Content that Makes Your Audience Spin Around and Take Notice

Content that Makes Your Audience Spin Around and Take Notice
August 27, 2012

Get audience attentionThink of your audience like it is filled with CeeLo Greens – is your content getting their attention?

September is right around the corner. Leaves start to change colors, school is back in session and network television shows return for another season.

A few days ago, I caught a promo of The Voice, the popular singing competition where contestants are judged purely on their…well…voice. It got me thinking that, in a way, the show really epitomizes the power of good content. During the blind auditions, contestants belt out tunes to the backs of the four judges. If a judge likes what he or she hears, they press a button that turns their chair around allowing them to see who the voice belongs to. In other words, the content of the singer’s voice has to be good enough to literally spin the judges around.

So what can marketers take from this? Below are a few lessons we can learn from The Voice that can help make your business content sing in a way that would have even CeeLo Green turning his chair around.

Keep it short…

During the blind auditions, contestants only have a few minutes to grab the attention of the judges. If Christina, AdamCeeLo and Blake don’t like what they hear, they don’t turn around. I think this holds true for grabbing attention with your business content as well – especially when it comes to video marketing.

To cut through the noise and get people to pay attention, keep it short. A two-minute video, a focused case study, or a few lines in an email is often enough to get your message across to busy business people. Don’t worry if you can’t fit everything you want to say in half a page of text or three PowerPoint slides. You can always direct your audience to learn more with links to other collateral.

…and sweet

Those contestants that do grab the attention of the judges usually have them turning around within the first 30 seconds of the song. The really successful contestants put the power notes up front to show off what they can do right away.

When creating content, make it impactful from the start. Try putting the value statement in the beginning of your content (for example, our solution saved this client $10M dollars) and work backwards on how you achieved that instead of building up to the payoff.

Make it visual

OK so I know that The Voice is all about voices. But when the judges turn around and they find out the person’s voice they loved belongs to someone with a good look, they get excited for “the whole package.” That’s because they know the show’s audience will vote for what they hear and see.

To give your content “the whole package” treatment, make sure it’s visually appealing. You can do this by adding images, charts, icons, and even embedding videos to your static text content. You could also make use of infographics, a visual representation of information, data or knowledge, to turn a data-heavy piece into something much more visually interesting.

Repurpose, reuse, recycle

Some of the most successful contestants on The Voice have a completely unique sound. But they don’t sing their own songs – they sing popular songs and add their own twist to make them seem fresh and new. During the blind auditions in Season 2, contestant Lindsay Pavao took a popular rap song and made it her own by slowing it down and singing it with a soulful vibe.

You can similarly take content that’s already been written and give it new life by making use of multi-media tools. For instance, you can make a written case study more visual by putting it into PowerPoint slide format with animations and adding voice-over narration to transform it into an online video. As a bonus, you can even get your subject matter experts or thought leaders to do the voice-over themselves to add instant credibility to your content.

Get and use feedback

The singers that turn the judges around are then able to pick a judge to be their mentor. The judges help them with song selection and give them feedback on what’s working and what could be better throughout the rest of the competition.

Wouldn’t it be great if your audience told you what works for them and what doesn’t? It’s hard to get detailed or actionable feedback on your content by soliciting your audience, and attitude versus behavior can also differ. It’s important to have measurements in place so you can learn how people are actually responding to your content.

When it comes to video, the easiest way to get feedback from your audience is to gauge things like retention (how long they are engaging with your content). There are many tracking tools available that give you detailed insight on your online content so you can refine your message to make the biggest impact.

By following these simple tips, you can assure that your voice is heard, your audience is taking notice and you too feel like a rock star.

Image credit: s_bukley /