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Big marketing challenges such as tone deaf brands, embarrassing data breaches, and failed influencer posts have caused some content creators to come under fire recently. But consumers are also complaining about smaller-scale annoyances. How do we know they’re annoying? Because we’re consumers too. We work in content. We consume content. So, if we are bothered by a marketing practice, why do we put up with it?
In this week’s #CMWorld Twitter chat, we opened the floor up to our community. For an hour, we tossed aside best practices. We discussed what we like and don’t like. Then we thought about how that could change the way we approach our content marketing.
The following post represents a big opportunity for content marketers to reassess how in touch they are with their own audiences. Want to see all of the #CMWorld tweets from March 3? Click here.
As a consumer, let’s say there’s a marketing tactic you’re not fond of. But as a marketer, you know it has a high conversion rate. Do you use it?
A1: On being customer centric focused, I ask why I’m not fond of it, who is the actual target audience, why it is effective and then how can I tweak to work for my audience. #CMWorld
— Bernie Fussenegger #Digital360Chat (@B2the7) March 3, 2020
A1: Yes, use it. But innovate the tactic so it’s not frustrating to the consumer.
For example, obtrusive email sign up forms annoy consumers. But that’s often because they’re difficult to exit out of.
— Liz Willits (@lizwillits) March 3, 2020
A1: No. As a writer, I know I’m less likely to link to stuff that uses tactics I don’t care for. So there are consequences marketers don’t always see. #CMWorld
— Kristen Hicks (@atxcopywriter) March 3, 2020
A1: Great Q!
Yes – sometimes you have to . For example, I myself am not a huge fan of watching videos – I prefer to read about a product. But we know they’re hot – so you have to factor them in. #CMWorld
— Michelle Garrett (@PRisUs) March 3, 2020
A1: Yes. I do. I never allow my personal choice & preference to impress upon business. If the business demands it; yes. If it is beneficial to business; yes. Else; no. Just ensure to remain ethical. #CMWorld https://t.co/UemAA2ZHuK
— SG ?? (@Ganesh_Sabari) March 3, 2020
Clickbait is an unpopular practice, but it does what content marketers want. It entices the reader to click and consume content. So, is clickbait good or bad?
A2: It’s a bit annoying. I think some content can get a lot of attraction but then quickly exit out because people catch onto the clickbait. #CMWorld
— Dr. Donald Hecht (@realDocHecht) March 3, 2020
A2: Kill it, kill it with fire. Clickbait is a great way to get your customers to lose trust in you as a brand — no matter what you’re “selling”. #CMWorld
— Mara (@mara_calv) March 3, 2020
A2: This comes down to if you’re delivering the value you’re promising with the bait. You have to understand the consequences of the bad. If you’re just misleading people, they’ll figure it out and won’t click in the future. #CMWorld https://t.co/sBFTlBAEyC
— Jeremy Bednarski (@JeremyBednarski) March 3, 2020
A2) I cringe at clickbait as a user…
…as a marketer, I use it *to a degree* because let’s be honest – you have to pique interest & curiosity somehow.
— Jason Schemmel – Speaker & Podcaster #GSDChat?️? (@JasonSchemmel) March 3, 2020
A2: Instead of resorting to clickbait, why not just write a relevant and catchy headline? People don’t want to be misled, so let them know exactly what they’ll get if they click through to your post. #CMWorld
— Express Writers | Your Content Writing Team (@ExpWriters) March 3, 2020
It’s a question heavily debated among marketers. To pop-up or not pop-up: Are they annoying or do you accept them as a common marketing tactic?
A3: Super annoying. Nobody likes them. But they have their role.
My best bet would be for everyone to keep them minimal. AKA corner pop-ups instead of full-screen ones. #CMWorld
— Alexandra Cote – SaaS Content Writer (@cotealexandra11) March 3, 2020
A3 I avoid adding popups. I know they’re effective, but they need to die like carousels. #CMWorld
— Jim MacLeod (@JimMacLeod) March 3, 2020
— Kathryn Lang (@Kathrynclang) March 3, 2020
— Martin Lieberman (@martinlieberman) March 3, 2020
How much does proper grammar matter when it comes to great writing? Does it affect your experience as the reader?
