These days, so much about the future seems uncertain. Even without a global pandemic, job losses, distance learning, election uncertainty and social unrest, the fast pace of technological advances makes it difficult to guess what tomorrow may bring. When it comes to creating marketing content, however, there are some tried and true methods to mitigate that uncertainty by future-proofing your content to ensure its effectiveness, regardless of what tomorrow brings.
In recent years, more attention has been paid to the concept of “content fatigue.” In short, content fatigue sets in when our senses are bombarded with input from social media, 24-hour (or faster!) news cycles and increasingly rapid developments in communications technology. The noise-to-signal ratio seems inverted, and it can be hard to tell where we stand, much less where we’re going. And so we run the risk of letting content fatigue set in and paralyze us. In marketing, that can be a risky mistake.
As Gandhi famously said, there is more to life than increasing its speed; and therein lies the antidote. The reason for content fatigue is content spam; we’re not flooded with quality content, just a mass quantity of it. And the solution is to return that equation to its proper balance by creating content that focuses on quality, not quantity.
In a sea of messaging, what makes yours rise to the top?
Quality, not Quantity
A quick internet search can produce lots of expert answers to the question of future-proofing your marketing content. From big-named, blue chip companies to lesser known sources, it’s easy to find advice and opinions. It’s also easy to distill those opinions into two basic, almost too-simple-to-believe overarching ideas: Produce high-quality content and engage with your audience. Those ideas may seem cliché, but there’s a reason: They work. They also work hand in hand. The better you understand your audience and the more you engage with them, the more meaningful your content will be to those who consume it. In fact, our own Marketing & PR Specialists have produced some meaningful content on our blog lately that addresses this very idea. These two blog posts focus on a few key points to help you focus on producing quality content:
- Present complicated ideas in clear ways. Through the use of strong headlines, keywords that home in on your focus, meaningful graphics and infographics that tell your story visually, your message will come through clearly and your expertise will shine.
- Put in the work your competition won’t. Timely messaging is important, but don’t hurry things. Slow down, do your research, focus on quality and always include proofreading or quality checks. Do the things your competition think they can’t afford or don’t have time for, and you’ll stand out from the crowd.
- Focus on the idea. We believe in threading important keywords, phrases and ideas through our writing, but they are driven by the main topic, not the other way around. Build your topic, your theme and your main idea first, then let tools like keywords and SEO serve that.
- Solve a problem. Understand what matters most to your audience and what concerns they have, then create content that addresses those concerns. Solve a problem that matters to your audience.
- Raise your voice. Create quality content, then share it where it will be most effective for your audience. Speak where they’ll hear you.
Your content stands out when it engages your customers.
Know Your Audience
The last two bullets in the list above address a key point. Thanks to increases in technology, cloud computing, algorithms, business intelligence and analytics, it’s possible to know more now about our customers than ever before. At Three Girls Media, we do the leg work to understand demographics and other indicators of our customers’ target audiences. Whatever the industry, consumers stay with brands they feel connected to. Rather than locking yourself into one marketing strategy because “it’s what works,” understand how your audience engages and adjust your strategy accordingly. Why waste resources on messaging that won’t reach you intended audience? Yes, social media marketing is an increasingly important tool, but decide which platforms make the most sense for you and your audience.
Even when you have a fully developed understanding of your audience and their needs, don’t sit still. Adjust your strategy as their habits change.
- Watch content trends and emerging technology. Does anybody here remember Friendster? That’s not nostalgia; it just highlights how quickly things change and how quickly “it” trends become obsolete. Don’t fear those rapidly changing trends; embrace them. We’re always keeping a proverbial ear to the ground to see what marketing trends are picking up, how our customers are using them and how social media is changing. You should too.
- Engage with your customers by co-creating content. One very effective use of social media posts is to ask a question. For example, “What’s your favorite time of year? Reply in the comments!” engages your audience and helps keep them personally invested in your business. Again, consumers stay with brands they feel connected to.
- Create your own active marketplace. By building a strong social media following and updating your email lists, then engaging with your customers in a way that resonates with them, you’re positioning your company as a leader in that niche. When they think of your industry or product space, they’ll have you top-of-mind.
Understanding your audience is the best way to build a lasting connection with them
Step Confidently Into the Future
In business, it’s important to stay timely, stay relevant and understand current trends, but there’s no substitute for quality. If your business doesn’t provide high-quality products or services, your success won’t last long. Similarly, if your marketing strategy is too concerned with the fashion of the moment at the sacrifice of meaningful content, its success won’t last either. With confidence in your business and in the quality of your content, you can ensure that it stays future proof.