What’s Compelling Content?

We throw around the phrase “compelling content” when we talk about what we post at our websites.

It’s a good thing for us to get a vision of our websites as a destination for our fans.  We don’t want to just post content to show that we posted it; we want it to have some impact on our listeners or viewers.  However, when you read between the lines, “compelling content” is so often used to mean any type of content at all that makes people say “WOW.”  It seems to mean the stakes are higher than they are on the good ol’ broadcast.  You know … our perception that the online world is so much cooler and more mysterious than the stuff we send out through our transmitters.

So often, we throw that phrase around as if people go online to websites, and choose where they go based purely on the compelling-ness of the content … regardless of anything else.  “Well, I like WebMD better than AllRecipes ’cause I find the content to be more compelling.”

When I Googled the definition of compelling, I got:

1.  Evoking interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully irresistible way

– his eyes were strangely compelling
– a compelling film

2.  Not able to be refuted; inspiring conviction

– compelling evidence
– a compelling argument

3.  Not able to be resisted; overwhelming

– the temptation to give up was compelling 

If compelling means to be powerfully irresistible, our best broadcast brands are doing that, right?  I mean, if you run a radio station or a TV station and people find themselves remembering to repeatedly come back to experience your brand … well, I would say that you are pretty damned compelling.

We have to be compelling in a brand-limited way, however, and that’s where broadcasters need to get realistic about being compelling.  People don’t come to our website and judge us against other websites.  They unconsciously judge us against their existing expectations of our brand.

Your TV late newscast might bring people back night after night after night.  However, you have to do a new one each night.   You can’t just do a thoroughly awesome one and then call it quits.

Your hot Country morning show can’t do a hysterical bit at 8:15 and then do it again at 8:30.  We have to feed the open maw of expectations every time someone tunes in.

Really, what we’re talking about when it comes to compelling website content, is:

  • Content that totally fits with our brand
  • Content that satisfies both listener expectations and listener desires
  • Content of a sort we can repeatedly regenerate

Listeners, when they go to our websites, usually have something in mind they’re looking for.  They’re not looking for the 21st century equivalent of the Sistine Chapel from us.  They’re looking for an easy-to-navigate site with deep, focused information or entertainment that expands on what they heard on our radio stations.  They want that satisfaction every time they engage with us.  If they learn they can easily find something new that’s fun or interesting that fits with the narrow description of your brand … every time they log on … that’s pretty compelling.

(Thanks to Ryan Wrecker of  104.9 The Eagle (part of the Maverick Media cluster in Lima, Ohio) for the inspiration for today’s blog post!)

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