough to make your content stand out, today, you need to do more.
Your content needs to speak first in order to help your product talk.
Your content has only one chance to do that, maybe half, in an over-crowded market.
Get it right the first time.
Your content requires a combination of things. It needs to be a mix of good writing, contextual writing, design, visuals, matching sound track, and so on and so forth. There are some basic rules for promotional and non-promotional content, but let me me put it this way - anything and everything that helps to get the message across to the end-user is welcome. There are no molds.
Uppermost in a content provider`s mind, always, must be the hook. What should they be doing with that particular work of content to grab someone`s attention?
Hooks come in various forms: emotional, topicality…..
Which one has to be used in which pond to get which fish depends on a host of factors like the pond itself (market), the specific fish you want to hook (consumer segment), the marketing channel you plan to use (fishing rod) and so on.
Once hooked, you can sit back as your content reels in the fish (attention span), and I am presuming you have a well-crafted piece of content here that will go to work on your fish.
Anyway, enough of fishing analogies.
Your content must raise enough of a stink but not leave your product or client stinking.
Image Credit: Sarah Richter Art/Pixabay
From this newsletter on, I`ve decided to add a new component for the benefit of subscribers. ‘Discovery Of The Week’ will have a pointer to one exceptional piece of content that managed to catch my eye in my professional outing.