On digital marketing platforms like websites and social media, audience experience is typically content, words and visuals like videos and photos. A video can be a potentially powerful tool for connecting to a target audience and multiply SEO rankings as much as 53 times, but if it is not done right, it can demote instead of promote a brand. A video is as good as its script, just as a great movie cannot be made from a bad screenplay. Likewise, what makes or breaks a website is the storytelling power of its content and how it engages through audience experience, verbally and visually.
Creating content that authentically establishes a brand’s essence, is not merely telling WHAT. It is also moving the human heart and soul with WHY, as I previously discussed in earlier blogs.
There are many ways of activating an audience’s mind, imagination and emotions, eventually leading to trust, a far more sacred thing than a buying decision. Turning a passive audience of a website’s content into an engaged audience is like involving concert goers to sing along. How many times have you heard people sing along with Aretha Franklin’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Now that is brand engagement. While content is the “king”, engagement is the “queen.”
Asking good questions is one important form of audience experience, useful first in creating the narratives, then in presenting them.
When I brainstorm with the owner of a business in honing their brand, I find my legal training as well as my prior experience as a teacher and a professional journalist extremely helpful. These help when preparing, framing, and asking open-ended or focused questions.
As a teacher, I asked questions to wake up students’ learning minds, to let them think, to let them participate. This helps to train them to be active learners rather than passive note-takers in their audience experience.
As a journalist, I asked investigative questions to differentiate opinions and emotions from facts, and describe mood, tone and feelings associated with events.
My training in law school added the analytical facets to questioning. I asked focused and issue-specific questions which were well analyzed and prepared in advance, case-by-case.
All my questions are related and centered around getting to the essence of a brand. It usually takes about multiple sessions, each session about 1.5 hour long, for interviewing and brainstorming 1-2-1 with each client, based on my Brand DNA™ Questionnaire. I feel humbled and privileged to learn from each client about their stories. It can be wonderful to be part of the process of outlining and distilling the essence of their brand, again thanks to the skills from law school and from editing and headlining news stories. A great example is NPR’s Terry Gross’ style of questioning, who has hosted Fresh Air For years. I sometimes adopt her skillful ways of the art of questioning in my interviews.
The goal is to turn a website’s visitors into active participants, drawing them deeper into the audience experience, differentiating your brand from other static engagements. Asking questions will stimulate their thinking. For example, I created three multiple-choice questions and their answers on a website’s home page, together with the brand-owner of an insurance agency specializing in employee benefits. With these and other engaging tactics, his website has been consistently generating a lot more qualified leads and clients since launching, which has increased his business volume and profits substantially.
Asking the right questions, in the right way, for the right target audience, is an art. Questioning needs to be done just right, like Goldilocks porridge. Here at 10+ Visual Branding, we uplift a business brand inside out – from brand DNA™, to brand strategies, narratives, taglines, logos and graphic design, and branded websites, then SEO and PPC (pay per click/Google ad words) campaigns… the whole nine yards. For an initial free analysis session, please call (925) 878-1992, or email info@10PlusBrand.com, or visit our website: https://10plusbrand.com/ Thank you.
© Joanne Tan, 8/19/2018
Edited by Glenn Perkins