What Content Really Engages? The Inside Scoop From 30 Marketers

Don’t fear, this isn’t one more publish trying to outline content material engagement from a qualitative or a quantitative perspective.

This article captures what engagement appears to be like like from the viewers’s perspective. We requested the consultants talking at Content Marketing World to share what content material prompts them to interact with or belief a model.

What #content material prompts you to interact w/ or belief a model, asks @cmicontent. Read solutions from #CMWorld audio system Click To Tweet

Read on for a deep look contained in the minds of CMWorld audio system to study what content material prompts them to interact. And in some instances, study which manufacturers they assume are doing it effectively.

Connects emotionally

“Content that triggers an emotional bond” will get seen by Jacquie Chakirelis, director of promoting, Great Lakes Science Center.

Emotion is also the connector for Jeff Leo Herrmann, president of Madison, Michigan & Market. As Kiley Peters, proprietor and CEO, Brainchild Studios, explains succinctly, “It’s funny. It’s different. It’s relevant. It evokes emotion.”

Engaging #content material is humorous, totally different, related. It evokes emotion, says @kileypeters. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

For among the consultants, which emotion the content material prompts relies on its relevance to them or their want on the time. For others, it’s not about emotion, it’s about how useful or entertaining the content material is. Or it’s about how dedicated the model is to ship on its dedication.

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Sparks delight

“It brings me pleasure. Seriously, it’s pleasure. My inbox fills up with emails I know may have nice info and recommendation, however they typically languish there unopened. Why? Usually as a result of the content material is dry.

“The ones I always open are the ones that bring me joy. Maybe they’re always funny. Maybe they always tell a story in a really engaging way. Maybe they always have stunning images or quirky videos. Maybe I just really love the tone of voice the company or individual uses. But the common thread is these emails make me feel happy when I open them. I look forward to opening them.” – Dan Hatchfounder, Typeset 

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Respects me

“The greatest content material manufacturers respect my time, earn my consideration, and reward that focus with sensible, entertaining, well-crafted content material that they clearly loved creating.

“Their content comes straight from things they really believe and value. I believe and value those things too, so their content resonates with me.” – Doug Kessler, co-founder, Velocity Partners

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Speaks to me

“The content I love most does two things: 1) It speaks to a specific problem/challenge I’m facing or an idea I’m inspired by and 2) it uses the same language that I do in a conversational, engaging style. The content I am moved to act on is inspiring, clear, and actionable. It connects the dots from where I am to where I want to be.” – Sydni Craig-Hart, CEO, Smart Simple Marketing

The content material I’m moved to behave on is inspiring, clear, and actionable, says @SydniCraigHart. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

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Is actual

“The content I engage with feels like it has a real person behind it, not just a nebulous brand voice. And not just any person, a person who gets my problem, has struggled through it, and has emerged victorious with a feasible solution. Whether it’s an email, written content, a video, or a podcast, I need to know right up front that there’s something awesome that’s perfect for me coming, which my favorite brands do with enviable consistency.” – Andrea Fryrear, Agile advertising and marketing coach and coach, co-founder, AgileSherpas

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Provides info

“I interact with brand content when I need information about the brand, including how to use it better.” – Buddy Scalera, content material strategist; affiliate director, social media options, Novartis

Thinks like British public media

“Brands are becoming like the BBC: to inform, educate and entertain. The best content marketing makes you laugh, cry, say ‘wow,’ or do something. It triggers human emotion. Part of that is making someone say, ‘How true is this?’ and want to share it with others who feel their pain and appreciate its truth.” – Adam Ritchie, principal, Adam Ritchie Brand Direction 

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Can be discovered simply

“A lot of the time I am searching for the content because I have a thirst for certain knowledge. For example, having a good search strategy so that your content is showing up for specific keywords that people are searching for is a key way to get the right people engaging in your content.” John Hall, co-founder, Calendar.com

