‘Tickle’ Content: No Feathers Needed

Marketers understand triggers, no problem. But what about tickles? Let me show you a photo of one of my homemade cupcakes. Are you hungry now? Craving something sweet?

Cupcakes by Melissa
Mocha cupcakes dipped in chocolate ganache, topped with vanilla bean buttercream and finished with a salted caramel drizzle … drooooooooool.

Hungry now? Craving something sweet?

Or maybe cute animals are more your thing …

Apollo the CatI want a kitty!

Apollo the CatI WANT A KITTY!


So, what was all of that, aside from cupcake and cat photos? (Both of which are mine, no stock photos here … meet my hobby and my furball sidekick, Apollo.)

Those were “tickles.”

As Grant Simmons explained during his C3 session, “It Ain’t Over Till the Cat Lady Sings: Content Beyond Kittens & Other Search Strategies,” marketers understand triggers: Trigger content answers questions, and connects with existing searches.

Your car broke down? You need to find a mechanic to fix it. Pretty simple. Triggers happen without the marketer doing anything. Instead, the marketer is on the other end of the search, providing the solution to a consumer who has been forced into a “need” mindset by the issue/trigger.

Tickles are a different story. Grant explains:

“Tickles are the stimuli of needs and desires. Marketers can ‘tickle’ a consumer into wanting or needing.”

At the beginning of this post, I showed you a photo of a delicious cupcake. And because I showed it to you, I tickled the idea into your head that you wanted one.

Where's my cupcake?It’s crucial for marketers to understand the stimuli that will influence and inspire users into buying desire. To craft tickles, a marketer needs to be prepared to be visible, gain consumer awareness and essentially inspire a search.

Yes, that’s right … you need to think about what your customer needs and optimize your content for that, not what is going to get you a higher ranking on a search engine results page. Upsetting, I’m sure.

I highly recommend checking out the short post Grant wrote for the Conductor blog in the lead up to C3 about triggers and tickles, and I’ll leave you with what Grant called a “Grantism”:

“Good content connects with behavior, great content inspires behavior.”