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The Interest Of Your Audience Is No Longer Based Only On Facts, It Goes Beyond

Learning from experiences with clients is of great value to realize where the interest of your niche audience is.

Five years ago, with the help of a couple of ad agency consultants, a client came up with the idea of ​​launching a digital platform to make data easier to access.

They decided that all they needed to do was establish a digital library that could answer all the questions their existing customers might have.

His approach and goal was to let the data speak for itself . Interestingly, this approach did not work.

Learning about the interest of your audience

Facts almost never speak for themselves (because they require context). And they hardly ever prevail as the winning side in an argument.

Think about the last time you presented a set of facts that you thought would give weight to your argument. Won? Probably not.

Presenting facts doesn't help correct a false belief, and it usually makes your opponents stick to their beliefs.

In fact, one group of researchers studied this so-called "backfire" and found that correcting someone "actually increases misperceptions among the group in question."

This sounds paradoxical, but it is a real effect.

The backfire effect indicates that correcting an individual with facts increases the false perception of the group in question.

University of Michigan study
In a world of Big Data, the so-called "Deep Fake", there are more hard-hitting "facts" than ever. The most recent sample is the continuous rhetoric of the defeated former president of the United States of America.

The question is: does anyone care what we have to say?

What has happened to the interest of your audience?

A few years ago, Wharton researchers showed people various algorithms.

Most of the people in the study found them interesting and valuable, until an algorithm made a mistake.

Once people saw the bug occur, they were "very, very unlikely to use it and they didn't like it anymore." Study participants seemed to judge algorithms more harshly than people.

But if these people had information about the algorithm or were allowed to adjust the forecasts, not only did they like the algorithms better, they didn't lose as much confidence when an error occurred.

These findings bode well for preserving the role of human engagement in an increasingly automated world. But it also says a lot in terms of how sensitive beliefs and trust are and their impact on the reputation of the source .

Content generation for 2022

Considering this, the question for content generation in 2022 is not about how to present “just the facts”.

The question is how to get people interested in any of the facts. And this is not just a marketing issue. It is a fundamental communication issue that you must consider in your content strategy .

Increasingly, facts are a commodity. They are easy to get, so we do not value them. And because we don't value them, they can be attacked with… well… “Alternative Facts”. This is worrying because on many occasions we do not question the facts.

Facts today are easy to obtain so we no longer value them.

Going back to my client's reference in the dental health sector, companies have to give people something to believe in. You have to give the audience more than just facts that matter to them. Everything you say to him must answer a premise: why should I care about this?

If you don't, you risk creating content without capturing the interest of your audience.

Ultimately, with every piece of content, ask yourself, “do I want people to care?” The answer is a resounding YES .

Otherwise, you will fall into creating cold content and “let the facts speak for themselves”.

If you want people to care, you better give them more than content they can believe in.

You better provide them with content they can believe in, even if it means trying harder.

Creating beliefs is about understanding intent

At this point the question surely arises, how do you begin to create content that goes beyond simple research, data and information based on facts?

Go back to that discussion you had on social media or with the colleague or boss who never seems to "get it." Think about the customers you are trying to convince to buy from you or advocate for your brand.

You are never going to win those battles with facts; you must understand why they are arguing, searching or deciding. You must understand their intent and base your SEO copywriting on what they want to know.

To understand intent, you must first create mechanisms (content-driven experiences) that allow your brand to more effectively listen to the signals generated through your interactions.

Unsurprisingly, this requires more effective use of data that is likely already available in your business.

You need a comprehensive content strategy to provide data that helps you understand the type and purpose of each piece of content and how it applies contextually to each step of the customer journey.

How is the content strategy that arouses the interest of your audience?

In my experience, these types of strategies involve main steps.

Organize your data

Create a dictionary or interpretation to understand the intention. Simply put, you need to discern the most appropriate response to a customer's interaction with your content.

This is where a metadata structure and content tagging system come into play to track the context of the initial behavior or intent of your audience.

Someone who downloads this eBook or White Paper will NOT be considered a potential customer, but instead will be cultivated as an engaged audience .

Develop next logical step to nurture interest

Once you have an intent signal or tag, you need to understand what the “best next step” is for the customer to understand and care about in response.

Companies need to create content-driven experiences to deliver a "next best" content consumption experience. For example, that message aimed at the beginner or learning audience member should entice them to want to read an article on how to change .

That's too simple, of course, but you can see how nuanced levels may need to be captured with more than just answers to a question.

Through the consumption of additional content, a quiz or a survey, you can find out if this new user feels safe or fearful of change. This is where it is important to be clear about your customer service experience , which begins before the prospect becomes a customer.

As you learn more about the nuanced aspects of the customer journey, you can automatically deliver the best next experience for that potential customer.

Likewise, it's not just about technology and dynamic content. There is also a human element to this.

You can share this information with others who can provide additional experiences that are outside the realm of digital content.

For example, you could share information or insights about the behavior of the new prospect with your sales department.

Once the sales department understands what the prospect needs, their role can evolve from persuading to a consultant role helping the prospect understand how best to move to the next step toward change.

Connect the experiences and cultivate the interest of your audience

This step allows for further understanding. Once you map your content to understand what you need to deliver based on intent, you need to develop the ability to aggregate this data.

With this you can offer the content (and the intention) contextually through the different experiences. You must find a way to connect the experiences into a singular view of the audience's progression through their journey.

For example, if the newcomer eventually buys your services, you might want to connect their profile to an onboarding or training module from a set of entry-level training classes.

Information obtained from a statistically more relevant dataset enhances these activities or even makes them possible.

This third step can be the most difficult part of the process because it often means integrating multiple technologies to create a single view of the customer.

But you can start small. Even if you can only connect the top intent/early part of the journey (awareness) with the middle part of the journey (consideration or sales), you're getting a lot better.

It's the content, not the data, that piques the interest of your audience

Data gives you the opportunity to make people care about what you have to say.

To go beyond "answers," you need to create compelling content that integrates those answers (facts, figures, data, information) into compelling experiences that resonate with your audience.

A widespread marketing fallacy is that buyers want factual answers about the products and services they are considering.

In my opinion this is not true. More often than not, the brand that provides the least amount of information, facts, data, etc. about a product and provides the most inspiration, belief, and emotional connection will be chosen.

You need to convince customers that they are buying from a brand they can believe in. To do that, you also need to provide them with an experience they connect with.

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