One of the biggest issues of my consulting clients who already post online content is focus. The goal is increasing customer attention and engaging in a further sale, but their original content ended up wasting their own time and guiding their customer nowhere.
It’s a mistake I’ve seen in all kinds of platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Email, YouTube…
If their lead clicked to see the content, he or she would just close the window or roll the screen after three seconds. You can imagine what kind of metrics such boring and annoying content produced – even with a considerable amount of access, qualitative metrics sucked.
Little or no customer retention, no further interest in other posts, no new subscriptions, unfollowing, and no sales. That’s all I have to deal while designing new strategies and funnels for clients.
Relieve yourself from pointless content
Design is where we should start while reviewing our content strategy. Relevance and design are fundamental traits a product must have to succeed – a brand may either supply an existing demand or create such demand.
In both cases, you need a decent marketing:
- Customer discovery
- Market research
- Goals and metrics to follow
- Channels to act
- Languages to speak*
* Each platform has its very own language to diverse audiences. Think of a LinkedIn user and a Tumblr user.
If you’re selling an “intellectual property” product such as a book, service, courses, or even your personal brand, providing valuable content on the right channels is a must.
If your product is a fashion outfit or a movie, for instance, you might want to communicate more visually on Instagram or YouTube. Your value ladder will be established if your product seems good and your campaigns are persuasive enough.
In both cases, offering valuable or creative content may not be enough – that’s because people are extremely bored. By being bored and mentally tired, they might need a better and continuing approach to drive an action. I’ll talk about it in the next lines.
1. Know your Target Audience
This is always where to start when thinking about content strategy. Identifying your target audience must be a seriously made investigation, and also should be documented. Here’s what to look for:
- Audience stereotype(s)
- Platforms they are located (Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn…)
- How many hours they’re online on a daily basis
- What kind of content they consume
- Which websites they access
Such study should give us enough information to design our publication blueprints. Different products may have different audiences. A common mistake from retailers is to advertise all their products using a single strategy, or using little differentiation patterns such as gender only.
Advertising and selling apparel to a 35-year-old woman from Boston is different than advertising and selling to a teenager from California. Make sure to map your audience.
2. Set your objectives straight
Ideally, brands should design different posts for different campaigns. Imagine Hollister advertising their new summer collection – there’s a whole campaign behind each advertisement piece. This will avoid losing track of the right metrics and showing bullshit content to a specific targeted audience.
I started to realize that keeping a campaign with organic traffic, creative and interesting posts and improving everything analyzing our customer and metrics was not enough. And yes, that’s most of the story to get your campaign to be successful.
At the end of a busy day, while analyzing some average metrics from a campaign, I realized that every piece of ad could have cognitive elements to improve customer response. In my dictionary, customer responses are sales and brand advocacy. Period.
By cognitive elements, I mean everything that’s in the body of the post. Images, text, language, colors, call to action, duration, tones, and sounds if we’re talking about a video.
So I designed three Instagram posts which had “handmade” engagement logic. I emailed our designer to increase some color tones and change some backgrounds – it was a candy store from Dallas, so we were talking about chocolate, candies, and some colorful stuff.
After 24 hours, I had all I needed in hand: copywriting was ready, three images and one video ready to fly. I posted once a day, for three days, and then I would get back to the original campaign funnel.
Online orders boosted up to 25% more than the original campaign and in-store sales increased by 34% one day after the third post.
I saw myself obliged to redesign the whole campaign using cognitive elements – it has performed fantastically well both on paid ads to capture new followers and also for the organic traffic we had already reached.
3. Act Cognitively
Well, we all do it, right?
Cognitive Marketing is not your Holy Grail. No marketing, no book, no consultor, and no formula will be your Holy Grail.
David Ogilvy once taught us that great marketing will help you sell your product – but just once. If people are disappointed and no improvements are made, they won’t buy products from you again. Also, if unhappy customers are left behind with no support, it will be even harder.
Cognitive elements will increase actions from your campaigns. It could be a subscription to your YouTube channel, following your Instagram or Facebook account, buying a product or recommending your brand to someone.
If you want to learn how Cognitive Marketing will help brand, email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org