As content marketers we are perpetually at risk for falling into a rut. We all have our distinct styles and preferences. Coupled with the fact we are under never ending time pressure to publish; we end up falling into patterns. Our data shows these patterns and if they're not supporting the buyer's journey, we need to be aware of them and avoid them.
Every single day we evaluate various types of content that are published via varying channels. We evaluate web pages, blog posts, emails, white papers, powerpoint presentations, one pagers and so on. At times, when we’re QA-ing the data, we need to reference back to scores on an individual piece or look at a social feed to make sure the scores make sense. What we began to see is a pattern in the way individual brands or even people communicate and position in their marketing material.
For example, this graph shows the storytelling scores for different points on our 8-Point Arc for Twitter and Facebook feeds of several brands in an industry. We have blinded the brands, but they are all B2C.
Patterns are good if they work.
What’s very clear is there is a distinct pattern in the approach to positioning by brand. Is this deliberate? Only the brands know for sure. What we do know is when we have been able to verify, it is typically not intentional. It appears that the people responsible for crafting the Facebook and Twitter posts begin to fall in a pattern over time. It makes sense; it’s human nature. It begs the questions though, is it a good pattern or bad pattern? Is it driving engagement or is it not?
In matching activity data to posts that score high we often see the pattern isn’t necessarily driving engagement or advancing the buying process in any way.
So what’s the answer?
We’re all busy and have way too much on our plates. However, it’s important to remember that that every piece of content your brand pushes to the market is an invitation to a buyer to enter your brand universe. Carefully consider how that invitation is crafted in the context of all the other content published and all the content soon to come. Ultimately, we want the patterns to be deliberate and purposeful and not a function of habit.
Look at what you are crafting within the context of everything you have published and will be publishing. Does it fit your messaging pillars? Does it advance the journey? Does it fill a storytelling hole? What is its purpose?