I along with 14,000 marketers, agencies, and web designers recently attended the Inbound 2015 Conference. Considered the mecca of inbound marketing, Inbound has grown from just a few hundred to a few thousand attendees in a very short span of time. The four-day conference had a lot to offer, including A-list celebrity guests like Amy Schumer and Chelsea Clinton, but the real show stopper was the latest secret to content creation.
As you’re likely aware, the core goal of inbound marketing is to educate and engage with target audiences. From nurturing prospective customers through lead automation to building an army of social media evangelists, it seems that regardless of your marketing alignment, HubSpot has the magical potion to cure all.
However, with its user friendly approach to content creation, management and distribution, a new and terrifying outbreak has emerged: an abundance of unmemorable and poorly crafted content.
How forgettable is your content?
I was fortunate enough to attend one of the more popular Inbound breakout sessions. “The Neuroscience of Memorable Content” was led by Dr. Carmen Simon of Rexi Media. During the 45 minute live presentation, Dr. Simon posed a simple but confounding proposition: How forgettable is your content?
Attention is one of the most important ingredients to business success
Dr. Simon broke down the forgetting curve, a principle that has been demonstrated over and over again for over hundred years. To help us understand why people forget up to 90% of what is shown to them, she shared the results of a recent study where 1,500 participants were shown twenty slides with one message per slide. Immediately after the session concluded, participants were asked how many messages they were able to recall. On average they remembered 4 out of 20 messages. When asked just 48 hours later what the participants remembered, a third of the participants said they couldn’t remember a single message.
For marketers to be successful, Dr. Simon asked us to consider the following: Attention is one of the most important ingredients to business success because attention paves the way to memory. And, people make decisions based on what they remember, not what they forget.”
Keeping content memorable
What’s great about Inbound is that, like the methodology, they call attention to the 100 pound gorilla in the room. It addresses marketer’s frustrations head on. But, the difference is that they empower attendees with an arsenal of tools that solve problems – not create new ones.
I’m tasked with the job of breaking through the digital noise by generating meaningful and relevant content for our contact database in an effort to generate qualified leads. With this latest epiphany from Dr. Simon’s session still fresh in my memory, I desperately searched for a breakout session to satisfy my now growing paranoia.
Luckily (and I mean lucky, because I almost didn’t get in) I made it to a session called “Using Analytics to Create Stellar Content,” hosted by Jeremy Goldman of Firebrand Group. Goldman opened his session with two simple words: lead forensics. Tell me more oh wise one.
At my agency Yoh, we like to think of ourselves as a content powerhouse. Our small team produces one major eBook, white paper or webinar monthly as well as 3-4 weekly blogs to keep our prospects, customers and candidates well informed of that latest trends and best practices in staffing and recruiting. Needless to say, with three audience types all with varying needs at different stages of the buyer’s journey, keeping up with the content demand can be a daunting task.
That is why I perked up when Goldman presented a scientific approach to conquering content. I’d like to share some tricks and hacks provided by Jerry Goldman, and suggest hanging on to these content nuggets the next time you are mining for relevant content.
Taking an Analytical Approach to Generate Marketing Content
- If it isn’t already, consider Google Analytics your new bible. To understand what is driving site traffic, you have to develop an intimate relationship with your site’s analytics. Understanding what keywords fuel your SEO juice and how design is impacting your user experience will no doubt trigger ideas for what your audience wants to read.
- Not sure what to base your content offering on? Take a look at which sites pages are you highest ranking, and identify commonalities in the content types and/or keywords. If high ranking pages aren’t aligned with your business strategy, it’s time to revisit what actions you are taking to course correct. Having the data to back you logic not only makes you look more credible when presenting your content ideas, but it gives you a boost of confidence to know you are heading down the right path.
- When creating short and timely pieces, like social media messages or blogs, do a quick search of what’s trending now. You can jump on the digital band wagon using a variety of (FREE) insights provided by major search sites like YouTube Trends, Google Trends, and Mashable’s Velocity reports (my personal favorite).
- Consider taking a SEM Keyword. Search for a word that you’d like to rank for, identify the news publication that has the highest rank for this word, add a comment to this article and ride the SEO coattails of this search query. Also, you can link to more authoritative sites in your blogs or site content to work on link building.
Even HubSpoters want to work smarter, not harder. While understanding what will attract, engage and convert prospects differs from case to case, it will continue to require an increased level of navigation and analytics intelligence. While the revolution can be scary, consider that great success comes from a number of failures. Doing the same thing will only give you the same (or worse) results. Hopefully, you have a team that enables you to experiment, test, tweak and repeat a hundred times over.