Defining True Magnetic Content: A Five-Factor Framework

eMarketer co-founder and CEO Geoff Ramsey and McCann Worldgroup EVP Vipin Mayar have released a new book for digital marketers and advertisers, Digital Impact: The Two Secrets to Online Marketing Success and frankly it is the best book on digital marketing.  Take all the other books written by social media experts and throw them away because this one is a keeper.  Here are the authors take on Magnetic Content. To consistently create and deliver Magnetic Content that captures consumers’ attention and engagement, you need a framework, or a set of criteria, to direct your efforts. In your initial steps toward developing the framework, look at other content and subjectively classified them into five broad rankings: Breakthrough, Excellent, Good job, Me too, and Failure.


As posted earlier magnetic content attracts your target audience and has the effect of attracting consumers toward your brand and leads to increasingly higher levels of brand engagement. To determine if your content is “magnetic” ask these five questions:

(1) Is your content unique ?

Magnetic Content should offer something unique to consumers. Differentiation and being new or first is an important goal toward creating successful Magnetic Content. Now also keep in mind that your content not only has to be unique but it also has to bring people into your brand.  For example, if you are marketing lawn seed you wouldn’t want to have content about about the different types of grass but you may want to list the best grass for each geographical area along with recommendations on the best seed for the visitors type of use (i.e. high use lawn, etc).

(2) Is the content useful ?

Utility rules. Even a simple advertisement that single-mindedly focuses on a product’s core benefit can be useful to consumers—if it is relevant, clearly identifies an unmet need, and provides a clear solution. Magnetic Content, when it’s useful, transcends or complements the product you are selling, often in surprising and delightful ways. Besides your product, what can you do for me?

(3). Is the Content Well Executed?

You can have the best idea in the world for Magnetic Content, but if it’s executed poorly, it won’t make a difference. This is where, in my opinion, a lot of marketers fall down.  They don’t use professional writers to write content for the Web and reuse sales brochure content which instantly turns off users.  To many also use too much content and don’t realize that the longer the content the less chance that a user is going to read it all. Remember that people tend to read web pages in the F style with better retention for content on the top and left.  Use callouts to reinforce your key points.

(4) Is the content fun to read and ask the user to say “I want to read more”?

Magnetic Content doesn’t have to solve the world’s problems. It can simply offer a lighthearted diversion. Brands take themselves way too seriously sometimes.  Do you really think that consumers care where you get your cocoa to make the chocolate in your cookie ?  But turn it around and say that the chocolate in your cookie is as rich as golden Rolls Royce and maybe you will get more retention.

5. Does the Content Make Good Use of the Channel in Which It Appears?

The key is to design your Magnetic Content so as to take best advantage of the channel in which it is appearing.  You probably should not, for example, use the same content on your website that you use on your Facebook page as it maybe a different audience.

Now pessimists are going to look at this and say “wow, this is way too much work for what we want to do” but that is the whole point.  Digital marketing is NOT cheap and way too many brands and marketers skip important steps in the process to develop a great online brand experience.



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