Content Ideation: Threading the Needle
The relationship between readers and ideation in digital media works much like the intricate weavings of the finest tapestries you’d purchase at a shop or market: it’s all about that complex combination of threads and the art of putting them together to create the final product.
The tapestry of ideation for Novelty Media’s business model, which revolves around data- driven ideas and topics generated as paid distribution articles, is a sequence of events broken into several benchmarks, and in turn, the “how” and “why” of weaving these benchmarks together one by one, while tapping into what each of the threads means to the readers.
Once I approached ideation with this mindset, it became so much easier to choose the topics and formulate briefs based on reader and user-psychology. This metaphor was truly a turning point for me, and now I enjoy ideation as much as I love shopping for clothing and tapestries.
So, what are the benchmarks that make readers tick?
Benchmarks: Roots, Colors, and Textures
I like to refer to the data-based benchmarks of ideation, such as CTR (click-through rate), PPS (pages per session), Bounce Rate, and Time on Page, as the roots, colors, and textures of Novelty’s tapestry. This is because the criteria that make up our articles can be unpacked much like the experience of a consumer purchasing a tapestry or piece of clothing at a store or market.
Here’s how it works:
- Window Shopping = Before
our readers even enter our articles, they need to do some window shopping. Our
ads need to be eye-catching and enticing to get the readers in, just like
mannequins and shop fitting displays attract consumers inside. So, the higher
the CTR, the better!
- Quality = Consumers have
certain quality-expectations based on their window-shopping experience, whether
that be fabrics, design, or sizing. Once they are disappointed or misled, they
are outta there! Our articles need to deliver on the promises of our ads to
ensure low Bounce Rate and high PPS. This is achieved by
discussing what we said we would in the ad, using the correct pace, as well as quality
writing and images.
- Time Spent: When consumers enjoy a shopping experience, they will stay around for longer and probably try on more clothes and purchase them. For us, this translates as cracking the user trigger, which is one of the most important benchmarks to master. My motto is: “So what? Who cares?”[i] i.e.: thinking like a researcher who is driven by data, but also never losing sight of relating to the people. A well-researched article, written with the right tone of voice and presented in a user-friendly layout, will encourage longer Time on Page. It’s all about respecting the readers’ time, as time is precious!
- User Experience = If it bothers me, it will bother others. If I can’t find the fitting rooms or the section of items I need easily, I will not be a happy consumer. A user-friendly layout, as well as the relationship between images and text on a page (and even placement of ads) is just as important as the other benchmarks.
- Sustainability = Are the clothing items timeless, up to date, and trendy? Consumers what to feel like they are coming to a place that is “in the know’ and up to date. For us, this means keeping up with current affairs and news, and always updating the content so it looks fresh and new. This will keep the readers coming back for more.
Case Study: Putting Needle to Thread
During the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, I mulled over how we can join in on the conversation about the phenomenon without over-saturating the market, or commenting on what had already been said.
I noticed that TV channels were playing lots of films about pandemics and natural disasters, and I thought, “Hey, they are playing on our guilty pleasures and the concept of schadenfreude.”
On the one hand, these films make us feel better and offer a form of escapism because of Hollywood’s exaggerated film tactics, but on the other hand this content is relatable to what we are experiencing.
After some research, I found that Contagion was the 270th most-watched Warner Bros. film in December. By March 2020, it became the second most-watched. The spike was measured through the index on Google Trends, which showed the peak in the popularity of the term. In January 2020, there was a massive uptick in searches for “Contagion movie.”
So I thought, why not rank the best Doomsday Movies of all time?
And these were the results:
While the CTRs and sessions needed work, most users were staying in the article and reading around 20 pages on average (out of 25 initial pages!). Which gets us excited and let’s us know we are on the right track. With a little tweaking of the campaign’s creatives our Doomsday Movie article will be firing on all cylinders.
Media Buying & Content Ideation Team
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