The psychology of content.

What drives people to seek out, consume and share information? That’s a complicated mess of human psychology, really. And in this high volume, rapid-fire content-sharing economy, consumers have ever-expanding choices for how they consume information and what they do about it afterward. Success in content strategy requires a deep understanding of the audience’s desired journey and their ideal brand experience. It isn’t enough to simply be informational or entertaining and call it a day. It must move a specific behavior and/or an emotional response.

Allies, not targets.

It’s helpful to imagine your brand’s audience members as your allies rather than targets or recipients of information. What we really need, as marketers and communicators, is for more people to believe and advocate for our messages than the day before. Content enables our allies to engage with information in the ways that are most meaningful to them, so that it moves them to take action. And in order to ensure we move our audiences to take the actions we intend, we must design each piece of content to be all of the following things:

Accessible: Getting our audience to see our content is the first stage of the journey. With keyword integration, paid promotion and platform optimization we are able to ensure more of the right people see the right content at the right time.

Consumable: Once we ensure that our content is getting in front of our target audiences, we must ensure that it meets their minimum consumption expectations for quality, length, tone, and format – whenever and wherever they may be at the time. And that differs from platform to platform.

Relevant: When well-designed content is consumed, it appeals directly to audience drivers and motivations while serving up reasons to believe within the context of your brand.

Actionable: Effective content will inspire audiences to take action on behalf of your brand. Whether blatant or subtle, the call-to-action should drive movement toward purchase, lead capture, donation, commentary or any number of other defined conversion activities.

Shareable: People won’t share content if sharing is too difficult or too risky to their social capital. When producing the content itself, all barriers to sharing must be removed. This consideration requires planning for all thumbnail imagery, short descriptions, tags, headlines, on-screen subtitles, code and other details to ensure that are functional and optimized for the intended distribution and sharing platforms used most often.

When we shift our frame to see our audiences as allies, rather than targets, we unlock new avenues for connecting in new and interesting ways. Boldly go beyond the ignorable, repetitive sales and marketing content we all tire of in our own lives.

Foxtrot is here to help. We may just become your new favorite content production partner.