Get people ‘wired’ on your content, like it’s coffee.
Here’s a bold fact for a Saturday.
Did you know that what goes into an ad is over five times more important than anything else?
It’s more important than who is doing the advertising.
It’s more important than who you target an ad to.
It’s more important than where or when people see an ad.
Take a look at this snazzy chart below.
It’s from research company Neilsen, who did a big old study two years ago into 500 top ad campaigns.
Their data showed that the critical factor that makes a piece of paid-for content better is ‘the creative’.
Yes, what goes into your content is more important than anything.
It doesn’t matter if you promote your content with advertising or not. Content is still content.
As the adman, Bill Bernbach said: “It may well be that creativity is the last unfair advantage we’re legally allowed to take over our competitors.”
How do you improve what goes into your content?
How do you get it clicked, consumed and shared?
What if it’s a Facebook ad, a weekly newsletter, or a YouTube video?
Try these eight content principles that I used when working in London ad agencies.
They’ll get your audience clicking, consuming and acting on your content.
I’ve bunched them into a neat ‘content checklist’ for you.
It’s handy to have.
- Teasing Headline: what does your headline promise without giving the game away? Use ‘how’, why’ to make it curious. Be very specific.
- First-line Impact: how bold is the opening of your content so that the audience pays attention from the start and gets them excited.
- Specific Result: explain what result people will get and tell a story about how to get to that specific result. A three-part structure works well.
- OXO Factor: Make your content stand out like an X in a sea of 0s. What’s your unique angle? Do you have a secret fact or story that no one else is communicating?
- Push-Pull: keep attention from start to end. Create ups and downs, change the pace, short and long sentence length. Use different angles in your videos. Use music. Vary the pitch in your voice. Use ‘yet’, ‘but’, ‘however’. Use CAPs if you must. Sound energetic. Yes, it’s all about contrast from start to end.
- Hard Proof: give people facts to make what you say believable.
- Nudge-2-Act: gently push people to take action at the end, like a reply to a question or click a link. Make it a benefit-led call to action. That’s why it’s called content marketing. Otherwise, it’s just journalism.
- 1 Big Emotion: will your audience feel a big emotion by the end? Do they feel hopeful, moved, changed, inspired? If they do, they’ll remember you for bettering their world.
Want an example of how this checklist works?
I’ve taken a successful Facebook ad and broken down how to audit it using our snazzy checklist.
Pretty cool, eh?
Spruce up your next newsletter, Facebook ad, or blog post using this checklist.
Because remember almost all content is ignored, so make yours the exception, not the norm.