According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, there are a number of elements that successful CSI initiatives have in common. These include a clear theory of change, quality and depth of information, concentrated effort and expert partnerships.
How to create content that connects
By Desiree Gullan, Executive Creative Director of G&G Digital
This is the golden age of content marketing and nowhere is this more evident than in digital. Content marketing allows brands to go beyond the product push to entertain, enlighten and seduce audiences with useful information aligned with the brands strategy and target market. But chances are if everyone in the room is singing, a large number will be off-key. So here are some important points to ensure your content marketing is on-point.
Understand your audience, beyond demographics. Know their likes and dislikes, their old habits and new favourites. If you dont have the data, do an audit of the community, with specific focus on pages they follow, who they interact with and how. Then tailor your content to these interests. Content should be informed by the community, not the other way round.
Once youve established who your audience is, speak to them like a human being, not a robot. People respond well to conversation, not instruction. Be friendly, authentic and honest. Converse as if youre having a one-on-one interaction not as if youre a brand speaking down to your audience.
Forget about shares
Never create content with the main objective of getting organic reach via shares it will come across as disingenuous and your audience will ultimately see through it. Users are the gatekeepers of their own social feed and you cant fool them into sharing content theyre too concerned about their online reputation (most sensible people are). Instead, craft content that resonates with your target audience and if they can relate, theyll share it.
The success of content marketing has lead to the proliferation of content marketing. Everyone wants a piece of the action and wants to be the loudest voice in the crowd. The only way to differentiate is to create content thats completely unique and the only way to do that is by taking risks. Dont play it safe, or youll just be creating more noise littering the internet.
Identify the spaces where your brand should participate, and get involved. Determine the value your brand can add for that moment.
If youre looking for third-party endorsements for your brand, identify key influencers but be discerning in your choices. Only team up with influencers who are already natural advocates of your brand, so the partnership is authentic and makes sense. Never work with influencers you have to actively persuade to come on board they should want to work with your brand, too.
Experimentation means sometimes getting it right and sometimes getting it wrong. Dont be afraid to admit you dont know something rather adapt and be agile. If something isnt working, change it up. If it is working, create more content along those lines. Its essential to be flexible bend, rather than break. Take your brand out of its glass case. Understand that brands belong to consumers now, not their brand teams.
Agencies and brands can expect big changes in content marketing in the years to come both in form and function and thats what makes it such a thrilling space to navigate. By harnessing the power of content in all its forms, brands can dominate the online and social space.
About Desiree Gullan
Having worked at the 'Big Three' advertising agencies in SA and proving her creative mettle abroad, Desirée has won multiple local and international awards for her work including Cannes Lions and Clios. She believes in the importance of craftsmanship that it's not in the designing, but in the redesigning. Not in the writing, but in the rewriting.
She's at home in the break-neck creative environment of digital marketing and steers her team to craft breakthrough creative across all mediums. In 2006, she co-founded what is now G&G Digital the fastest growing digital agency in SA.
For more information about G&G Digital, visit www.gullanandgullan.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issued by G&G Digital. For more Information contact Anele Cebekhulu on anele@gullanandgullan or 011 887 6591.
As a strategist and ballroom dancer, I have had the unique and fortunate experience of living a life that (quite literally) straddles two worlds. Two ostensibly different worlds. Yet two worlds that, surprisingly, share a great deal in common with each other.
Technology and the ability to share information has democratised the perception of brands. Customer opinion is more influential than ever in determining brand perception.
At some point everyone can admit to thinking “I can do that”, especially when looking at a craft project, piece of furniture, cake recipe or photograph. Yes, you probably can, but what will the end result be?
Maintaining your competitive edge in today’s fast-paced, constantly evolving business environment is key for success – especially when it comes to branding your business and how you are communicating your services and products to the outside world.