Does Your Content Make You S.M.I.L.E.?

Does Your Content Make You S.M.I.L.E.?

With so much content being produced by so many, it’s good to take a breath occasionally and consider your content with the same vigour that might be afforded a traditional campaign.  Having a content strategy and plan in place is crucial, obviously. But what about applying another test, one that checks the health of the emotional connections with your audience?

Content is all about your audience and their world; their loves, their problems, their passions and their challenges, so it makes sense to ensure you’re creating ideas that actually engage and convey genuine empathy.

One way to do this is to ask if your content makes people S.M.I.L.E. This stands for Strategy (finding a connection with your audience), Message (communicating the insight with imagination and emotion), Ingenuity (doing something unexpected), Love (applying craft and artistry) and Effort (not settling for the average).

Working through each of these, we can gain a little more understanding of the process.

Strategy: Know your objective, but know the objectives of the people you are talking to better. Live their life. Understand what makes them tick, what makes them happy, what irks them, what they hate. Find the connection in there that no one else has. People don't buy strategies, they buy connections.

Message: Work very hard to keep your message out. You can explain your product or service elsewhere. It's the insight that you want to communicate. Make it so it moves people. Positive, playful, unexpected, ironic, cheeky - whatever, the technique should evoke a smile.

Ingenuity: Once you have the idea, think long and hard about the ways you can deliver it. Digital channels offer so many possibilities, so many chances to do something in your category that hasn't been done before. Or forget digital altogether - the main thing is to do something unexpected in the mix.

Love: This is where craft and artistry kicks in. How best can the story be told? What is the most beautiful / arresting / appealing / simple way to deliver it? What's the perfect imagery, what's the most moving copy? Be particular about your execution and only work with creative partners that are in love with the idea as much as you.

Effort: Don't stop and settle for what you have at this point. Take your great idea, shake it up, keep improving it, little by little, piece by piece, in every facet. Don't accept that what you started with is the final answer, and be ready for it to grow in unexpected ways. It's the details that count.

And finally, check that your content idea makes you smile in some way yourself. If not, keep thinking. .