If you’ve been writing or editing blog content long enough, we’re sure you’ve created or come across articles you forgot the second you put them down. They may have gotten their point across, but you wouldn’t be able to remember the title a couple of days later. That, of course, is a problem when you create content for people to stay on your site and link it to others.
With how fast-paced our world has become, it can be tough to keep people’s attention and stay in their memory—but it’s not impossible. See, there are certain tips and tricks, as we’ll soon detail, that you can use to create memorable content people want to revisit and share.
WHAT MAKES CONTENT MEMORABLE?
As a content creator, you shouldn’t have a problem communicating information clearly. Once you have a good handle on grammar, syntax, and spelling, however, you’ve only done half your job.
From there, you need to make sure you create content in which you focus on a specific audience, maintain a unique voice, and keep your audience engaged with a narrative, while also satisfying search intent. You’ll also want to make measured appeals to emotion and utilise the memory-reinforcing powers of association and repetition. We’ll show you how to do all of these things, and provide some examples of case studies, as we go along.
SPEAK TO YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
To start, no matter what you’re writing about, when you create content you want to speak to a specific audience—your target audience. Writing about the best ways to start a yoga routine? Direct your content at beginners rather than experts, as the latter are unlikely to search for this sort of article. Explaining advanced information about extracting CBD from hemp? Create content to appeal to those already comfortable with the subject matter, but still make sure to keep things understandable. Even an informed audience doesn’t want to sift through jargon.
If you were to direct those respective articles at yoga and CBD enthusiasts in general, you’d end up with conflicting content and a conflicted audience in turn.
Simply enough, if you create content where you try to cater to everyone, you’ll end up catering to no one. In turn, you should know exactly who you’re speaking to before you type your first sentence. When your audience feels like they’re being addressed directly, they’ll resonate more with what’s being said, and are more likely to remember it (and share it with their like-minded peers).
TELL STORIES WHEN APPROPRIATE
In order to really resonate with your audience, you’ll want to employ a relatable narrative.
Say, for example, you’re writing a piece about the five best toys for kittens. At a point in the article, you could tell a story about someone who comes home to find their chair torn to pieces by their furry friend. The reader may have experienced something similar and would relate as you discuss the benefits of a catnip-scented scratching post. They’ll think more seriously about the product in turn, and will be better able to envision it in their life.
Beyond selling products, storytelling comes in handy whenever you’re trying to help someone envision any change in their life. That change could be adopting a new gardening technique or starting a new morning routine. If you wrap the information in a clear and captivating story, your audience will enjoy taking it in, and enjoy committing it to memory in turn.
USE NUANCED APPEALS TO EMOTION
Within your narrative, you’ll want to be sure you’re making nuanced appeals to emotion. With the story about the kitten, for example, you’d be appealing to the love an owner has for their cat, along with the sadness that comes with seeing your furniture ruined.
While you’re not saying outright that your audience needs to buy a scratching post to show love to their kitten, it will make them think about how happy they would be if their chair wasn’t demolished.
This emotional connection will help keep the reader captivated. The greatest art, after all, is that which makes us feel strong emotions. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, sometimes content creation is an art like any other, and it should be treated accordingly.
BE AS UNIQUE AS POSSIBLE
As you create content and determine what you want your audience to feel, you’ll also want to ensure you present it in the most unique way possible.
Really, we shouldn’t have to tell you that plagiarism is a no-go. More than outright content thievery, however, many writers steal the voice of their most popular competition. They may not rip off one person in particular, and the words may be unique, but their content looks like it could’ve been made by an AI generator. That outcome, obviously, is not desired when trying to produce content people remember.
To resist that sameness, simply speak with your own voice. Don’t worry about sounding like whoever wrote your most popular reference. Just make sure you sound like you. In that pursuit, you’ll form a naturally unique voice that people will be able to point out in a saturated content pool.
With how fast-paced our world has become, it can be tough to create content that keeps people’s attention and stay in their memory—but it’s not impossible.
UTILISE ASSOCIATION AND LINKED MEMORIES
Part of appealing to emotion, as it turns out, is associating your topic with related imagery.
If you want people to buy camping gear, for example, you may associate it with the intensity of the outdoors, or the triumphant feeling that comes with conquering the elements.
If you’re selling a drink you want people to enjoy in the summer, you could consider associating it with the relaxation of sitting on the beach, the euphoria of partying at the club, or the happiness of being with your friends.
