We have exactly two weeks left before kicking 2018 out the door, but that doesn’t mean your content marketing strategy for them deserves any less attention than the other 50 that came before. That said, this is also the time of year where everyone is distracted with holidays, parties, decorating, baking, wrapping gifts, and more. Just because you aren’t a child anymore doesn’t mean that child-like excitement for a big celebration goes away.
Everyone is busy, and heavy content covering serious topics is more likely than not to miss its target. So what do you do? What kind of content can you create for your audience that walks the thin line between informative and entertaining? I propose: a year-end recap.
Your Content Marketing Strategy Needs To Include A Recap
It may seem like the easy way out, but here are three killer reasons from Really Good Emails why you shouldn’t skip it.
It’s An Opportunity To Build Your Brand
Your year-end content, whether it be a blog, vlog, e-mail or other, is a chance to reiterate to your audience why what you’re doing is important. It’s a chance to show off your work – like an annual performance self-review. And while you don’t want to get too carried a way with singing your own praises, it’s also a great way to…
Make Your Customers The Hero
Your year-end recap is a chance to put your customers front and center and give them the credit for your success! After all, where would you be without them? Help them to feel a sense of pride in being a part of your community and inspire them to feel influential on the next leg if your journey.
It’s An Opportunity To Upsell
By demonstrating your value, you’re re-engaging customers with your content. That’s the perfect time to lay down a call to action, whether it be a new or upgraded subscription, next edition of their favorite product, or donation to charity. You could even challenge them to make your content part of their New Year’s resolutions, forging a connection for the coming year.
The Psychology Of The Recap
Looking back over the last 12 months is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of a little nostalgia. Science has proved that people love to look back, and that includes your customers. Here are five reasons from Psychology Today that show why a look back could the perfect way to form a permanently positive link in their mind.
It Improves Our Mood
In studies where nostalgia was induced (like having participants write about a nostalgic event) participants reported greater feelings of happiness, contentment, and security than those who write about other types of events.
Nostalgia’s mood-boosting effects can be enhanced if we focus on what we’ve gained (see our earlier point on making your customer the hero) rather than what we’ve lost.
It Makes Life Feel More Meaningful
Nostalgia can be especially helpful for changing the way we think about hardships from the past. (Did your company suffer a public relations SNAFU this year?) It can help us construct redemptive narratives that focus on triumph over adversity, lessons learned, or making the best of a bad situation.
It Connects Us With Others
Research suggests that nostalgia-provoking memories are almost always social in nature. (Did your company host an open house, or maybe a volunteer day?) One study even found that nostalgia counteracted the effects of loneliness, and lead participants to feel a stronger sense of social support.
It Makes Us Feel Warmer (Literally)
Nostalgia appears to not only be psychologically comforting, but also physically. In one series of studies, participants felt warmer after listening to nostalgic music and felt that the room they were in was warmer after writing about a nostalgic event. Nostalgic participants even showed more tolerance to cold after being asked to submerge their hands in an ice bath. Interestingly, participants also felt greater nostalgia on colder days (like right now!) and in colder rooms.
It Makes The Future Look Brighter
Instead of leaving you stuck in the past, looking back can actually help you to look forward with a sense of optimism. Nostalgic participants of one study were found to use more optimism-related words and felt more optimistic about the future and themselves.
Don’t feel like your company did anything nostalgia-inducing? You might be surprised. Research suggests that even seemingly mundane experiences are found to be more interesting and meaningful when revisited down the road.
How To Put Together An Amazing Recap
Are you sold yet? Good. Just like any good storytelling piece, there are a few key guidelines you’ll want to follow.
Show, Don’t Tell
Our world is visual, so it’s no surprise that content featuring images, infographics, videos and memes are routinely the most popular. According to Social Media Today, content with images attracts 94% more total views on average than content without – while videos are clicked on 12 times more often than links and text posts combined.
Here are five tips to make sure your recap gives readers and eyeful.
- Visuals and Text Combined
You don’t need to abandon text boxes and hyperlinks entirely. In fact, it’s rare that images alone are enough to tell the entire story. Engage your audience by using a combination of the two. Visuals should support your written content, and vice-versa.
- Brand Image
Does your company have a mascot or brand imagery that you’ve been using in your content? Don’t leave it out now! Including a dedicated color palette, quirky saying, or even photo of your office dog and unofficial mascot will make your recap feel cohesive with the other marketing materials you’ve been putting gout.
- Consider an Infographic
Infographics are a great visual way to share information related to your company or industry. They’re also a great way to break down complex details in a clear and visually appealing manner instead of asking someone to stare at a spreadsheet. Infographics are also an ideal format for encouraging users to share on their own social media accounts.
- Make a Video
If you’re running short on time but have a creative idea, video is an easy format to upload across all outlets. It’s been proven to boost the open rate of email by nearly 20
percent. Facebook announced that the platform would be transitioning to a video-first format in the coming years, and popular mobile apps like Snapchat and Instagram allow personal videos of up to 60 seconds. Feeling especially ambitious? Try doing it live so you can respond to questions and reactions in real time.
- Make a Slide Presentation
Depending on your audience, a slide presentation might be more appropriate. Visually it falls somewhere between an infographic and video, allowing you to share short digestible tidbits of text and image that can be transitioned on a timer or manually.
Create a presentation on SlideShare by uploading files as PowerPoint, PDF, Keynotes or Open Office presentations. The finished product can be shared on your social media networks and by email.
Acknowledge Your Failures
It happens. Did your company suffer a public relations disaster this year? The internet is forever, and customers have a long memory, so don’t try to pretend it didn’t happen in your end-of-year recap. Instead, address it quickly and professionally. Here are three tips to help with the potentially awkward admission.
- Be Sincere
A response that comes across as automated or generic can be offensive to your customers. Remember that they are real people and give them the attention and treatment they deserve.
- Don’t Make Excuses
Own up to your own actions. Even if you think the problem is ridiculous, or not your fault, it’s all about customer perception. Apologize, even if you think it’s pointless, and keep a brave face. You’ll gain respect for it.
- End With Real Contact Information
This is more relevant to a one-on-one interaction, but if someone wants to talk to a real person, give them the opportunity. This sincere follow-up and offering from human to human will greatly increase the integrity of your brand.
Hype Your Customers For 2019
Finally, a recap also gives you the chance to build excitement for the coming year! No matter what you have planned, you want your customers to be waiting in anticipation and keeping tabs on your business. This is your chance to tease new products or services, announce a giveaway or contest, and assure your customers that no matter what the new year brings, you’ll always put them first.
Do you want help creating a content marketing strategy that’s designed with your business’ goals and budget in mind? Contact Three Girls Media at 360-955-1410
or Info@ThreeGirlsMedia.com today for a complimentary no-obligation 30-minute consultation today!