Taryn Williams is the CEO and founder, WINK Models and theright.fit. In this piece, she looks at how content creation can be added to a marketing strategy in a savvy way…
It’s such an exciting time to be involved in content creation at the moment, because the opportunities to be creative and truly innovative are almost limitless.
Brands that have a strong handle on some key existential questions (Why do we do what we do? What’s our USP? What do we want to be known for? Why should customers care about us?) have almost everything they need to set clear messaging for content campaigns that can reach directly into the pockets of their target customer.
I work directly with models, influencers and a wide array of creatives via the talent marketplace I established in 2016, theright.fit, and I can tell you that there’s some outstanding examples in the works of multimedia storytelling, influencer-led social activity and some really imaginative thinking around how to make the audience care, to make them feel something.
Everyone wants to get on board with quality content but unless you’re a multinational brand with a seven-figure marketing budget, you could be tempted to take the one-size-fits-all approach. That’s where you blow your budget on one hero piece of content or key message, then slice and dice it across every media stream you can think of. Bang for buck, am I right?
Well, yes and no. That will get you seen in a lot of different places, but pay close attention to engagement metrics and follow those tracking links you place on each platform to find out if you’re actually converting that eyeball count to sales. If YouTube is killing it but Facebook’s stalled, it could be that you’re trying to cover too many bases with the same assets and need a diversified approach.
Twenty years ago, you had TV, radio, magazines, newspapers and billboards. That was pretty much it, in terms of content choices and allocating spend. Ten years ago, Facebook and Twitter were taking off and every brand was building a killer website. Since then … boom. Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, SnapChat, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Pinterest, and the list goes on.
Each platform has a different audience and unique delivery method, which means there has never been a more targeted way to find your people and use bespoke content to speak to them on their own terms.
It’s not rocket science to suggest that what cuts through on TikTok isn’t going to play well on LinkedIn. We see a lot of brands shooting super-high-quality stills for an ad campaign or billboards, and then reposting those same images on Instagram because it’s the photo app, right? Yes, but it’s very much about user-generated content and is usually a little bit more low-fi. Consumers don’t connect to it, because it feels jarring and looks like what it is – an ad. They’re like: “I didn’t come to Instagram to look at ads. I came to look at engaging content that feels right for the platform.”
So why do so many brands still insist on using the ‘spray and pray’ play, taking the same content conceived for one platform and spinning it out to every corner of the ‘net? It’s usually a cost-based decision that looks good on the company balance sheet but I believe it defeats the very reason the content was created in the first place – to create meaningful engagement and ultimately, a purchasing decision.
Some of the brands I’ve noticed who are producing smart, authentic content across an array of platforms are Koala, the mattress and homewares company, Kraken Rum and Qantas. Some content they create themselves, but they also mix in some user-generated content that adds extra relatability.
The best exponents of this craft – either big or small – use savvy marketing strategists who understand the fragmentation of audiences and can advise their brand what style of content or event is going to get the best traction on any given platform.
So think not just about your brand and its key messages, but also about your customers. What platforms do they consume content on, and how? Do they want to be entertained, informed or challenged? What is their attention span? Put yourself in their shoes and spend some time on their key platforms to see what flies and what falls flat.
Now think about what prompts them into action, into making a purchasing decision. Start from there and work backwards for each platform to arrive at a content strategy to implement.
Don’t forget that content doesn’t have to be a one-way street, or conform strictly to the old advertising model, ie. you talk and they listen. Content can also be a conversation, where you host a live event, either in-person or virtual, with real-time interactions. You might have a great ambassador or influencer who can host a YouTube livestream or Facebook Q&A, and that would obviously be different to the cool and interesting vignettes you might have that same person create for your Instagram reel.
At the end of the day, as a brand you need to not only understand your own key messaging and tone of voice, but you also need to identify who your customers are, where they like to consume content, and what they connect with. Only then can you proceed with certainty towards building a content strategy that’ll generate the feels that ultimately wins their trust and their spend.
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