Even in the age of virtual reality activations, social video and mobile apps, the most effective media format for branded business content remains the good, old-fashioned ‘opinion piece’.
That’s the view of Michael Feeley, Founder of Feels Like Content, who previously spent the five years working as a consultant journalist with marketing media brand The Drum, advising hundreds of marketing agency clients on their content marketing output.
Feeley says that while there he was surprised to find that, on average, it was opinion pieces, above all other content types, which generated most readers, most engagement, and most click-throughs.
He said: “My experience was that a well-written opinion piece would often outperform all other branded content types online – even video, animations or infographics – by a factor of three-to-one.”
Feeley has now launched Feels Like Content to offer a range of content coaching and development services which he believes “plug the gaps” in the traditional agency/client relationship. The first of these services, the Thought-Leadership Sprint, is a 60-minute training and content package that teaches senior executives how to recognise and develop great ideas for opinion pieces.
Feeley explained: “For opinion pieces to be truly authentic and cut-through to your target audience, they need to originate from the ideas of your senior team, and be based on their sector experience, their real-world expertise and the conversations taking place inside your organisation right now.
“The problem is that senior executives are busy people. Ask the average over-worked sales or IT director to write produce an article on the latest industry trends at short notice and their immediate response is likely to be unsuitable for publication! However, it’s a big mistake for C-suite executives to view content marketing as ‘something other people do’, so I want to help shift that mindset wherever I can.”
Feeley claims that during the 60-minute group session (and subsequent 1-2-1s with participants) he can convince senior execs to become “enthusiastic content creators” and, using a unique ‘5 magic questions’ approach, show them how to develop thought-leadership articles easily that deliver genuine ROI. Each participant then develops their first opinion piece in collaboration with a professional journalist to kick-start their journey as industry commentators.
Feeley said: “The vision is to make content marketing make less about automation and being on the latest hot social platform without really knowing why, and more about reconnecting your content with the expertise inside your organisation.”
Feels Like Content is currently trialling the Thought-Leadership Sprint with selected organisations in Scotland and will formally launch the training and content development package across the UK from June 2019.