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- Nearly half of all consumers consume plenty of content before deciding on a purchase, so brands should focus on crafting compelling, useful reads.
- If you position your brand as a trusted source, people are five times likelier to look to you for pre-purchase information.
- RAPP copywriter Jack Schuleman shares three tips for encouraging a team to use personal passions to write richer content.
Content is still one of the best ways to engage consumers. Create meaningful content, and you offer like-minded customers more reason to get involved and invested with your brand. Whether information is coming from peers, family, or brands, people like the feeling of being understood. That’s what meaningful content does. It makes the individual feel seen and heard.
Besides, nearly half of all consumers engage with copious amounts of content before arriving at a purchase decision. This is the perfect opportunity to persuade with a compelling, useful read and move the ultimate choice in your favor. It may also help position your brand as a trusted source, which has benefits of its own. Individuals will be five times more likely to look to you for information prior to a purchase, giving you yet another opportunity to persuade.
The question then is, how do you go about crafting a meaningful piece of content?
The power behind a passion
It all comes down to one two-syllable word: passion. Personal passion makes all the difference in the creation of meaningful content. It brings deeper insights into an intended audience. You already know what that community likes, engages with, and finds compelling. If you’ve spent a life immersed in a given subject, you know these people on an intimate level.
I’m a car guy. Anybody who knows me knows that. Working for an automobile client now, I’m able to incorporate my wealth of industry knowledge into the work — and get a little return on the years of magazine subscriptions. It’s allowed me to tap into not only my passion for cars but my understanding of the people who own and love them.
Take an SUV, for instance. One buyer’s interest stems from a desire to go off-roading regularly, while another may only use it to go to the mall. Other than the obvious, what’s the meaningful difference between the two? Where might their interests coincide? How can you speak to both effectively? My passion affords me a better understanding of how to write to either one of these customers, helping to craft more compelling and engaging content.
Unleashing the full enthusiasm
Using a passion to inform content is straightforward, but instilling this idea throughout a team can take some time. There’s a comfort level that varies from one person to the next. But there are few steps to make the process easier, and it goes something like this:
1. Find opportunities to utilize your passion
Integrating your passions into your work can certainly have a positive impact on your job performance. I can attest to that. It simply comes through in the work — and, best of all, consumers can feel it. When customers understand that the people behind the brand are passionate about the products, it sets an expectation: You can trust us to deliver quality goods. In fact, studies show that communicating passion in your advertising influences everything from purchase behaviors to brand attitudes. Look for the opportunities in the workplace to best utilize your passions. Ask to take part in that work.
2. Bring more of yourself to work
My previous team knew I was into cars, so they were more than willing to keep an ear to the ground should something on the automotive front open up. Had I decided to leave that part of myself at home, who knows whether I’d be working on that client today? Not that you need to divulge your entire personal life to co-workers, but sharing more of your “self” in the workplace allows you to bring your passions with you each day. You can more easily lean on your enthusiasm and do your best, most innovative work. There’s a lot of potential in that.
3. Give credit where credit is due
Whether ideas come from trade publications or industry events, lived experiences advance the work. So you should feel comfortable sharing its origin; it won’t make the idea any less valuable or worthwhile. And while on the topic, look for suggestions outside the confines of your department. Someone from customer service, for example, could provide valuable insights for your next marketing campaign. Ask for ideas. Challenge teams to bring new concepts to the table, and provide feedback on what you like most about it. The constant exchange can create momentum throughout your company and encourage everyone to think outside the box.
Speaking from a place of knowledge will always be more compelling. It simply provides an air of expertise that consumers respond to. Of course, each individual has only so many interests, which is why building a team with an eclectic mix of hobbies, passions, and lifestyles is essential to an agency or marketing department. The more backgrounds you can get, the better off your team will be — and you’ll see it in your content.
Jack Schuleman is a writer who never learned the meaning of the phrase “slow down”. After a lifetime of drag shows, car meets, and all sorts of misadventures, he’s been able to apply his unique point of view and improv-honed creativity into engaging copy across nonprofits, automotive brands, and tech companies. Now writing for Toyota, he’s pursuing the most elusive target yet: a 100% click-through rate.