Conversational Content

Jennifer Barker

Business Development Strategist

How to Get People Talking About Your Brand

Remember when you were a kid and you would do things like stuff raisins in your nose just to get some attention? The grownups would roll their eyes and say stuff like, “He’s just doing that for attention. Negative attention is still attention.”

Thank goodness you’ve grown up since then and aren’t still sticking raisins up your nose. But you may wonder if the grownups had a point. With a business to nurture, your goal is to keep it front and center. But how do you get people talking about your brand if you’re always coasting by on the safe side of things?

Now, I’m not saying to do something silly that will give your brand negative attention. You don’t want that. But many brands have found that by pushing the envelope, they’re able to emerge from their safe zone and garner some of the attention they’re deserving of. This means dishing out content that is conversational and perhaps controversial. It means sharing emotional photos, sparking debates and even turning over your social media accounts to your employees, customers or partners.

What’s the benefit in doing this? It gets people talking about your brand.

How Can I Get People Talking About My Brand in a Positive Way?

You may be worried that expanding your boundaries could put you in the dog house for a while. You don’t want to give up control or venture outside your comfort zone, only to find that the world is a cold, bitter place. Luckily, there are some things you can do to ensure that the content you put out there attracts the types of conversations that you’re striving for.

Let’s take a look at some examples of what you can do to generate conversational content.

  • Contests. Contests allow you to generate fresh, new content for your brand that can be used on your social media accounts, blogs and newsletters. For example, Red Bull launched a contest on Instagram that challenged people to submit a photo that “beat” theirs in terms of a better outdoor office. It was clever and engaging, and it gave the brand new material to work with. Plus, it got people talking about Red Bull. Over 90K people liked the original pic.

  • Account Takeovers. It may be hard to hand over the torch to your employees, customers or partners, but it may be just the thing your brand needs. A new perspective. A different way of thinking. A fresh set of eyes. Let someone new take over your social media accounts for the day to cross-promote your company while giving you some exciting content.

  • Customer Spotlights. When a customer can validate your product or service, it makes others feel more positive toward your brand. Give your customers a chance to be in the spotlight so that they feel good about being a customer. They’ll be happy and more likely to give your company a thumbs up. Share one of their ideas, give them a shout out or spotlight them with a short Q&A, for example.

Now that you have some ideas at your fingertips, it’s important to understand what makes some content a success and some a bust.

A New Kind of Personalization

Personalization is very important for today’s readers, but you have to think beyond just adding a name. Personalized content is sent at the right time to the right people so that it aligns with where they are in the funnel. Thanks to CRM, marketing automation and other personalization programs, you can now distribute your content in a smarter way. Rather than pushing out the same content to the same people, you can choose which pieces of content to share with which people.

To make the experience even more personal, you can personalize the content you send out based on the demographic, geographic and firmographic data. This gives your customers a truly relevant experience. The more connected and understood they feel, the more likely they will be to talk about your brand, recommend it to others and return in the future.

Interactive Content Gives Users Control

A final way to drive more conversation is to create content that is interactive. It’s hard to not talk about something that requires participation. Quizzes, assessments and storytelling are all examples of interactive content that require the reader to put themselves into the scene. They can control what content they see and how much they want to explore. People loving being in the driver’s seat, but all the while, you’re tracking and reporting every turn they take. This allows you to see which portions of your content are most engaging.

Start the Conversation Today

It’s been said for quite some time that content is king. That’s why brands started scrambling to create lots of it. But there’s more to content than words on paper. The best pieces get people thinking and talking. The discussions may go off in ways you never thought of, and that’s okay. You will have achieved your purpose, and that’s being at the heart of the discussion. And the best part is, you don’t have to stick anything up your nose to have people look at you. You’ve come a long way since this point in time. Thank goodness.

About the Author: Jennifer Barker

Jen is the Business Development Strategist for SEMGeeks and the only team member born and raised north of the Jersey great divide, i.e. the Driscoll Bridge. Her BFA in multimedia design and extensive experience in digital marketing make her both an analytical and creative thinker. Jen has lived and worked for digital agencies in two major cities over the last 17 years but 3 years ago this “gypsy living, free bird” happily put her roots down at the Jersey Shore. The struggle to defend North Jersey to the rest of the team is an ongoing battle. #TaylorHam

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