Last year, a story became quite popular on the internet which said that Cannabis contains an alien DNA. It made several rounds on social media timeline every day and people kept sharing and commenting on it – some supported the claims, some denied it, and rest made fun of other comments. In just a week, that post turned into a social media storm fuelled by reactions of astonishment and outrage. Only a few were ‘I know what you did’ winks.
There’s everything a marketer could hope for but then, there’s something wrong with this picture? It’s not Cannabis.
It’s the fact that no one bothered to check the truth behind the claim or its source. When checked, it turned out to be a clever clickbait headline directing audience to a research published on IFL science saying, and proving – Most people just click and share content on social media instead of engaging with it.
A journalistic sleight of hand!
1. What is critical thinking?
It is an objective analysis of facts, assumptions, results, observations, etc. in a logical yet creative manner that distils down everything to a few simple insights which could then be applied further in various ways.
2. Why is critical thinking important in business marketing content?
Engagement is not ROI or loyalty – the sooner we understand this, the better. However, the picture is quite dismal.
Almost 82% of marketing leaders define engagement in terms of social shares and likes.
When placed against digital investment and goals, likes, shares, retweets, comments, etc. come out as just one measure of engagement. Most of the times, it’s like an echo of your own voice. Do echoes sell tickets?
So what happens is that instead of becoming a fertile ground for leads, digital platform has turned into a financial black hole. A critical big-picture thinking is the only way to solve this problem – less investment, more ROI.
3. Why you need to step in?
As a business owner or director of a content team, you need to take the onus of ensuring that every piece shipped out from the desk must know its goal is beyond some Facebook reactions. However, it’s a common observation that the characteristic of a critical thinker is often ignored while hiring senior management. Critical thinking is assumed.
Another reason why a content piece might not deliver results, is that digital is a dynamic playground. It messes judgement as on digital platforms, people skim. Engrossed is the term still associated with print media.
Scroll, react, next, repeat – isn’t this the pattern we’re all addicted to? Real engagement is read, assimilate, react, discuss – something resonant with the print format. Hence, a KPI reassessment is the need of the hour. And who else to do than the visionary of the organisation!
4. How to play Devil’s Advocate for your content team?
1- Run back to basics
Ask the most basic questions – Why are we doing this? What will it achieve? Is it serving the right audience? Often we get too technical and forget about the audience.
2- Focus on genuine behaviour
Put your digital content team in the audience’s shoes and then, make them go through their content. Enquire about feelings. If it doesn’t stir an emotion, it’s not usable.
3- Embrace depth
Anyone can tell who’s more engaged – someone reading a 4000-words article and another retweeting 280-characters’ tweet. Depth defines the engagement of mind. On a skim-friendly platform like digital, strive for depth.
4- Go from digital currency to real currency
Is your financial investment worthy of their time investment? This is a question many fail to even ask. If your digital content doesn’t motivate them to do something in the real world, it is just a shout out.
5- Differentiate between assumptions, data, and insights
At times, digital content teams produce content in seclusion on assumptions with no hard facts or previous campaign’s insights backing their work. For optimal results, all teams must sit together and brainstorm to enhance what’s working the best.
If you shout, “Make some noise!” everyone will join. But your real audience might be someone sitting in a corner checking out your profile. Do something to make them act which translates to giving them something more motivating than a just Like-worthy post.
It’s time we stopped over-investing in digital. It’s time we understand why someone is engaging or not engaging. Is it an emotional response or a tactical move?
Digital can stop being a financial black hole if thought and planned critically. Let’s strive for that.
Pulp Strategy is a full service interactive, digital communications and technology agency, transforming solutions with creative storytelling into effective data driven marketing. Get in touch with us for some remarkable content creation and marketing ideas for your brand.