A4: Typos and grammatical errors should NEVER make it past your copyeditors, even if you’re the only one editing. Read your piece at least 3 times with breaks in between. It’s too important people. #CMWorld
— Vishal Khanna (@bediscontent) March 3, 2020
— Andi Robinson (@hijinxmarketing) March 3, 2020
A4: A thousand times YES! Grammar matters! Hard to put trust in a brand that doesn’t know the difference between its and it’s. #CMWorld
— Sue Brady (@SueBrady) March 3, 2020
A4: as much as possible grammar & style rules followed for the platform. Abbreviations are fine on Twitter. I forgive some tweet typos bc you can’t edit a sent tweet. I’m less forgiving of them other places & in blogs & articles. #CMWorld pic.twitter.com/xFBqYY5pcZ
— Annette Sugden (@Annette_Sugden) March 3, 2020
As a consumer, do you expect a brand to reply to every tweet/comment/mention- especially right away? Would you feel differently if you did not work in marketing?
A5: Yeah, working in marketing makes me not really care. Except for airlines, they better respond to my tweet if my flight is cancelled. ? #CMWorld
— Mike Lewis (@MaverickAdverts) March 3, 2020
A5: Hm… I don’t think we should expect this, but in today’s culture of immediacy, we do expect it as consumers. We expect brands to be constantly working and connected to us, for us. Social media can be so good and bad for this reason. There needs to be a balance. #CMWorld
— Julia Rose (@Missjflar) March 3, 2020
A5] Brands & businesses must monitor the social media landscape to determine what’s happening that has implications for them. Further, they need guidelines to determine when & how they should respond. #cmworld https://t.co/ZomNNUTKTH
— HeidiCohen #CMWorld 2019 Speaker (@heidicohen) March 3, 2020
A5: Do I expect it? No. Do I think they should? No. The USAF once had a great process diagram on responding to comments that was a good guideline on when to respond. #CMWorld
— John Cloonan (@johncloonan) March 3, 2020
A5 I think it’s more important to respond to every complaint and feedback immediately. Compliments can be responded with some delay. Even if I was not a marketer, I would have felt the same way?Prompt Communication is my word #CMWorld
— VishnuPriya Mishra (@vpmishra01) March 3, 2020
Content marketers are creative, but can brands show too much personality? How do you feel when brands are snarky? Act cool using slang? Show a little weirdness?
A7: It can be fun, but it depends on if that’s your brand, or if you’re just doing it here and there. Are you snarky on social media, but everything else you do is sort of buttoned-up? It should be consistent so it’ll feel like a genuine reflection of who you are. #CMWorld pic.twitter.com/bRarM60WNB
— Jill Golden (@_goldengrams) March 3, 2020
Being cool, snarky, fun or sarcastic it all depends on what does the brand stand for. What values does the company include on it’s external comms. Also depends on which sector you are in and who are your target audiences. Speak in a language your customer understand
— SP (@Smita_DigiMarke) March 3, 2020
A7. No brand can ever show too much personality however they can show how authentic their content is through their variety yet on brand content/posts. People, customers and/or followers have the choice to either continue to support them or disregard them.#CMWorld pic.twitter.com/1aZDNqGb6u
— SL Thomas (@iamslthomas) March 3, 2020
A7: it comes down to brand values and who you are for. Are you for snarky creatives? By all means.. do that. Starts with 1) who am I /co as a brand; 2) what are our values… that drives 3) who are we for?…. and that drives voice. #cmworld
— Kathy Klotz-Guest, Story, Creativity + Comedy Spkr (@kathyklotzguest) March 3, 2020
A7: It needs to be authentic. Consumers can tell when a brand is trying too hard. #CMWorld
— Squadhelp (@squadhelp) March 3, 2020
— Richard Sink, Principal at Critical Connections (@Richard_Sink) March 3, 2020
After reading through these tweets, here’s my advice to marketers: Get out in the world. Ask your teen about what he’s seeing on social media. Talk to your neighbor about what they’re searching for online. Hang out at a local coffeeshop and ask a barista what she’s watching these days. I guarantee that person will be in your head the next time you’re working on a project. And your content will be more relevant, better connected, and more effective because of it.
Thanks to our community who participated in the chat. Now it’s your turn. Leave us a comment, and tell us the annoying things you see brands do and wish would stop.
Want to get together in person to talk frustrations in content marketing – and find some remedies too? Join us at Content Marketing World this October. Register using code SM100 to save $100.