Relevance is a hot topic for content creators and communicators on or off-line. While its importance is clear, it can be a slippery concept to get to grips with, and tactics hard to identify. There are 5 key dimensions that can provide a useful guide and checklist.
Relevance to the audience is vital.
Identify the target personas and be relevant in terms of their needs, wants, aspirations and culture. Reflect their demographics and psychographics. Ensure that the language and tone of voice are comfortable and familiar. If there is one area where relevance really matters it’s to the people with whom you are communicating. If that’s not right – you can forget the rest.
Be relevant to the brand.
Make sure the content reflects the brand values, history and culture and brand strategy. Again, this is about people – their aspirations and emotional connection with the brand. Successful brands are those that chime in with the ideas, beliefs and narratives of their audiences. It’s important to be consistent both in terms of message and voice.
It does require discipline to stay ‘on brand’ with tactical messages, when their is a key story you are trying to get over. However, the practice is simply to ask the question while constructing the content – “Is it on-brand?”
Relevance to the offer.
Any message must support and clarify a specific offer. This may be a tangible product or service or an intangible brand advantage. Be clear what the offer is and what benefits will the reader or consumer gain from it. In terms of content this may entail explanation or demonstration – but should always be relevant to the benefits to the customer.
Relevance to the medium.
Great content is tailored to the media that will carry it. Identify the unique features of the chosen medium. Will it allow product demonstration (video?) or does it allow instant purchase (online?). Perhaps it has longevity or allows a story to develop in depth (print?). Make sure the content makes use of the strengths of the medium. Avoid trying to construct one-size-fits-all content – be relevant.
Be pertinent to the sensory nature of the medium and the content. Text, visual images, movement, sound, touch etc. Which features are available and which can you exploit?
There is no need to get a heavy strategy document out, but simply focus on the objective – why are you doing this and what do you need to communicate? That’s what’s meant by strategic relevance.
Don’t forget the desired response. Communication is great, but having put across your message, used your best content ideas – you want the viewer or reader to do something. You want their action or response to be appropriate to the content – so, the content must be relevant to the desired response.
The emotional context is one of the most important frameworks. Strategically, all brand or product activity operates within an emotional arena. It’s one of the most powerful affects of brand choice. All of these five dimensions can be enveloped in the wrapper of emotional relevance. Understand that narrative and write it rich into your content.