A useless Did You Know fact

I cringe whenever a newsletter makes sense for a brand’s overall communication strategy. Not because I dislike newsletters – they have their place, both online and offline – but because in the ensuing conversation someone always offers the line, “we could have a ‘Did You Know’ section”!
A few observations on this:

  • It is best practice to always avoid asking yes/no questions. This one begs a “No, nor do I wish to know” response.
  • Just because you think tidbits about your brand, your industry, and your brand and industry’s history are fascinating does not mean that real people (non-marketers) feel the same way. In fact, you can bet on the reverse.
  • Content marketing does not mean that you should insert inane banalities into your communications. While we all need more content, we need it to be good content. Of interest to our customers and clients.
  • In measurable media, the “Did You Know” section tends to underperform any other section. In other words, it measurably has the least bit of interest from any audience, across any industry.

Creating good content for marketing purposes is hard. Crutches like “Did You Know” are too easy to rely on when the alternative may very well be nothing at all. If you don’t have enough content, a newsletter may not be a good fit for your brand communication strategy, no matter how good an idea it is otherwise.

Instead of including a “Did You Know” section in your marketing communications, consider looking for user-generated content or third party content instead. It’s likely to be more interesting than anything your customers may or may not have known.