Content. Once a catchphrase and digital marketing tactic, is now a key part of most brand’s marketing strategies, with 96% of marketing decision makers in the UK saying it’s effective for their brand. It’s a great way to engage your audience and drive brand awareness.
Especially since the buying process has changed. The internet now enables us to find the information we need to make buying decisions. Customers can go online to do research rather than having to visit a physical store. So, if you don’t have great content, you’re losing sales.
But, how do you know you’re doing content ‘right’?
We went to the recent Marketing Association Brainy Breakfast to find out.
Embrace User Generated Content
User Generated Content (UGC) is a powerful, organic way that relevant and useful content can be created for your brand. It’s also more trusted than brand content.
Why? Because it’s authentic. It’s created by unpaid contributors, fans or customers. It shows the product being used by real people. And this is something your customers can relate to.
UGC, alongside Influencer Marketing, has become an important part of Jucy’s marketing strategy. Alisha Palin, Jucy’s Group Marketing Manager, shared the key ways to get it right.
Have a clear brand voice. Make sure that each piece of content represents this in some way. The clearer your brand voice and look, the easier it is for your audience to replicate it and make something useful for your brand.
Engage with people creating your UGC. Share it on your own channels, ask and answer questions, and engage with other communities using hashtags. You can even create your own hashtag to encourage community engagement.
Stay authentic to your brand. This is especially important when collaborating with influencers. Their fit to your brand voice is crucial for transparency and authenticity, ensuring engagement with the content.
Long live Influencer Marketing
Like Alisha, Brooke Howard-Smith, CEO of WeAreTENZING thinks Influencer Marketing and UGC is the way forward. And while he may rail against the term, he made it clear that you ignore it at your own peril.
While some may think influencer marketing is a fad, he sees it as a poorly named, but powerful tool for New Zealand marketers, if the right balance is struck between influence and relevance.
But, it’s not about glossy Kardashian-style sponsored posts, he argued, but timely, frequent and authentic content. Look to work with influencers whose followers align with your target audience. And, collaborate with them to ensure their posts reflect your brand authentically, and are recognisable and relatable to their followers.
Storytelling in Video
Video continues to reign as the most popular content medium. With more screens than ever, we have a captive audience, but only if we have captivating content.
Police recruitment videos aren’t likely to be on the top of anyone’s list for compelling viewing. Nevertheless, Lisa and Jonathon – both Executive Creative Directors at Ogilvy – managed to make the two most recent police recruitment videos go viral, increase recruitment numbers, and generate more diversity amongst those signing up to join the force.
How? They turned to the recruits. A common theme was that there were lot of unanswered questions, especially from minority groups. To ensure the second video was as popular and effective as the first, they took those real questions and answered them in the video.
Then, they used real cops, journalists, comedians and other well know public personalities rather than actors, and ensured they reflected the diversity of the police force they wanted to create.
So, what was their magic mix for making these videos a success?
Audience is number one - find out what they want to see or learn about and use this to influence the content
Be entertaining and relevant, and;
Have an idea your audience wants to share
The key is Authenticity
As most of the speakers focused on B2C content, we wanted to find out which content would be most effective for B2B. So, for our poll we asked the audience of marketers how they preferred to consume content related to their job or industry.
Here are the results:
Unsurprisingly, video led the field. Followed by a quarter who preferred blogs, and a quarter which was a mix between podcasts, eBooks and Whitepapers and something else.
We also asked which New Zealand brand they thought was doing great content. No surprise that this was Air New Zealand, with Whittaker’s and Spark also getting multiple mentions.
The reason? Besides Air New Zealand’s highly entertaining safety videos and personalised travel information, it was the authenticity and relatability of the content that made people like it. The audience could see themselves in the characters or the story, making it more engaging and interesting.
The types of content created and way that its consumed will continue to evolve. Brands will need to embrace these new forms while staying true to their brand and purpose, to continue to engage their audience.