Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

How to prepare your content to stop it turning into Frankenstein’s Monster

Adam Lewis, @adamlewis10, head of social and content marketing at integrated agency Bright Blue Day writes…

Eurostar’s recent collaboration with Instagram, promoting a new fleet of trains running on the London to Paris route, exemplifies the rapid advances content marketing has made. Rotating Instagram into a landscape scroll, the campaign features an illustrated narrative of images and animations.

Encouraging consumers to scroll through the content, the train operator is able to lead visitors to discover offers and competitions, stirring a strong interest in jumping on board.

Bright Blue Day will be holding an event exclusively for B2B technology marketers on the 28th April at The Hospital Club.

Sign up by clicking the link HERE.

With the average consumer attention span now standing at a mere seven seconds, brands need to learn from the likes of Eurostar and step up their content marketing strategies. A good customer experience can be the difference between a cold shoulder and lifetime loyalty from a consumer. It’s time for brands to utilise the tools at their fingertips to tap into the motivations of individual consumers and connect with them on a personal level. Of course, that’s easier said than done. So, how can brands and agencies implement a robust content strategy that truly speaks to customers and clients around the globe?

Disruptive messaging

Firstly, your strategy can be as good as it gets but unless you’re adding something new to the conversation it’s going to disappear with barely a nod of acknowledgement from the people you’re seeking to reach. Thus, you have to give something of value quickly to get something back. Ensure you are adding new and pertinent ideas to the conversation. Repetition and irrelevant content will instantly lead consumers to switch off.

Let’s look at a brand example. PUMA has lived up to its new brand positioning ‘Forever Faster’ by incorporating the very wunderkind of disruption – with some of tech’s finest start-ups. The sports brand has already worked with Seenit, an app that allows fans to view branded content in real-time created by influencers. This activation encouraged influencers to shoot content around the launch event. Throughout the night, editors tied together short videos that were then shared by the influencers to their social channels, to make the content quick, consumable and shareable.

Upcycle your content

Don’t overlook the old to get to the new. Sometimes the matured, tried and tested insights are the best ones; like ancient legends they tell a lot more about our future selves than we fully realise. For this reason ensure you harness the useful nuggets of information from marketing yore to inform new content. This is the key to staying fresh in a constantly changing environment.

It’s also important to remember that this is a branding opportunity. Companies need to create a content flow system in which all departments are aware of what is being said in the media and the brand message doesn’t get lost along the way.

Create intrigue with a mixture of on- and offline content

Today, consumers are subjected to over 5,000 ads a day. So it’s not rocket science to assume that these digitally overexposed beings can sometimes become blind to online methods. To overcome this obstacle, make sure your marketing output is thoughtful.  We recently responded to a ‘digital brief’ with an extra-large proposal that was sent in the post. The prospect loved it as it was different, creative and unmissable! Another tactic that is coming back into fashion is a mixture of on- and offline content to create a truly unique experience.

A client recently mentioned a great example that stuck in my mind. They had received a letter from a brand previously unknown to him. Inside the envelope was a hotel keycard with a personalised URL link. Feeling intrigued, he typed in the URL leading him to a virtual hotel where he was prompted to drag across a simulated keycard in order to access the content.

Stay in tune with your customers

Sometimes we need to unlearn the lessons we’ve been taught; take ourselves out of the marketing world and talk to people as human beings. Measures can be taken to help keep the customer at the forefront of all content strategies. Client feedback can be obtained from a mixture of focus groups, intimate events, roundtables and directly via a quick phone call. All of this can help you better understand what flavour of content consumers want to see.

Implement an infrastructure

Your content could be written by a modern-day Shakespeare, but if it doesn’t reach the people you’re trying to target then it’s useless. This is where you need a solid positioning framework that all of your organisation’s decision-makers buy into. Once the paving stones of positioning and messaging have been laid, content can more easily be checked against brand guidelines. This is particularly important as businesses grow and evolve so that everything client-facing can be linked directly back to core products and services. Failure to construct these foundations before setting free your body of content as a living, breathing entity can result in you letting loose Frankenstein’s monster; uncontrolled messaging unwelcomed by all of your communities.

Of course the journey doesn’t end there: tracking, monitoring and measuring your content after its distribution is also vital. Most of all, effective content marketing comes down to a well-considered combination of all the above actions and is dependent on how your audience consumes information. Whether that’s via an online interaction, competitions, user-generated content, thought leadership or an industry event, it’s up to you to plan and develop engaging content accordingly.

Bright Blue Day will be holding an event exclusively for B2B technology marketers on the 28th April at The Hospital Club.

Sign up by clicking the link HERE.