Even if you’re pushing something plain, like transcription software, you can still associate it with the satisfaction that comes with a full, productive day of work.
No matter how different these examples may seem, they all use emotion-driven image association. As we’ll demonstrate in one of our case studies below, this is one of the most tried and true tactics in content marketing.
OFFER MULTIPLE WAYS TO UNDERSTAND SOMETHING
No matter how well you communicate, everyone may not understand you if you only frame your point in one way. Accordingly, you have to make sure you explore your primary points from multiple angles.
Just as there are many different types of people, there are many different ways those people see the world. When you’re able to account for many perspectives, you can get your audience to not only understand you, but remember your content and what it taught them.
REPEAT ESSENTIAL INFORMATION
Working off the above point, you want to make sure your content’s most essential information is repeated more than once.
See, repetition is a naturally effective way for humans to take in information. By repeatedly seeing certain reactions happen after certain actions, we form a better understanding of the world around us. If information is consistently repeated, we’re more likely to remember it in the long-term.
However, as those who underwent traditional schooling know, there are flaws in relying solely and excessively on repetition. Specifically, while you may remember the general structure of something constantly repeated, you may be less likely to remember details. In turn, constant repetition may lead to false memories associated with the topic.
That doesn’t mean repetition is bad; it just means it should only be used with essential information. Instead of repeating a whole story, add more “meat” to key info so your target audience has a well-rounded grasp on your content.
SATISFY SEARCH INTENT
Up until this point, we’ve largely been appealing to the emotions and psychology of our target audience, but it bears reminding that none of the above can be successful without satisfying search intent.
Referring back to our yoga article, if the content is about starting a new yoga regime, you better make sure it features those keywords prominently, and that your audience will finish the piece with a genuine idea of how to start their own practice. This will not only help your content show up in search results but will inform your audience of what they need to know from the very beginning of your piece all the way to the end. In other words, the story you’re telling need not only be compelling, but ultimately educational.
To end our discussion, let’s take a look at a couple of standout marketing campaigns that exemplify some of our main points.
COCA-COLA AND EMOTIONAL ASSOCIATION
Many of you may not remember this Coca-Cola commercial from 1971, but it stands out amongst older consumers as one of the company’s most memorable and engaging campaigns.
Exactly one minute long, the ad, called “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)”, is a concise yet powerful crash course in emotional association. Keeping things simple, the ad features a diverse cast of young folk standing on a sunlit hilltop, singing together as they each hold a bottle of Coca-Cola. What are they singing, you wonder? It’s all about bringing the world together, keeping each other company, and singing together.
Oh, it’s about giving people Coca-Cola, too, but you’d never notice them overtly singing that (which they do) while they’re serenading you on the hilltop. By layering the overt mentions of their brand under sweeping group harmonies, they create a semi-subliminal message that directly associates drinking their soda with happiness and being part of the human community.
JETBLUE AND RELATABILITY
Many of you may already know that Coca-Cola is run by content creation masters. Would you expect the same cleverness from JetBlue, though? If you’re one of the people that remember their many controversies in the 2010s, probably not.
Defying expectation, the brand has made a comeback reputation-wise, and much of that is thanks to their ingenious video content.
The funny thing? None of their video content had anything to do with their controversies. In fact, it steered as far away from their specific brand qualities as possible, and instead went for relatability with the “Flight Etiquette” series.
In episode 2, we see a woman sitting in the window seat who’s had a lot of beverages and needs to go to the bathroom. She’s trapped, however, by the other two people in her row. Throughout the ad, we see her struggle to hold it in, sneak past the other two people, and even wake them up in various wacky ways.
We might not have acted exactly like her before, but anyone in that situation has probably wanted to. That desire, rather than an actual shared experience, is what they’re trying to get you to relate to.
So, while they didn’t say what they improved on as a company, they still gained positive traction. They didn’t care about explaining why they’re superior; they just wanted to tell a story you’d relate to and remember. That, in turn, led to their stock hitting its highest value since 2003 the year the ad came out (2015).
BOTTOM LINE — CREATE CONTENT THAT STICKS IN YOUR AUDIENCE’S MIND
Are there any more interesting examples you can think of? Make a note of them, and see how they may be utilising some of the strategies we’ve discussed here. From there, take a look at your own content, and see how it stacks up in those regards. Then, you’ll be that much more ready to create content people remember, leading to real results and growth.