It’s all about the Value Exchange
In 2012 I co-developed and produced the North by North Shore (#NXNS) digital media event series, and proved a few content marketing concepts along the way. Starting from zero in April, the program attracted a capacity, on-target audience in June – just 90 days – and attained an over 90% program satisfaction index, based on survey responses. We repeated the event in September, with a few audience driven improvements, and again achieved that result. Another success indicator: two-thirds of all event attendees paid less than full price to attend, driven by an assortment of social promotional programs that let each attendee run their own “friends and family” plan. Anyone who says you can’t prove the ROI of social media…well, have them call.
How did I target various micro-audiences to get these results? We could talk about the usual suspects like speakers, topics and location, but, speaking more broadly, I attribute the success of NXNS to the use of Choice Architecture and a Value Exchange framework in guiding program and content development. Now with two successful events in tow, we continue to engage our audiences to tune the program further to better address their challenges and learning needs:
- SBO – small business owner
- PRO – career professional, practitioner, specialist or solo-preneur
- MSO – marketing services organization or consulting firm
- CXO – senior executive
We Content Marketers talk a lot about the buyer’s decision journey, the buyer persona, landing page optimization, and the like. All of this seems to assume we are adept at understanding motivation and that we use this knowledge when we develop content. Frankly, considering the repeated high demand for relevant content, I thought it would be nice just to ask the question: how good are you at building motivation into content? Often a simple “buy” button just doesn’t cut it. We’ve all felt a bit pushed at times by out-of-synch content. Here’s how to fix it.
The Value Exchange Continuum
I created this graphic to help decide what type of voice to use to appeal to different target audiences. Executives, for example, act, think and decide differently than other audiences. If you’ve developed a buyer persona or two to help you think about the frame of reference your micro-audiences are using when they encounter your content, then you are probably somewhat familiar with these concepts.
Keeping it Real
It’s helpful from time to time to ask: What do you want? What do you seek? What does any of us want out of life? If you think those questions are unnecessarily broad or existential, consider this: Neuromarketing experts suggest that up to 90% of decisions are made unconsciously, guided by our value frameworks.
This is a job for the Choice Architect, the User Experience (UX) practitioner. These are great people to have on your team when you are designing a website, a sign, an event, a white paper, a presentation, or just about any type of audience-focused content.
Next up (You In?)
If you like the NXNS concept and want to participate, by all means use the handy links at the NXNS site to get started as a speaker, sponsor, media partner, attendee or content contributor. Let me know some specific event or other opportunity you might have in mind. And if you are interested in Sustainability topics, consider attending the Sustainable Network Summit, another new event series I am co-producing.
Do you have a content development framework that guides your content creation? Do you have an experienced Editor on your team who is tasked with hewing to a particular point of view or tone of voice that personifies your brand? Love to hear your stories. If you’d like to have this case study presented to your audience, contact us.
- 42 Content Marketing Ideas for 2013 (contentmarketinginstitute.com)
- Why You Need a Content Marketing Mission Statement (contentmarketinginstitute.com)
- What is your content marketing IQ? (cadence9.com)
- The Key to Content Marketing Success – Be Shareworthy (forbes.com)