“HUH!” The expression that should be driving your content

By James Maxwell on Monday, 17 August 2015

I’ll put my hands up. I’ve been known to tear up watching an ad on my twitter timeline. I’ve laughed out loud at a blog. But what have my tears and laughs got to do with the price of eggs? Or more precisely, what has it got to do with CONTENT about the price of eggs?

Well, content of any sort – infographic, blog, article, white paper, video, tweet or vine – needs to make the audience read something, hear something or watch something that makes them go… “Huh!” (or Aaah!, or Oh! Or Ahaah!)

These are little involuntary expressions. They come from somewhere deeper than where we rationalise price, or proof points. And they are what many be lieve are the holy grail for content. No need to bowl clients over, wow them or mesmerise them (though we could do that too…) But you do need a steady stream of “Huh!” moments to draw clients and customers in.

Why should you get a little emotional with your content?

Well, the quick answer is that you’re competing with dancing cats, parody videos, fake newsreels, Guardian tools and TED Talks, not to mention millions of other sites producing content – much of it brilliant…and then of course even more that is rather average and dull.

The more sciency answer? The IPA (Insititute of Practioners in Advertising) has looked at 1400 case studies of successful campaigns over the last three decades. And, no surprise, purely emotional content performed about twice as well (31% vs. 16%) as only rational content, which relied on rational persuasion and information. Good to know!

So what makes a Huh! moment?

Well it’s part information, part entertainment. Make them think. Make them cry. Make them laugh. Make them wonder. Make them realise why they should care. Make them get involved… make them share!

It could be a great fact that they’ve never heard before. A way of looking at a topic that turns their ideas on their head. Or a story (we love those). Whatever it is, try and aim for that HUH! moment.

And of course it HAS to be quality!

Whether it’s consumers or a B2B audience, everyone’s a critic. We’ve all watched, shared, received, read, liked, emailed and retweeted ENDLESS amounts of content.

And we’ve all become adept at instantly critiquing it – we can see good production values. We notice bad design. We hate mistakes. It instantly turns us off…and can make us instantly close or ignore it.

So if you want to create good content…think about what you want to say and give them a Huh! moment – and then ensure that it looks good, sound great and feels truly amazing.

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