Brands are constantly looking for better ways to communicate and engage with their audience, and the right way to start is to understand what the audience is looking for. Yet, trends have shown that audiences have stopped engaging with brands.
In the age of social media and content marketing, one is constantly bombarded with so many brands trying to dominate your online attention with various forms of advertisement. It’s not surprising that audiences have learned how to ignore them.
This doesn’t mean that advertising is losing its beauty to appeal the audience. There are still advertisements that people genuinely engage with.
In a study conducted by Fastco Design with 5,000 participants, they asked the subjects to mention brands whose content they actively sought out and analyzed what those brands did. They found out that audiences had a higher engagement with four types of emotionally compelling content: funny, useful, beautiful, and inspiring.
A lot of brands are focusing on creating remarkable content that is entertaining for the audience; it’s funny, beautifully made, and full of inspirations. Yet not many brands are realizing the potential of providing useful and practical content to the audience.
While realizing the power of educative content as a support for audience’s online learning and a tool to discover the brand, brands can optimize their communication strategy by choosing the road less traveled.
Research has shown two-thirds of customers prefer content marketing that educates and informs them about a subject or product, meaning it could be even more effective than pure mindless entertainment.
Think about this truth: Our audience doesn’t care about our brands; they care about themselves. If we buy into this idea, then we must also accept that the majority of the information we produce as a part of our communications strategy cannot be about ourselves. Instead, our strategy must be based on fulfilling our customers’ needs and interests, so that they come to build a trusted and emotional connection with our brands.
Educational content allows brands to transition to thought leaders, and this type of content is stickier for long-term engagement as compared to short-lived viral content.
When people have questions about something, they look for answers from authoritative voices that help explain, illustrate, or enlighten. There are 3.5 billion Google searches made every day, each looking for an answer to their question. When they find an expert opinion on the subject in question, they begin to form a relationship with that content source—perhaps even becoming a future customer.
Educational content addresses these challenges and provides tools to overcome them and help them learn through online, ultimately building trust and connection between brands and consumer.
What’s more, brands in essentially any industry can use educational pieces for online learning to strengthen their overall communications strategy. By creating educational material, brands also position themselves as thought leaders in their industry, creating trust in the brand. [By Hanny Kusumawati]