Saturday, August 13, 2016

Power Of Cartoons In Content Marketing

Most marketers today know that they need to invest and increase their efforts in content marketing strategies. There is content overload but a definitive need to be different to stand out from the crowd.
51% of B2B marketers indicate they will increase their content marketing spending in the next 12 months - Content Marketing Institute

The main objectives of any content marketing strategy is to:
  • Drive sales / Lead generation 
  • Engage the relevant audience and Influencers
  • Create brand re-call / awareness
Marketers share content in form of whitepapers, case-studies, infographics, blog posts, analysts reports, videos etc. I believe that an untapped form of content marketing is through 'Cartoons.' Ever thought about the power of content marketing with cartoons?

Effective content marketing today means capturing the essence of a great idea in a quick snackable way!

Cartoons can induce life into the content that can strike a chord with your audience. They have the power to capture the attention of your audience and tell a story in a unique way. 

Cartoons can help companies breakthrough the content clutter and are a great way of taking complex ideas and making them easy to understand.

Kronos, an industry leader in time management and talent management solutions, wanted to extend their brand, reach new prospects and engage with employees. They did this by launching a weekly cartoon series that was shared with more than 3,000 employees as well as with industry analysts, customers and the media. They further posted them on a website dedicated to the series.

The cartoons were embraced very well internally and Kronos took a step further to engage with people outside of the company by launching a contest to caption their cartoons, for which they received over 500 entries! One of the companies even wanted the permission to outfit their walls with Kronos' cartoons! Imagine someone seeking permission to print your content at their workplace! Isn't that a testimony of how relevant your content can be?

When you think about cartoons, don't take them in the literal sense always. They could be in form of doodles or illustrations as well.

Amul, one of India’s oldest and most well-known food brands, itself a product of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (and the largest milk producer in the world), uses images in a very effective way.

Be it a cause or social issue, Amul is quick to jump into the story, often introducing the Amul girl into the landscape. This has made the brand iconic. Check out a few examples here.

Topical: Outrage against terrorism

Topical: Legend leaves international arena

The next time you are thinking about ways to break through the content marketing clutter, consider cartoons as a powerful content marketing tool.

Thinking of how to get started?
  • Figure out what is the one message you want to communicate 

"For me, it's the narrow focus. You can really communicate one & only one message in a single cartoon #SocialPowWow" - @ErinMFeldman

  • Be clear about how much marketing budget you are willing to spend on such an activity: Cartoons have to align with strategy and budget

"Start with a small ask and work toward more budget as you see results #SocialPowWow" - @ErinMFeldman

  • Be consistent in your messaging while using cartoons as a tool to share your story

"Cartoons are serial in nature #SocialPowWow" - @ErinMFeldman

  • Make it interesting and engaging by adding humor 

"Intelligence, humor. It's about visually communicating ideas, even if using stick figures (like xkcd) #SocialPowWow" - @ErinMFeldman

If you have experimented with content marketing through cartoons, I'd like to know how it had a positive impact on your business!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Visual Content Marketing

Researchers say humans have lesser attention span than goldfish! The average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds to eight seconds and goldfish are believed to have an attention span of nine seconds!

Given the short attention span that humans have, lengthy explanations are indeed less effective. Hence, the need for crisp and engaging content which the audience can consume, retain and remember. Visuals play a big role in engaging the audience and use of effective visuals can boost engagement and spark up social media conversations.

"Visuals attract like a magnet. There's no better way to reach people than through images and emotion." - @KDHungerford

Such content can be effective in any format, whether it is an image, infographic or a video. We must know the context and our audience well enough to understand what they would like to see.

According to @KDHungerford, we must think like a community - the most effective content is the one that your community craves for!

Effective content is like good food. It brings people around the table

And sometimes, it's not just about creating effective content but taking an opportunity of the conversations already happening around us...

An interesting example of this is the recent Facebook Live video of a mom (Candace Payne) laughing joyously about a Chewbacca mask she purchased at Kohl’s which went viral and is one of the most viewed Facebook Live video of all times.

Kohl's addressed the video on its social media pages by posting a GIF of Payne’s video on Twitter and sharing it on the Kohl’s Facebook page. Further, Kohl’s posted a picture of Payne with Star Wars products it gave to her family after she posted the video. The picture was liked more than 200,000 times on Facebook and shared nearly 70,000 times! That's not it, to keep the conversation going, Kohl's even posted a video of Payne and her family receiving gift cards and reward points. The video has been liked nearly 700,000 times on Facebook and viewed more than 30 million times. On Twitter, the video has been retweeted more than 2,000 times and liked roughly 3,500 times. This is a perfect example of how a brand seized the opportunity of the content already out there!

"Put your community at heart of your content because that's the content that will win big." - @cmtyworks

If you are not yet focusing on visual content in your marketing strategy, it’s time to re-think your strategy.

I'd love to know how effective visual content marketing has been for your brand or business?