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Posted: September 20, 2013

Secrets to creating online content that gets noticed

Don't overthink it

Marni Hale

Definition of consumer engagement by YouTube’s marketing director: Moving consumers to action. That may mean a sale, but many strategic actions in between lead to this outcome, and a brand cannot ignore them.

Let's start at the beginning: what makes great online content that gets noticed and shared? Is it an involved graphic that explains why you should buy product X? Or is it a video on a company website of the CEO telling viewers what their mission statement is? I think we can agree it’s content, but the eye-glazing graphic in this example is anything but great.

Great content is all about evoking an emotion in your audience. It’s about showing (not telling) your potential customer how your product fits into their lifestyle and improves their life. So, instead of a CEO telling viewers what their mission statement is, why not shoot a video of the CEO interacting with employees or customers in ways that demonstrate the commitments in an engaging and authentic way?

Speaking of authenticity, let’s stop for a moment and talk about the enormous importance of being true to what your brand stands for. Consumers these days are smart! Not to say that consumers five years ago weren’t smart, but they didn’t have access to the wealth of information available with the simple click of a button or swipe on their mobile device. So don’t get tricky with your messaging or try to pull the wool over consumers’ eyes – they’ll see right through that, decide to never buy your brand again and then tell all their friends about it via social channels in one simple click. Simply not worth it.

Okay, I’m off my soapbox about authenticity, now back to the topic at hand: Great content.

There are a few ways to go about obtaining great content. 1) Consumer generated, 2) created by marketing geniuses (like Philosophy – toot toot!) 3) Content from a brand ambassador. Done right, all can be extremely effective and efficient.

Don’t overthink it. Content should be easy to understand and relate to and evoke some sort of emotion (laughter, excitement, love…). The easiest is behind-the-scenes footage. Behind-the-scenes content has proved to be successful over and over again by brands big and small.

Going after the laughter emotion can be difficult – so I definitely recommend hiring a professional if you decide to go this direction, and then get out of their way. I’m talking to you, legal team.

What’s that you say? You want to create a viral video? Well, just saying those words out loud means you’ve failed. Unless you’re ready to drag your brand through the trenches just to get some eyeballs, avoid this thought as the focus of marketing strategy.

Okay, now you’ve got your engaging content, now it’s time to put it in action with the goal of connecting with potential customers? Share it with everyone! Post it on your website, YouTube channel, Facebook page, Twitter page, Pinterest page. Don’t be pushy about getting viewers (see paragraph above about authenticity); just be proud of your brand, post it in the right places and gently ask viewers to share if they like what they see. Simple, right? Now, start creating.

Writing about Luxury is nothing new for this California native. Marni has worked with luxury brands including Thermador home appliances and Mercedes-Benz. She heads the Southern California office of Denver-based Philosophy Communication.

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