Taking Your Audience to Their “Happy Place”

Back in 2012, officials from the court of Bhutan famously presented to the United Nations their model for a “gross national happiness” indicator—a way to show the status of their nation that was not tied to their economy or material wealth. While some scoffed at the idea of making the personal happiness of citizens a policy goal of government, a basic truth was touched upon: People want to be happy.

How can you successfully translate that desire into content marketing? One way is to get enough psychographic data about your audience so you can tailor messages more specifically. If that process is too unwieldy, think in terms of broad categories of personal needs and motivations.

  • Will your product or service help people self-actualize—become their truest selves? Short of offering true enlightenment, your content can demonstrate how your company operates as a corporate citizen. Many consumers—especially millennials—are more likely to support a brand that supports a cause  they agree with. If you aren’t willing to trumpet your philanthropy (or lack thereof), carefully selected imagery will convey a lot about the kind of world your company and its customers would prefer to live in.
  • Can you help your viewers achieve something—give them a leg up on the competition or meet a goal? The lure of “secret” information (if such a thing can exist now that we have the Internet) or good old-fashioned “tips and tricks” (which, depending on your audience, should be offered as “hacks”) is nigh irresistible.
  • Is there an element of self-expression? In a traditional environment, self-expression can relate to real-world products such as crafts, clothing or choosing a car color. But in the social media space, this can be achieved through user or customer feedback. (A Millennial Moment: 70% of millennials feel it is their responsibility to share their experiences, positive or negative, with a company.)
  • Think about providing an opportunity for your audience members to post their own content in your digital environment. This should, of course, be vetted by a content or marketing team that would select those posts that best support the brand, but enhancing the level of engagement is worth the additional production time required.