Back in the good old days of BC (Before Computer) it used to be so simple...
You had your brand, you paid for advertising or made physical collaterals, cozied up to friendly journalists or went to trade fairs and met real people. It worked, but was kind of one-sided.
Today, customers’ relationships with brands have evolved. This isn’t about companies talking at them - it’s a dialogue between buyer and seller. The conversation is taking place online, be it on websites or social media platforms, and is taking place in real time, with customers all over the world.
And every brand now has as it’s pet, the content monster.
The content monster is a hungry beast that demands to be fed. From a morsel of information in a tweet, to a feast of a 50-page whitepaper. From brunching with blogposts to snacking on social media memes, chances are in 2016 your brand makes more content than you did in 2015, and you’ll make even more in 2017.
But are you feeding the monster the right diet?
Here’s a real-life example:
As a person who works in Shanghai, I follow dozens of WeChat accounts, for everything from bars, restaurants, sports clubs, clothes shops, schools, other marketing agencies, big business, small business, media organizations – you get the idea!
They all push out content – sometimes every day, others every week, and most of it, I don’t read. I don’t have time, but also, a lot of the content simply has no value to me. It just screams “BUY OUR STUFF!!”
What I do read, and I’m averaging around 5-6 articles per day*, is content that offers to solve a problem in my life. It doesn’t always deliver, but that’s another story. I have an itch and the content scratches it.
Feed your content monster the right diet, and you tame him.
To do this, tell your brand’s story in a way that engages and excites your target audience. Offer your brand as the solution to the problem they have in their life.
This is the new normal for Millennials and Generation Zers. They follow brands on social media, share and comment on what brands are doing.
And they consume a lot of content, spending on average 1.72 hours on social media each day. But they are in a position to choose what they consume. If they don’t like it, they’ll just scroll right on by, and that video or article or gif that took you hours to make, passes unnoticed.They are also very aware of their online reputation, and understand their online lives are nigh on impossible to erase. This group will only share if it enhances their status among their peers, and reflects positively on them.
In doing this, they’re actually doing the job of the marketing team for them. It’s a softer message, and on social media, where people spend hours of their day, is a familiar and reassuring presence.
This builds a relationship with the target audience, and keeps your brand top of mind. The brand becomes part of the fabric of life, because they offer something interesting.
It might be a supermarket, publishing how-to recipe videos on Facebook, with a discreet CTA button to buy ingredients. Maybe it’s a bank, offering free use of a spending calculator so you can keep track of ingoings and outgoings during the holiday season.
Next time you start cooking-up your content monster’s next meal, think how nourishing it’s going to be for your brand as a whole. What problem does it solve for your target customer? Is it something they’ll want to share with their friends?
Are you helping them? If the answer is yes, you’re already winning.
*Sources: Brandwatch, Zephoria, Gizmodo, ER and World Factbook