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Avoids mechanization

“Fun and personalized content, especially in a lead nurture stage, tends to be the type of content I will engage with. Anything that seems robotic or even spammy, I never engage with it.” – Arnie Kuenn, senior advisor, Vertical Measures

Any #content material that appears robotic and even spammy, I by no means have interaction with it, says @ArnieOkay. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

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Lets me get entangled

“The best brand content understands how I feel about the brand, and shares something that it knows I’ll love and want to weigh in on. This level of getting your audience is not something you can extrapolate from third-party data or emails from your sales team about their conversations.” – Erika Heald, advertising and marketing advisor, Erika Heald Consulting

Comes from a relationship

“Brands and companies get me to purchase and remain loyal to them despite near substitutes and price competition because of the people behind them! The employees work to really help me and make sure that I am happy with my purchases. As a result, I develop a relationship and trust with them over time.” – Heidi Cohen, chief content material officer, Actionable Marketing Guide

Knows I’m their viewers

“Brands that I’m in the exact right target audience for and they know it. Whether that’s because they’re creating content for writers that care about content marketing and SEO, freelancers, young female professionals, or dog owners (to name a few examples). They know what that means and how to appeal to me because of it. By contrast, the companies I get the least relevant content from are those that automatically sign me up to their list or start sending sales emails after I download a report or case study, without bothering to check if I’m their target audience.” Kristen Hicks, freelance content material author 

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Engages again

“It appears to be genuine. It serves my need/solves my problem at that time. The content is entertaining, thought-provoking, or educational. They take time to respond back. Brands or organizations that don’t respond back (even after several attempts) lose my loyalty or interest in becoming involved.” – Melissa Harrison, CEO, Allee Creative, LLC

Brands that don’t reply again lose my loyalty, says @MHBossLady. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

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Provides no less than one E

“I describe engaging content through my 4Es of engagement: Content must educate (provide skills), explain (provide context), entertain (provide joy), or empower (provide confidence). Content that does (at least) one of these things, in addition to being relevant and contextual to the brand and industry, will make me want to engage.” – Zontee Hou, co-lead of consulting, Convince & Convert

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Follows the perfect coverage

“The content is honest. It doesn’t say, “we’re great at everything,” it says, let’s ask you questions on who you might be and allow us to information you to the appropriate solutions.” – Wil Reynolds, founder, Seer Interactive

Doesn’t set off an allergic response

“The quality and the depth of the content needs to be much, much bigger than a few years ago. I’m increasingly allergic to fluff and annoyed by companies that succeed in “winning” on Google simply to drive me to content material with out actual worth.

“And, on a positive note, I’m increasingly fond of brands where I can feel their personality. To give an example every reader knows, I’ll point out Velocity Partners. You can feel them in every word – like their cookie notice that goes: ‘We just cookied your ass. And you know what? It felt good. Read our cookies policy to see why.’ I have a huge crush on things like that and of course their posts, e-books, etc., are the same.” – Jesper Laursen, CEO, Native Advertising Institute

I’m more and more keen on manufacturers the place I can really feel their persona, says @jesperlaursen. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

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Fills longing for connection

“In a world where consumers are overwhelmed by content and are switching off, I believe that entertainment – or even utility – is not enough. Brands that will succeed will tap into a need for human stories, for human connection, in a way that is seen as a force for good. And by that I don’t mean heavy-handed tear jerkers. I mean content about real people that makes us feel more connected as a community. Two brands that do an exceptional job of creating purposeful, human content are Patagonia and Airbnb.” – Lauren Quaintance , co-founder and head of content material, Storyation 


Remains dedicated

“The brands that prompt me to engage the most often do three things: The content is created by a person I’m building trust with; they’ve made an appointment with me and deliver on their commitment; and finally, they consistently deliver content that makes me smarter.” – Andrew Davis, creator of The Loyalty Loop, Brandscaping, and Town Inc.

