14 milliseconds. That's how long it takes us to perceive what a picture represents. No wonder it goes so fast for us to scroll in the Instagram feed when our brain constantly evaluates "Is this interesting enough to take part in?". During a very inspiring lecture, organized by MyNewsDesk,Digital Strategist Hanaw Rashid drew attention to how important (and simple) it is to create content in their digital channels that have the potential to engage one's followers. Secret? You need to dare to take risks and see what works for your target audience. If you, like many other companies, are dreaming of having a marketing campaign that becomes the new "talk of the town" in the Swedes' lunchroom, it rarely works to just do "as you always been doing".
So what are the different strategies when you want to create content that engages and catches attention? Below are three approaches that Hanaw Rashid highlighted during his lecture.
1. Tell a story
Don't mind the product! Or ok don't focus on it. Use the product as a source of inspiration and build a context around it. One of the biggest mistakes many companies make is that they internally decide what is important to communicate about the product from the company's perspective. Instead, you should put on the customer's glasses and understand simple contexts or situations where your product creates value for the customer. Perhaps you do not even have to mention the product. Inspired by Ipren, a company that by law is not even allowed to show its products in pictures in its marketing, but still turns that into its advantage. In an entire campaign, they used the term #reality along with an everyday situation that can create headaches, such as sitting and waiting for a website load, something most people can recognize themselves in and naturally connect to the product. Or for example, Länsförsäkringar, they created a multi-part advertising series with the character Modell-Johan that is about to move away from home with all that it includes. In an entertaining way, the company manages to engage the viewer and communicate its services between the lines.
2. Let the outside world do half of the work
Lack of inspiration? Take help from events and "buzz" around the world. Trendy talking points and news get a lot of attention and by putting your product at the center of the action you have the opportunity to ride on that wave. Surely no one missed Norwegian's "Brad is single" commercial when celebrity couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced their divorce? All of a sudden, half the world shared the ad on social media and praised the company for its successful marketing. Why? Because the advertising is relevant (and funny). Often people express dissatisfaction with advertising, not because they abhor all kinds of marketing, but because it doesn't feel relevant. By drawing a relevant connection between a novelty and your product, you can create amazing effects and engagement.
Does your company have a blog or inspiration page with articles? Write more relevant and SEO optimized content by keeping you updated on what we in Sweden are currently interested in reading about. Google has (as usual) a keen track of what we're looking for. Keep an eye out for trends and be inspired by it.
3. Invest in video content
We love video content, but it needs to go fast. Is your company interested in advertising on Youtube? There you usually have 5 seconds to catch the customer's attention before they can click the "skip" button. If that wasn't enough, you're working uphill, because you're bothering the person who's interested in seeing a fun dog clip, not your product. So how do you take advantage of the time? A 30-second commercial previously adapted for TV, where the product is introduced in the last half and ends with the message and the logo will not land well with the viewer. Start with the most important thing first, arouse feelings and be clear about who the sender is. Keep this in mind in all the moving material you create for digital media.
Are you starting to see a pattern?
Focus on relevance and recognition to create engaging content. And remember, as Howard Gossage once said "People don't read ads. They read what interests them and sometimes that's an ad."
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