How To Keep Your Audience Engaged With Your Content: Digital Summit 2019 Recap

This summer, digital marketers traveled to the City of Brotherly Love for 2 days of digital marketing insights at the Digital Summit conference. Several members of Seer’s Philly team took time out to head across town and hear some great speakers tell us about the future of our industry - and we’re sharing our biggest takeaways.

This year’s conference was heavily focused on teaching marketers how to create great content and tell compelling stories that resonate with their target audience. Here are 5 of the top learnings that I took away from this year’s conference:

1. Headlines are Important (Jon Youshaei, Instagram TV)

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If the headline of a piece of content doesn’t encourage clicks, why bother to create the content at all? Jon outlined a foolproof formula for generating headlines that get clicked; the “E-A-T” formula:

  • E - End result the reader wants
  • A - Address any objections they may have
  • T - Time period in which they’ll get the result

These elements of a great title can be mixed and matched. For example: “How to Get Your Dream Job By Next Month” (E+T) or “How to Get an Amazing Job Without Much Experience” (E+A).

2. The Key to Engaging Content: Predictability + Surprises + Exclusivity (Bonnie Fuller, Hollywood Life)

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People want to know that they can rely on you when it comes to a specific topic, but in order to keep people engaged and combing back, you need to mix in some surprises. For content, consider, what is the breaking news of today? Provide exclusivity to your audience by producing unique content that they cannot find anywhere else.

3. Focus on the Apple, Not the Orchard (Jon Youshaei, Instagram TV)

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Tell a story rather than presenting statistics. You can illustrate an entire trend by telling a story about a single individual. For example, the Syrian refugee crisis didn’t go mainstream until a photo of a single dead child went viral, evoking an emotional reaction from the public. When it comes to marketing, sell a single apple before revealing that you have an entire orchard for sale.

4. An Idea is Only As Strong as the Case For It (Tamsen Webster, The Red Thread)

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Tell your audience something that they cannot unhear in order to get them engaged. That something already lies within you - it’s the reason you build your idea in the first place.

Red lights are signs that your audience is not engaged with your idea:

  • No attention - people don’t pay attention to your message.
  • No decision - you get their attention, but they don’t say yes
  • No confidence - you get their attention, they say yes, and then they regret it

In order to get the green light, you need to get your target audience to want what you’re selling, believe in your message, and believe that when they choose you, they are doing something right and good. If your ad tells them that they are doing something wrong, but that you have a better solution, you are essentially telling them that they are not smart.

In order to get buy in from your target audience, you need to provide them with a problem that they can solve themselves, coming to their own conclusion that your offering is the answer to relieving their pain point. Pain is the enemy of long-term change - once you remove the pain, you get the green light from your target audience.

5. A Marketer’s Job is to Tell a Story (Seth Godin, Best Selling Author)

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Marketing is not about tactics, it is about telling a story that people want to hear. If you’re not offering something meaningful that people can’t get anywhere else, then you should do something else - you’re not using your time well.

The best way to tell your company’s story is through actions - every single choice that the company makes is actually a marketing decision. If everyday decisions don’t live into the values that you say you have, people won’t trust you. Every action you take should live into your values.

Learn More About Engaging Your Audience!

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