Doesn’t concentrate on the model

“The brands that are most successful don’t make it all about themselves. They find ways to connect their products to my life in authentic and unexpected ways or they keep their content fresh by showing how they provide fresh/new thinking or benefits.” – Kathy Button Bell, senior vice chairman, chief advertising and marketing officer, Emerson

11 manufacturers creating partaking content material

Now, let’s dive into some manufacturers cited by CMWorld audio system which are creating partaking content material.

“Fender – I’m a musician and they know that. Their content makes me click almost 90% of the time. I see myself in their imagery and their stories. Sure sometimes it is aspirational and even borders on fantasy, but it is compelling” – Michael Weiss, vice chairman, Creative Circle

.@Fender content material makes me click on nearly 90% of the time. I see myself of their imagery & tales. @mikepweiss #CMWorld Click To Tweet

“Precision Nutrition has some of the best content I’ve ever seen. I regularly use them as examples of what to do for those who need some concrete ideas for inspiration. They have both B2B and B2C clients, and they create incredible content for both.” – Anna Hrach, strategist, Convince & Convert

“I like Moz – their content is both authoritative and easy to understand. They give examples to make their points clear. I like their style.” – Leslie Carruthers, CEO, The Search Guru

“Netflix and Amazon. Not because of their media content, but because they use my past viewing habits to recommend things that are personal and unique to me.” – Michael Brenner, CEO, Marketing Insider Group

.@Netflix & @Amazon use my previous viewing habits to suggest issues which are distinctive to me. @MichaelBrenner Click To Tweet

“I engage online the most with brands that share my values and aren’t afraid to be authentic. Wildfang comes to mind. They’re a retailer and e-commerce company out of Portland that sells menswear for women (usually queer women). They don’t just make feminist, pro-queer statements, they participate in real activism, raising money and hosting events. And they aren’t shy about that. Pair that with the excellent quality of their clothes, and they’ve got my loyalty for life.” – Courtney Cox Wakefield, group supervisor, digital advertising and marketing, Children’s Health

“LEGO – because they are very up front about their goals, what they’re about. And then they are transparent about the why, which gets you right alongside them for the ride.” – Ben H. Rome, supervisor, advertising and marketing and communications, AIHA

“19 Crimes’ website, customer communication, and AR product experience make it one of my favorite brands. They show up delightfully different. They understand what adds value to me and are patient about building the relationship before asking something from me (i.e., giving up my information). They’re personal without being creepy and they are excellent at integrating the online and offline experience.” – Carla Johnson, speaker, creator, storyteller

The @19Crimes model is affected person about constructing the connection earlier than asking me to surrender my data. @CarlaJohnson Click To Tweet

“Apple News: A information feed curated by people, not robots

“Stark Bro’s: A nursery with good how-to and when-to gardening content material

“Sweetwater: A music store with good how-to content, product comparisons, events for musicians, and a personal guide to help you get what you need.” – George Stenitzer, founder and chief content material officer, Crystal Clear Communications

Go forth and foster engagement

And generally that objective of engagement requires stepping out of your model’s establishment and giving it a voice. As Katie Martell, communications advisor, Boston Content, says, “(Engaging content) comes from a place of honesty. It speaks to me as a human being and isn’t afraid to be provocative or bold where necessary.”

These explanations of what sort of content material engages the CMWorld audio system range, however all of them circle a theme – partaking content material addresses a necessity or a need (generally nonetheless unknown to the viewers) of the person reader, viewer, or listener. Whether it solutions a query, entertains somebody, or does the whole lot to spark pleasure, content material that attracts within the viewers requires manufacturers to know their audiences. Put merely, manufacturers that get their audiences get engaged audiences.

Brands that get their audiences get engaged audiences, says @anngynn. #CMWorld Click To Tweet


Engage with all these audio system and dozens extra in individual at Content Marketing World Sept. Three-6. Register at present utilizing code CMIBLOG100 to avoid wasting $100. 

Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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