How we talk to each other changes every few years. If you think about it – almost nothing about how we communicate stays the same for long. Technology is part of the shifting landscape for sure – 20 years ago pagers and payphones became cell phones, then fax machines gave way to email and more recently social media has evolved from fully curated pages and albums to individual images and short personal videos. But the larger conversation is about the messaging not just the modality. Creatives are talking about what is being said, not just how its delivered; content as a language is at the center of the discussion.
So- beyond technology, past posts and tweets and filters, in a constantly evolving dialogue how do we make content that really speaks?
How to we shape content that is a language?
Make it Real
Authenticity is the new black. The potential of content is limitless- it can inspire, propel, shape, sell… content can do anything; but it shouldn’t mislead. Telling the story about your work, your passion, your project or your product starts “with the WHY”. Make sure you look for the real one. What was your REALreason? Why did you come up with the idea? Why are you passionate about it? What do you REALLYwant to change about the world with it? People can smell a fake a mile away. When something fails to pass the smell test, when we are being lied to, our instinct is to shut off, stop listening, to distrust, to disconnect. Make your content REAL and create trust.
Make it Resonate
There are two types of movement in the universe. Either you are compelled or propelled. You are compelled to take an action or propelled across the night sky in a rocket. Think of it this way – everyone, everything is either pushed into movement or pulled. Content that resonates is content that echoes and stirs something IN us, it compels us to move. Resonating images are true to the experiencer, resonating sounds and sensations provoke memories and stir passions. Content that resonates within us compels us to action.
Make it Responsibly
Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal. Negativity is for the birds and inclusivity is a must. Content should create a following and positivity is powerful. Messages evoking a spirit of hope, community, collaboration, exploration, survival and mastery have staying power because, as the saying goes, “people remember how you make them feel”. Make content that makes people feel something powerful and use that power for good.
Make it Relatable
Content should spark a connection to the experiencer. Connectivity is central to your message. If we connect to an experience, to a tribe, to a memory or shared experience we relate to it as part of us. Content we see as part of our shared experience, history or personal story create a relationship, it sparks familiarity and reminds us of something we have experienced or believe in. Make content that shines a light, holds up a mirror or shapes our understanding and make certain its relatable.
Make it Reverberate
“Tell a friend, Telephone,” tell a believer. The most valuable content is that which the experience empathizeswith and believesin. That’s fun, funny or inspirational. That’s sad or sweet in the right spirit. That effects change or challenges the pitfalls. Nothing is more powerful to your message then an ambassador who is carrying it forward. A thought, an idea, a message is that much louder when it bounces of experiencers who pass it on. Thing of your message as a note that passes between friends in class, only the teacher never catches it. Viral is just another word for reverberation, create content that makes people need to pass it on!