Long-form content is everywhere. Whether its annual reports, trend forecasts, or quarterly analyses, reports and whitepapers abound. And it’s understandable that the idea of a long-form, data-driven report sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry – especially when so many people are focused on short-form video strategies that capitalize on the trend du jour.
While snackable content has a place (and can be highly effective in gaining top-of-mind brand awareness, when done right), it doesn’t necessarily drive leads the same way that a meaty whitepaper can – and believe it or not, a whitepaper can be plenty exciting on its own.
A couple of weeks ago, as part of a PRCA APAC webinar, Mutant’s head of content chatted with Fiona Choi, the Chief Marketing Office of beBIT TECH, and Lim Jing Ying, Senior Marketing Manager at Syfinido for PRCA APAC to discuss all things content.
Here are some key learnings from the webinar:
Data-centric content needs to be powered by storytelling
If data is the “head”, or the logical part of the content strategy, then storytelling is the “heart”, according to Jing Ying, whose experience with data-driven whitepapers informs her insights. Even if you have original, never–before-seen data and insights to present in your content, none of it would be as valuable if not for a compelling storyline.
Even B2B customers, who typically tend to value data above everything else, still rely on emotional and social proof points — which are often presented as a story — before making a decision.
Repurposing content across multiple channels increases its longevity
Instead of making your content a one-and-done thing, ensure it lives across all social platforms inhabited by your target audience.
There are several ways a brand can go about this: either they can start off with a social-first campaign, spotlighting findings from the content piece in question. Or, they could leverage a PR-first approach and secure coverage for the content piece before exploring a social strategy, Fiona recommended. The possibilities are endless!
Avoid using “hard-selling” tactics when it comes to content
At the end of the day, people do not want to be directly sold anything. Therefore, if brands come off a little too strong with their messaging, it might turn customers off entirely.
Jing Ying suggests that brands should rely on employee advocacy and thought leadership to build brand goodwill, therefore indirectly influencing people to engage with their content. Working with trusted content partners is also another avenue for brands to continue building momentum with their intended target audience.
Knowing how to tastefully communicate a brand message also depends on how well the business knows its customers, and has a keen understanding of what they might like or dislike. Jing Ying recommends a community-based content approach to social media instead, and suggests using LinkedIn as a guiding tool to interact and connect with people who might be interested in what your brand has to say.
Look beyond conventional measures of success for your content: While it’s no secret that content can be measured via tracks, clicks, downloads, and more, these metrics are not the be-all and end-all of measurement. For instance, consider looking at the quality of leads (people providing their details to download your ebook) as well as customer acquisition and lifetime value.
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