I think most brands, when they started in social and digital media didn’t realize the commitment they were heading into to be content creators or essentially publishers. But what the recent past has shown is that engaging customers in digital and social is that great content is key – for engagement, interaction, thought leadership, social selling and being on customer’s radar as relevant and authentically genuine in this new digital era. And this interesting chart by SmartInsights, shows what happens every 60 seconds:
Potential and current customers use social and digital media to research and compare products and services. The chart shows that from 2013 to 2016 the amount of content created and posted is growing nearly exponentially. The difficulty for brands is that there’s some much content out there, that it can be difficult to ensure that the content they are creating is cutting through all the noise and is not only noticed but taken seriously. It’s a whole lot of creative going to waste otherwise. And that’s one of the reasons it is so important for brands to really understand storytelling and the mix of content they are using — it can’t be all “buy our stuff.” It has to be a combination of inspiration, motivational, information, humor as well as fun.
Part of the reason that the type of content brand’s publish is so important is that studies show that people have limited attention spans and time to pay attention to all the content that is posted. It’s not possible for humans to cognate all the digital and social content being posted. And research by Moz and Buzzsumo shows that the majority of content marketing has limited impact with 75% of blog posts they analysed getting fewer than 10 social shares and zero links from other domains. It also presents an issue for marketers who are researching best practice in different areas, as often there are so many different messages it is hard to know where to begin. And that’s where storytelling, branding and brand personas come into play. That’s part of what I teach in my UCLA course in digital media. And it’s not just important to marketing, customer service and sales and other departments need to be paying attention to this content conversation. If your brand was a person, what would its voice be like? Snarky? Smart, Goofy? Funny? Brainiac, Sweet, Kind…. Those are only the beginnings of what storytelling and brand personas need to be considering….
If you are a brand, it’s time you looked at your content, and your content and digital engagement strategies (marketing, sales and service) and make sure you are providing what customers need and want to stand out in a very crowded space.