In this omni-channel world, content is king but marketers need to change their frame of reference when approaching it, and in the way they engage with consumers.
This was the key message that emerged from The MediaShop’s fourth seminar on the current media landscape in a series of five. Business unit manager, Gareth Grant, took attendees through why content is king in the marketing world, but ended with a rather controversial statement.
He said: “Media and the media buyer isn’t always to blame when an advertising campaign fails or isn’t that successful, and this is something that we as custodians of brands, absolutely have to challenge in our space, because it’s not only just media that isn’t performing…”
Grant said it had to be challenged from a content and creative perspective. “For a long time media has been bullied and we have kind of taken a back seat and accepted it, and gone back and done a whole lot of runs in the office… I don’t think we’ve actually interrogated the pieces of content that we’ve been putting out there and whether those have been effective,” he said.
An omni-channel world
As Grant pointed out, people share content “because there are really good pieces of content that they want to share … And people will find a way to consume content if they really want to”.
He re-emphasised the fact that many people have been stressing for a long time: The world is now omnichannel, and marketers need to keep this in mind when producing pieces of content. It must be able to live on traditional platforms such as television, radio and out of home, while at the same time offer the same effectiveness and easy consumer viewing experience in digital, mobile, and social media spaces.
“You need to put your content on platforms where consumers want to consume it, not take for granted that it’s just the channel you’re comfortable with or are working on,” Grant stressed.
Another interesting fact to consider was that good content cuts across markets. It doesn’t matter if a person is young or old, male or female, whichever race or religion; if content is compelling, useful, entertaining and insightful then it doesn’t matter who is consuming it, but they will be. “We need to change our point of view and frame of reference and take it from what’s actually happening, rather than what we perceive to be happening,” Grant suggested.
The watercooler effect is shifting
Whereas previously people gathered around the watercooler on a Monday morning to discuss the goings-on, nowadays that culture has shifted to social media. “As marketers and advertisers, we need to make sure that we are moving with this, and making sure that we are part of those conversations,” explained Grant.
A recent study by Facebook revealed that 71% of millennials are 1.2 times more likely to be talking about streaming shows versus any other topic. “To us this may seem a bit mindless, but this is what people are talking about, they are talking about content, and we need to make sure that we are tapping into those conversations,” he added.
At times agility trumps stability
A key point was that marketers needed to be agile and move swiftly to tap into social conversations that are happening in order for their brands to be noticed.
A case study from Volvo was shown. The Scandinavian car manufacturer hijacked other adverts that were shown during the Super Bowl. Viewers were instructed to tweet with the hashtag #volvocontest whenever a car advert was shown, meaning they were looking at and focusing on their mobiles and social media and Volvo rather than the advert on screen. This cost Volvo a lot less than simply purchasing a ridiculously expensive Super Bowl advertising slot while they dominated the conversation and kept the brand top of mind.
Bizarre content choices
Another element that has to change for marketers was their perception of the type of content that people are consuming, particularly on social media platforms.
“We need to change our frame of reference in terms of what people want to consume. It may seem silly to us, but people may be wanting to watch it. If you’re going to create a piece of content, look at what people are searching for around the world to guide you,” Grant advised.
Some brands are brave enough to put their content in their consumers’ hands, with GoPro being a prime example. This brand urged users of the product to create videos showing their experiences, which has created magical moments and a large following for the brand on social media. It was a bold move considering how consumers can derail brands with negative attention on social media.
Advances in technology have allowed anyone to be a content creator these days. Live streaming is very popular, as is vlogging, and brands need to find ways to penetrate these new content creation methods, from which viral content is emerging.
Grant’s five key takeaways
- Consumer have limited attention due to an influx of messages
- Content needs to be valuable to consumers in order to stand out
- Local content still performs exceptionally well and YouTube has become the ‘catch up’ environment for this local content
- Social media is the ‘new water cooler’
- Marketers need to ‘market in the moment’ in order to be part of social conversations
Here are some pics from the event:
Michael Bratt is a multimedia journalist at Wag the Dog, publishers of The Media Online and The Media. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelBratt8