What Is Insight in Content Marketing?
Kessler — creative director and co-founder of Velocity, B-to-B marketing agency — offered audience members at Content Marketing World 2016 some of his insight into insight. He did so shortly before his agency won a top award at the conference in Cleveland.
— Lisa Dougherty (@BrandLoveLLC) September 8, 2016
Kessler’s Sept. 7 session on content creation, “What Great Content Marketing Looks Like: The Power of Insight,” says insight requires thought. Marketers can’t just get enough data on a topic and throw that message at consumers.
“Data is not insight until its meaning is unpacked for an audience,” Kessler says.
For instance, it’s not all that interesting to know that pet owners feed their animals during breakfast and dinner. That’s data. What is interesting is finding out that “people feel guilty about eating in front of their pets,” he says. That helps marketers connect emotionally with consumers. It helps them relate.
Then the insight comes from knowing that consumers will pay to give their pets food similar to what they’re eating. Hence, pet food flavors of “ahi tuna on brown rice with carrots” and “prawns, egg, garlic and kale in ahi consommé” are born.
“Insight is money,” Kessler says. “Insight multiplies your content marketing budget by 12,296 times.”
He based the figure on comparing the results of a marketing campaign that only used data for its message vs. one that employed insight. The former video told young people not to die crossing train tracks, the latter connected with young people’s fear of embarrassment and urged them to avoid the same action by emphasizing that it would be dumb and embarrassing to die that way. The latter had a 12,296 times more views on YouTube.
“Kids are more frightened of embarrassment than they are of death,” emphasizes Slide 71.
A Faster Route to Insight
While this is far from easy, conference keynoter Andy Crestodina says bloggers need to create content that meets their audiences’ needs. Most searchers are trying to find information, says the co-founder of Orbit Media, content marketer, speaker and author of “Content Chemistry.”
“Your goal is to be the best answer,” he says.
In his 175 slides, Crestodina presented “Content’s Fortune and Glory: How to Make Friends, Rank High and Get Famous Online.”
First, content marketers need to realize that creating original, compelling content takes time.
And Google can help provide insight into how best to approach topic headlines. Content marketers can get clues from looking at Google’s search autocompletions. [Author’s note: I used this method to find the headline for this piece. Do you think it worked well?]
A Harder Road to Insight
Kessler says the road to valuable insight is difficult and takes a long time — even decades.
So here’s what he suggests marketers do:
1. Want It. Or there’s no way you’re gonna get it.
2. Align Around a Clear Brief. Or it’s “Ready, Fire, Aim.”
3. Work Your Ass Off for It. Shortcuts always lead to dead-ends.
4. Think About Something More Than Your Audience Has. Let your geek flag fly.
5. Create a Hunch-friendly, Bullshit-hostile Environment. Attack ideas, not people. “There are no bad ideas” is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard.
6. Swim in Data. Look for gaps, anomalies and unexpected correlations. Be a data journalist.
7. Be the Annoying “Why?” Guy. Each “why” peels away a layer between you and meaning.
8. Get a Diverse Team in the Room. Too many hipsters spoil the espresso.
9. Just Organize Your Input. No, really.
10. Turn It Upside-down. [Use] the Negation technique. (For example, 2 percent of women think they’re beautiful. If Dove hadn’t done the “Real Beauty” campaign, it could’ve explored a “Beauty Sucks” campaign about how annoying it is to try to be beautiful.) [Author’s note: I think this option fits into the “Faster Route.”]
11. Be a Student of Insight.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below
Want to learn more about content marketing? At the Content Marketing Master Class — a one-day class touring the country and coming to six cities from November to December 2016 — you’ll have a chance to learn from and interact with many of today’s top content strategists who have had a hand in shaping the industry into what it is today.
The Content Marketing Master Class will send you home with the strategy and know-how you need to create exceptional content that will engage your audience and grow your business. Click here to learn more and sign up!