Have you ever been listening to someone you care about, a friend or family member perhaps, and then realised you’ve been zoned out for the last few seconds, completely unaware of what they’re blabbing on about?

It’s a tough one, because obviously you respect this person enough to *want* to listen to what they have to say, but what they are saying is so incredibly dull that you can’t help but drift off.

Well, believe it or not, the same premise can be applied to direct marketing. No matter how strong a campaign is, or how much reach it potentially has, if the content is boring then an audience will leave it behind in the same way they’ll ignore the drivel of a loved one.

So, how can brands utilise content marketing to ensure that they grab the attention of their intended target audience(s) right from the beginning? Let’s find out…

The importance of content marketing

With the emergence of new and innovative ways in which to connect with a wide range of target demographics including bespoke design and digital solutions, it can be tempting for businesses to focus less effort on constructing content to match.

This, however, can be detrimental to the progress and success of your entire campaign, regardless of what it is you are attempting to achieve.

In approaching a direct marketing campaign in formats including email, web design, print design or anything else for that matter, when it comes to providing audiences with further detail about a particular product or service, creating engaging content is critical.

While a campaign may look the part and draw the initial attention of a potential consumer, if what you are saying fails to maintain that consumer interest, all of your efforts will be of little value, and your potentially brilliant campaign will fall flat on its face.

So, if you don’t want to fall into the trap of losing potential consumers or businesses that would otherwise engage with your brand, listen to our tips on structuring the right content for the right audience.

How to structure your content in the right way

First things first, you must open with impact. Whatever you decide to write at the beginning of your campaign will decide whether a consumer is going to read on or not. If you get this wrong, you can kiss goodbye to improved conversions and return on investment.

According to TIME, the average reader will spend only 15 seconds reading an article or campaign before losing interest, that’s it. This means that you’ve got to keep your consumer interested right away if you are to see any results. But how do you do this? We’d recommend following these three tips:

Introduction – This HAS to stand out. Whether it’s a slogan, a sentence or simply a call to action, you have to relate to your target audience from the very beginning. If a potential consumer believes that reading your content is of use to them, they will continue to read it. I mean, if you’re still reading this far, surely we know what we’re talking about!

Benefits, Benefits, Benefits – We can’t stress this enough, your content has to clearly show consumers how your product or service can and will improve their lives. It is also essential that these flow naturally within your copy, however, as stuffing your campaign with benefits may put off your intended audience.

Master your tone of voice – Just how formal or informal is your campaign? Drawing on the other elements of your campaign, along with your target audience research, should help you ascertain and implement the perfect degree of formality and appropriate language to connect with who you want to.

Brands that have nailed their content marketing strategies

Coca-Cola’s ‘#ShareaCoke’ Campaign

Coca-Cola's Share a Coke campaign

Credit: Coca-Cola

Without doubt one of the most successful marketing campaigns of the digital era, Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign gripped the entire world. Swapping their infamous logo on their products for popular names worldwide, consumers were prompted to look out for and purchase bottles or cans of the soft drink with their own name branded on the front, or to buy one to share with a friend with their name on the bottle.

The ingenious idea ticked all of the boxes when it comes to formulating an effective campaign. Initially, it related to the masses as it quickly became an achievement to find a bottle with your name on, especially if you had a unique name. It also prompted consumers to share images their bottles on social media, with the strong hashtag #ShareaCoke proving to be a global hit.

Finally, the simplicity of the campaign allowed for its continued growth. As more and more people with uncommon names voiced how their names should be printed on the bottles, Coca-Cola took advantage and regularly updated their lists of names that were to be printed on the product.

Although the content used was short and sweet in nature, the effect it had cannot be questioned. With an active call to action and personable theme, Coca-Cola connected with their consumers more than ever before.

Carlsberg’s ‘Probably not the Best In The World’

Carlsberg's Probably Not The Best In The World

Credit: Carlsberg

Danish brewer Carlsberg has certainly turned heads with the release of their new marketing campaign. Moving away from the ‘Probably the best lager in the world’ slogan that had served them since 1973, they decided to succumb to the opinion that their beer probably wasn’t the best, and decided to change it.

The purpose of the campaign was to coincide with the release of their new pilsner, and, by using direct and purposeful language, they structured it as a sort of apology to their consumers, throwing their old product under the bus in the process.

Despite drawing criticism from lifelong drinkers of the famous brew, it cannot be argued that Carlsberg hasn’t created a buzz with their latest marketing effort. Carlsberg drinkers, and indeed non-Carlsberg drinkers are likely to try this new product through genuine interest, or through empathising with Carlsberg’s apologetic tone of voice.

Paddy Power’s Various Campaigns

Paddy Power's Various Campaigns

Credit: The Drum

Irish bookmakers Paddy Power are renowned for pushing the boundaries, and using humour is synonymous with their brand image, so much so that you might be forgiven in forgetting that they’re a bookmakers and not just a comedy account.

From huge billboards to witty social media posts, Paddy Power uses their comedic talents to write snappy content to entertain the nation. Weaving this around the various gambling offers they promote, they have become the nation’s go-to as such for amusing stunts.

For example, ahead of Ireland’s six nations rugby union clash with England earlier this year, Paddy Power decided to print posters mocking the England team. Using witty puns and short copy, they were able to promote some of the prices they were offering on selected markets while providing humour at the same time.

Paddy Power’s long term strategy serves as further proof that well-written content doesn’t have to take a lifetime, as long as it serves the correct purpose.

To summarise…

While it may seem prudent to focus on more aesthetically pleasing aspects of a marketing campaign, failing to create the right content will make your efforts redundant. Some of the most significant international brands still rely on their ability to connect with consumers through engaging copy.

Taking the time to nail your content strategy will go a long way in ensuring that results will follow, as it is a vital piece of the jigsaw in establishing the best direct marketing formula for you.

When it comes to marketing solutions, Whether you require a creative design for all marketing collateral, a complete data solution or a thorough response analysis, our friendly team are always ready to tackle your project. Get in touch now.