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How to unlock content demand in a new era of marketing – 3 takeaways from #digitalks

Creating quality content is imperative for businesses and marketers today, as consumers face an indistinguishable sea of content.

Speaking at a recent #digitalks event in Melbourne, Storyation head of strategy Andrés López-Varela explained that audiences were bombarded with content every day and were prioritising quality content over the rest.

The speaker highlighted that 70 per cent of US consumers now binge watched TV, watching five episodes on average, while the top 10 posts on Medium were regularly 5,000 words or longer.

He suggested that marketers and businesses should think more deeply about their content marketing and how to best serve their audiences.

Here are three key points that López-Varela shared to help you better understand your audience and create quality content:

1. Focus on what your audience wants

López-Varela pointed out that 90 per cent of consumers wanted content from brands, yet 58 per cent of content from brands was ‘not meaningful’, according to the Havas Group’s 2019 Meaningful Brands study.

“There is just so much of the same content that the barrier of entry for just being considered by the audience as a serious contender for their time is quality,” López-Varela said.

“That’s what makes this a truly new era of marketing and… for the first time the definition of quality is not just universal, it’s singular and it belongs to each and every one of us individually.”

He noted that businesses and marketers should create a content demand statement — a core statement about what content the audience wants to read from a brand.

This statement should guide your content marketing activities and should be constantly referred to when generating new content articles.

2. Get your content basics right

While each consumer will have different content needs, López-Varela listed five essential elements to creating quality content: authoritative, insightful, personal, original and human.

He said authoritative content was simply beyond reproach in terms of its veracity, while insightful content demonstrated a deep, intrinsic understanding of the audience and their motivations.

Personal content created an experience that felt unique and special to each reader on an individual basis.

López-Varela noted original content took even the most familiar topics and showed readers new ways of understanding them, while human content should move the reader on a more visceral, personal level so that the audience feels or does something based on real people and their stories.

“It’s tough to create content that is audience-centric, truly audience-centred, and meet the legitimate audience demand. But to be clear, that’s the only way to win big,” he said.

3. Conduct content demand research

López-Varela presented his approach to content demand research as a way to truly peel back the layers of what consumers want from brands and businesses.

The three parts to content demand research are search insights, editorial insights and behavioural insights.

For search insights, marketers should start with thorough keyword research and then conduct some question mining, where you pick a few forums in your niche and mine them for intent-revealing questions.

A further suggestion was to validate content by voice, using standout questions to run voice searches and take notes from the answers.

Behavioural insights include using first-party data to establish behavioural trigger baselines and then scaling your audience pool with second-party data and/or targeting tools.

Marketers should also create content for key triggers to test audience preferences, as well as map out the ideal journey by identifying the volume of content that drives the ideal outcomes.

To unlock editorial insights, make a top 20 list of media and influencers that your audience follows and then consume a lot of their content and score them for relevance and expertise.

López-Varela added that marketers should also benchmark competitors’ social media content for major topics of interest.

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