The word “content” has become so ubiquitous these days, that it somehow sounds so platitudinous and lack of meaning. “Content” used to mean anything you put into an empty vessel, or anything that fills up the void in a container, such a jug or a tank. “Content” used to mean something positive too, such as a great piece of writing, that is imbued with wit, creativity, reflection, purpose or admirable aspirations.
What do you mean by the word “content”?
Yet the word “content” has, in the current digital age, ironically degenerated into a catch-all “mot du jour” that refers to an image, an article, a video or any format of information that is posted and shared on any platform.
The traditional, non-material, and positive notion of “content” is entirely lost in this new meaning that current-day digitalists have accorded it. To make matters worse, marketeers came up with the idea of “content marketing” – to sell a service, a product, or a reputation, through the strategised and targeted production of content, in whatever form that the audience takes to.
As a digital communicator, content marketing is a very useful strategy I often employ.
But I do caution, as I mentioned above, the meaningless usage of the term “content“.
Any banal interpretation of the word often leads to a great failure of content marketing. Why?
Content Marketing is not about marketing content
To succeed in content marketing, you need to reinterpret the word “content” by easily changing it to “story“.
Once you’ve done that, you will be better able to think harder about the emotional draw of your writing, videos or images.
“What story resonates with my audience?”
“What characters in my story makes it easy for my audience to identify themselves with?”
“What are the words my audience uses to describe those events, situations, characters or emotions?”
The form of your “content” could be anything. But whatever you choose (based on where your audience is), you need to be aware you are telling a good story.
Digital Content Marketing is about being visual
You may already have noticed that I am more taken to writing than to other forms of information.
And in the current age, digital is often synonomous with speed. Communications happen so quickly, people do not have the time to read and reflect.
When you are telling a story, it is a fine art balancing between telling it well and telling it quickly.
Hence, while keywords can get you the traffic, you need to integrate visual elements in your information to click with your audience. The term used nowadays is “compelling”. But I prefer the adjectives “interesting, intriguing and moving”. Visual storytelling needs to bring to life the message, the meaning and the emotions. Visual storytelling needs to be the cornerstone of your content marketing.
But like I mentioned before, communications is about continuous testing and deployment.
Keep testing your stories, until you get it right.
If you have any questions about content marketing or visual storytelling, feel free to comment below or send me an email. If not, please look at other of my Eureka Moments. If you are interested in the selling of “ideas”, here’s another read.
Eureka Moments are not so much moments of sudden realisation or enlightenment like Archimedes. They are moments while I am in my commute when I get to reflect on things that someone mentioned to me, things that I am confronted with, things that I or others have sought a solution for. They are more ‘oh I get it’ rather than ‘I have discovered it’.