In today’s digital world, great content plays an important role not only in attracting potential customers but also in persuading them to make purchases on products or services. However, problems often occur when there are competing ideas within organizations about the actual mission or purpose of the content that they are producing. For example, the marketing team of a brand may focus on creating content to increase the number of followers, likes, or comments, which are all vanity numbers. According to Hootsuite, vanity number means a number that can be measured but is not a signifier of real return on investment (ROI). Meanwhile, the sales team of that same brand could care less about those vanity numbers and only focuses on actual sales generated from the content.
In most cases, there is a correlation between vanity numbers and generated sales (the better your vanity numbers, the bigger the opportunity to convert those numbers into sales.) However, it could be problematic for a company as a whole if the focus of its content marketing is to increase vanity numbers instead of sales.
If you have a business or you are assisting clients to promote their products, you have to go the extra mile to convert the general followers into prospective customers that will benefit the business. If what you are doing right now is limited to exhibiting the product, it is not enough. Customers need more information to understand the products that they are going to purchase.
So what is the solution to this situation? Surely content marketing is effective, but we have to make sure that the content is valuable to the target audience. Thus, we should be able to differentiate between content and valuable content.
Content vs valuable content
According to Sonja Jefferson and Sharon Tanton in their book “Valuable Content Marketing: How to Make Quality Content Your Key to Success”, content means words, knowledge and information. For example, the copy on your website, the blog you posted last night, the videos and images you share. While valuable content is supercharged content. It is content with a bigger purpose that will be appreciated by your audience. It is not limited to general knowledge and information, but the creator needs to ensure that it is useful to educate, help, or inspire the audience.
We are now living in a world full of content. Everyday, we see new content coming up on our social media homepage. Brands are competing to show fresh content everyday. Somehow it becomes a pressure for marketers to win the competition. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure your content stands out among the others.
Besides, your content should also contain modes of persuasion which will make your content not only valuable but also can influence your audience to take action and purchase your products. According to Aristotle, ethos pathos and logos are the three modes of persuasion which will be effective to help strengthen the connection between your brand and the customers.
In this article, I will be explaining three effective ways according to the “Valuable Content Marketing: How to Make Quality Content Your Key to Success” book, to create valuable content for your followers along with the three different modes of persuasion that match each tip.
Tell a bigger story to evoke your audience’s emotions
According to Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi in their book, “Managing Content Marketing”, good content marketing is alive. It is your story. It is conscious. It is about emotion. While Seth Godin said that marketing is no longer about stuff that you make, but about the stories that you tell. And the rise of social media eases the spread of great stories to your audiences. The most important thing is that you have to create relevant stories that can evoke your audience’s emotions.
YellowFit Kitchen, one of the pioneers in diet and healthy catering in Indonesia recently appointed Clarissa Putri, beauty and fashion influencer, who recently lost 40 kilograms after using its weight loss program, to be its Brand Ambassador. This collaboration started with Clarissa’s journey to lose weight which was full of ups and downs. She has tried different diets and failed to lose weight multiple times. At one point, she realized that her motivation was wrong all this time. The most important thing is to become healthier, not just to look skinny. Then, she started her diet journey with YellowFit Kitchen in June 2021 and showed a significant improvement in January 2022. She had lost 40 kilograms in seven months.
Image source: @yellowfitkitchen @clarissaputri_
She shared that YellowFit Kitchen plays an important role in her diet journey. The low calorie menus from YellowFit Kitchen match the deficit calorie method that she uses. From this case, we can learn that Clarissa has succeeded in delivering great stories which are relatable to her followers and benefit YellowFit Kitchen. At the same time, they also use pathos persuasion mode to evoke the audience’s emotions, since there are plenty of people who experienced similar failures and are seeking motivation to achieve their goal to lose weight. As a result, their collaboration menu was sold out every week and gained positive feedback from the customers.
Don’t sell, instead highlight brand credibility
Most brands love to hard sell. Especially when it comes to content they produce with influencers. They want influencers to put their products or services front and center along with long form caption, complete with hashtag and brand tag. The question is does this really work to attract prospective customers? Kadek Arini, Indonesian travel influencer, shared her opinion about hard sell content during The Creator’s Economy webinar held by Garis Temu. Kadek shared that hard sell content generates low engagement from her followers, because such content looks off, it looks different than the typical content that she usually produces. In addition, she also said that soft sell content enables her to be more creative to create concepts which will work to attract her followers.
One of the concepts that often works to draw prospective customers is informative content that is useful to build brand credibility. For example, a study case from BODII, a new lingerie brand owned by Indonesian beauty influencer, Titan Tyra. The brand is quite new, they just launched its first collection in February 2022. The hardest part for a recently launched brands is to establish brand credibility. BODII also faced the same difficulties, however it strategically chose tactics to grow its credibility through product reviews. But, what separate BODII from other brands? It encourages multiple influencers to give honest reviews of their products, because the brand believes that people trust honest reviews more than sponsored posts.
Image source: @bodii.id
From this case, we can see that BODII does not create hard sell content to promote its products. The brand sells its products through a series of honest reviews from multiple credible influencers. This kind of content is perfect to gain trust from prospective customers even though they were just aware of the brand and have not tried the product. Again, the result was extraordinary. The first collection set was sold out in less than three minutes.
Be a reliable brand and provide informative content
Founder and president of WebFX, William Crage, wrote an article on Forbes about the importance of quality over quantity in digital content marketing. Crage explained that quality trumps quantity and makes your brand more personable in the long run. While Chief Marketing Officer Insight Squared, Joe Chernov said if brands want to stand out in a sea of content, they have to make content that is inherently valuable, surprisingly human, or unexpectedly useful.
Sure more content is good but not if it diminishes the quality. Therefore, it is important to develop insightful content that may be beneficial to your audience. For example, providing facts and collaborating with experts. These ways will establish your brand to become a reliable source. Just like BeautyHaul, the first beauty e-commerce in Indonesia who is also one of Praxis’ newest clients in 2022, consistently provides content full of facts about cosmetics on their Instagram and website.
Image source: @beautyhaulindo
Besides, BeautyHaul also collaborates with experts. The brand appointed Claudia Christin, beauty consultant who has professional background in dermatology, to become the face of BeautyHaul. She supports BeautyHaul to create educational content that is based on facts. Through this kind of content, BeautyHaul succeeds in becoming a reliable reference for people who are looking for beauty products that suit their skin condition.
In conclusion, content marketing is more important than ever. According to The State of Content Marketing 2020 by SEMrush, 94% of marketers surveyed across 39 countries are investing in content marketing. In fact, 68% planned on increasing their budget in 2021. Therefore, if your brand or clients are still creating basic content which has minimum to no impact on ROI, it is now the time to step up your game and start creating valuable content which will improve the sales number. If you are interested to know more about how Praxis creates valuable content for our clients, leave a comment below, and we’ll reach out to you.