Aprio’s response to COVID-19
As a strategic communications firm we are deeply committed to supporting Government’s directives around COVID-19 and encourage all our clients to support the Solidarity Fund – www.solidarity.co.za.
We have developed a COVID-19 communications response toolkit to assist businesses with stakeholder communication imperatives. Please talk to us at – julian@aprio.co.za; alan@aprio.co.za and esme@aprio.co.za

The power of blogs

Blogs can become a powerful tool in your content marketing strategy. But before we discuss how, let’s clarify a possible area of confusion around the differences between a blog and a newsletter. There are common overlaps between the two, but basically it comes down to audience strategy and platforms:

•      A newsletter is distributed to an email database with news or content of interest, special offers and company news; and

•      A blog includes strategic web content with the potential to drive traffic to a website. 

Thought-leadership styled content sent to a database, also hosted on a website, has both newsletter and blog elements. Its reach and ROI are heightened by using both. 

Similarly, this article could also be classified as a blog/newsletter piece as you received it in a newsletter, but the purpose of this content isn’t news. It’s to educate and inspire. The content will also reside on Aprio’s website. 

Regarding presentation and style, image rich imagery or video, supported by strong headline and concise content, works better than verbose or lengthy content – even if it’s well written. The mere sight of a lengthy piece can dissuade many readers from engaging with the content. 

In a digital world, it is imperative to deliver clear messages, promptly, or at least early on in the content. Due to the volume of information available; prompt resolution of a problem or gratification of a need is expected, readers will move on. 

Given that digital content opens up many contact points and opportunities to exploit good content, the more we repurpose blogs on different platforms, the better the ROI and potential for the content to make impact and serve a strategy. 

Hence when assessing blog strategy and material, it’s important to consider the audience types including their frame of mind and roll-on platforms such as how the blog should be repurposed and presented depending on where it’s going to be read. 

For example, the same blog published on a website, if it can be adapted to incorporate your style and presentation for inclusion in a newsletter. The content can also be repurposed on social media platforms. On Facebook the content needs to be ‘casual’, friendly, light, chatty, entertaining and brief; on LinkedIn it is ‘smart-casual’, informative, news-focused, stand-alone imagery will work on Instagram. 

Each platform should be used in context. Never use the same content duplicated across platforms. 

Aprio has seen significantly higher reader engagement in blog content above industry norms. Contact Mark Leighton: 083 252 8383 or email mark@aprio.co.za for guidance on impactful blogs that will drive your content marketing strategy.

Advantages of podcasts      

Why have podcasts become such a phenomenon? And why are they increasingly being embraced by businesses and business leaders? The answer is focused audiences, and focused attention. 

Podcast audiences are self-selecting. Repeat listeners have decided that your content is valuable to them. They’ve chosen to download or stream it, and they’ve chosen to listen to it based on their interests and the perceived quality of the communication. 

Once they are listening to your podcast, you’re also forming a more intimate connection than most media allow. If they’re listening on speakers, they’re usually alone, and if they’re listening around others, they’re usually wearing headphones. Either way, it’s a personal, individual experience and that intimacy can create powerful connections. 

We are emotionally primed to respond to the human voice. Complex speech is unique to humans, and we are uniquely sensitive to its complexities. Language and speech enable our cognitive prowess and our existence as social, thinking animals. Neuroscientists have identified “temporal voice areas” in our auditory cortexes – dedicated voice-processing areas of our brains. We’re hard coded to be sensitive to speech and its nuances. 

And speech is exceptionally nuanced, in a way that goes beyond its content. Recent results of a statistical analysis of listener responses to thousands of nonverbal exclamations show that these snippets are able to convey at least 24 separate emotional states. 

Simply put, an audience that has chosen to source and listen to your podcast, in a personal setting, is emotionally and cognitively primed to be receptive to your message. And that’s immensely valuable if you have a message that you want to take hold. 

The flip side of the podcast equation is that, more than almost any other medium, you have to earn your audience. Podcasts are 100% content-driven, and direct marketing will fail every time. But if you’ve got a message that’s of interest, and you manage to deliver quality, regularity and relevance, then you have the potential to build a uniquely high-value network.