ClickThrough Marketing

We’ve been delivering strategies to accelerate growth of people and brands since 2004, and winning awards for our outstanding service. Combine our people, knowledge, and technology with your brand equity, and the opportunities are endless.

Lichfield, United Kingdom
Founded: 2004
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How your content could be a lifeline in life’s toughest moments

May 18, 2021

The death of a loved one. Diagnosis of a serious illness. Helping an elderly parent move into a care home. They’re some of life’s toughest challenges. But they’re also times when we’re highly likely to reach out for support, whether that means seeking services or accessing information. On the one hand, at times like these, content seems incredibly insignificant. On the other, accessing the information we need when we need it most can be invaluable. All of which raises the question – as content marketers, are we aware enough of our audience’s possible state of mind and how we support this within our content strategies? After all, acting with compassion goes without saying. But how do you go above and beyond to give users what they really need and value so that they feel supported?

Consider how mindset can impact their user experience

Grief has a very similar impact on the human mind to states such as depression and anxiety. And while we might associate grief with a bereavement, it can also apply in other situations where we experience life-changing news, such as diagnosis of a serious illness, or making the decision to move into assisted living after years in the family home. If the role of your content is to reach users at these difficult times, understanding this state of mind is vital to helping them in the right way.

The impact of depression on cognitive function means that people are more likely to find it difficult to process complex information. In particular, a depressive state of mind can have a marked impact on our decision-making abilities, meaning that we’re more likely to struggle with deciding the best thing to do, as well as struggling to take the steps we need to follow through on a decision.

As content marketers, this has important implications for the content experience we provide to our audience. Making our content as easy to access and navigate as possible is a core tenet of a strong content strategy at any time. However, it takes on a new significance when reaching people at difficult times.

Keeping the following principles in mind will help you to shape a content approach that supports:

  • Reduce decision-making complexity by reducing the number of menus items and call to action options
  • Simplify the copy you use on your navigation and calls to action to make it as direct and human as possible, so that the next step is crystal clear
  • Assess the reading ease of your copy to make sure that it is clear and easy to understand for users of all education levels
  • Assess the reading ease of your copy to make sure that it is clear and easy to understand for users of all education levels
  • Use plentiful whitespace and large text to make large blocks of copy easier to navigate and skim-read
  • Look to The NHS and Government websites as great examples of keeping language and layout clean and clear in order to aid users at a difficult time

Learn the language

It might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes, when it comes to dealing with difficult subjects, being direct is the right approach to take. Mirroring your audience’s own language will help to build understanding and provide reassurance. One way to get this right is to speak with the people in your organisation who have direct conversations with your customers – whether that’s customer services support or service providers – to understand the way that they speak about their worries and needs.

It’s also important to consider the value of search data to better understand your audience. After all, many of us turn to Google to ask the questions we’re too embarrassed or frightened to ask anyone else. This in turn means that keyword research can reveal a wealth of longtail questions that your audience needs answered.

Where you can answer these in a considered and responsible way this is the perfect way to support people through your content experience. After all, your content could be a lifeline to someone at a difficult time.

The key to getting this right:

  • Answer questions in a clear, honest way without pushing your product or service (although if you can’t answer it fully, it’s better not to attempt to address the topic)
  • Keep language neutral – empathise but don’t amplify your audience’s worries or emotional pain
  • Work with thought leaders in your organisation such as health professionals to answer difficult questions responsibly
  • Provide links to authoritative external sources such as the NHS, Government or other resources that your audience might find useful
  • Commit to regular content reviews to make sure that your information remains up to date

Following these steps will put your content in a strong position to reach and engage the people who need your help most.

by Amy Dugmore - director of content, ClickThrough Marketing

Amy Dugmore is ClickThrough Marketing's director of content. She writes from experience in content creation for numerous sectors requiring empathy and compassion, such as funeral services, healthcare, and residential care facilities.

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Content
Content Marketing
Content Creation