“Offline Experiences That Lead To Digital Results”
Tony Samios, COO of Caliber
We often tend to view content as digital formats. However using digital techniques with offline activity allows us to amplify offline experience.
Consider your gold silver and bronze content.
- Bronze 70% – Landing pages, blog posts, how to articles, curated content
- Silver 20% – Content outside the box, unique handles on subjects and interests. Thought leadership
- Gold 10% – Something never attempted that will force people to sit up and notice. Microsites, experiential, celebrity involvement
Branded offline encounters now seamlessly produce highly effective social interactions, links, news coverage and much more.
- Survey: Of 1 million online conversations 90% were about an offline experience. Consumers mainly discuss the quality and experience of a product.
Based on these brand related encounters, customers become much more connected and invested. It’s a two way street – Offline should be supported by online and really, online should be supported by offline. Actually when someone now does something offline, we pay attention! And we know offline can no longer exist without online.
So do we need to get back to offline? YES!
Also – remember that customers like to see and touch your products in real life. Remember it’s the crazy stuff that gets you noticed.
10 years ago it was about handing out samples and vouchers, etc. Today it’s about getting a chance to interact with the brand.
Kelloggs opened the tweet shop
Come along and spend your social currency pop up shop
- 50k branded tweets
- 400 pieces of editorial coverage
It would cost a fortune to get this normally
As consumers we stop listening to what brands have to say about themselves. We are more interested in what others have to say or how they make us feel. The experience of an event is no longer bound to the offline event. These experiences create a tangible experience with the consumer.
Coca cola – Create experiences and let the conversations happen
In the process of experiencing your brand consumers bond emotionally with you. It also provides real time feedback.
Make sure you create a visual experience
“Throwing shit against the wall & analysing what sticks…”
Hannah Smith, Content Strategist at Distilled
Types of content
We have 4 quadrants that we classify content as; Content aimed to:
All quads are important but today is about the Entertain and Educate types of content.
You need to create content that people love so that they will share it. You need these awareness pieces to get people in the top of the sales funnel.
It’s a Brave new world
How we consume content has changed. There is an overwhelming volume so we rely on filters.
Facebook’s relevancy algo is based on what is relevant to you – If you don’t engage with the newsfeed posts they disappear from your timeline. Facebook protects us from unwanted content.
Gmail launched filters tabs. Anything with an unsubscribe link goes into the “promotions” tab. Gmail newsletter open rate has dropped by 20% since the launch of this feature.
People need to share your content otherwise the filters will get it. Therefore you need great content!
Content should be goal driven. (Entertain, Persuade, Educate and to Convert) Remember if you want sharing you need to entertain.
Problem: Content written to convert typically doesn’t get shared!
PR is a form of content marketing.
One example – Mark Zuckerberg only wears hoodies. Betabrands came out with a pin striped hoodie – something more appropriate for the boardroom, and the story was featured in Techcrunch.
Self-serving messages alienate people – They don’t love it and won’t share it.
Sometimes ideas pitched are off brand, however your brand is not what you sell, but how you sell it – your values. Don’t limit yourself.
Redbull – make soft drinks, however content is about extreme sports – no one cares about the virtues of the soft drinks. The audience loves and shares the content.
Our job is to persuade brands to think beyond their products. Some examples:
- Simplybusiness – their audience don’t care about insurance – it’s just something they need. Our content helps them in business.
- Happiness generator (bingo audience) – they don’t share bingo stories. They already share cute pictures – tap into that.
- UK festival finder (for train operator) – Audience is not excited about trains – rather about destinations.
How do we identify the type of content create?
Find people that already buy your products and ask them:
- What problems do they have?
- What do they love?
- What do they hate?
- What do they share?
- What sites do they read?
- How do they spend their time online?
- What about offline?
Study what works, but don’t spend too much on it. Find the posts that get outrageous shares. Don’t look at baseline shares.
A good read: “Made to Stick” – What makes an idea shareable?
In conclusion – It’s incredibly hard to predict what will resonate – You just have to launch (your content). If you don’t launch you won’t learn. Yes, you will fail – with gut wrenching anguish!… but failure is a necessary part of the process.
- Pick your battles – If there is not scope to entertain, then start with conversion type content first
- Recognise pitfalls – Some things will never be launched . Be prepared to start over if you need to
- Make your content go further, across all browsers and devices. Analyse the GA and pick the 95% best
- Make sure social share buttons wok on mobile devices
- Make your headline & social share copy ‘clicky’
- Place retargeting pixels on ALL content even if you don’t use it now
- Test paid promotion – paid is fine – it’s not dirty. Test it though.
- Plan to fail. BE open and manage expectations. Agree what success looks like before you launch.
Be on the same page with everyone involved – deconstruct what did and didn’t work. Don’t hide failures – discuss them and learn from them. Keep going! You need a whole catalogue. Cover all quadrants.
“Why Content Needs Strategy”
Lauren Pope, Digital Consultant at Brilliant Noise
What’s the difference?
A good book: “Content strategy for the web” defines as follows:
- “Content strategy plans for the creation, publication and governance of useful useable content.”
- “Content marketing is a technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience.”
Content strategy is about the ‘how’, the user, the big picture, the governance and the planning.
Content marketing is about the ‘what’, the business, the tactic and the individual campaigns.
At Brilliant Noise, we work according to a content strategy model
Purpose – The overarching reason why your content exists.
e.g. Nike: Purpose – to bring inspiration to every athlete in the world. If you have a body you are an athlete.
“What is content anyway?” Establishing “Purpose” gives you the answer.
Principles – The fundamental propositions that form the foundations of your content. Style guides, principles for consistency
Platforms Source, Create, Publish, Amplify Make sure you have the right platforms e.g. CMS that’s fit for purpose.
Processes – The series of actions you need to complete to create your content. Make sure you have the right people involved at the right stage of the process
People – The people involved in the content process and the way they are organised in the organisation. There are many ways/models to arrange your teams. Everyone/No one thinks they own the content!
Performance – Benchmark success and how you measure the impact of your content.
Relate back to the purpose and principles. E.g. By reducing calls to the call centre represents massive savings
- Content strategy gives you a formula for creating great content time and time again.
- Implementing content strategy is hard – take it one step at a time until you get it right. Be a realist and develop it.
“Twitter Tips from OptaJoe”
Simon Banoub, Director of Marketing at Opta
We watch sport and turn it into fancy XML which goes into big databases and becomes all sorts of stats and facts. We sell that information to everyone, including clubs themselves where it’s used for tactical analysis etc.
We are B2B, make our money from selling the data. Our marketing however is B2C.
OptaJoe on twitter – Average 10k Retweets per week.
1) Consistency is key – develop trust by being reliable in content, tone and approach. Stable. Allows for scaling and internationalisation across markets.
2) Segment your audience, segment your accounts, and tweet appropriate stuff – Relevance. Separate accounts for rugby vs football, separate for Spanish vs English. OptaJonny vs OptaJose
3) Be Human, be approachable, let staff join in conversations. Chill. When our website crashed we chatted to people, gave apology and engaged in conversation.
4) Don’t let people forget they are following you. Stranger.
5) Timing is important. Clockwork. People will set up second screen during match, get the most RT and interaction. People want to see how players are getting on at the time.
6) There are people who can and will happily amplify your message if targeted correctly. Loud. People like being told they are good at things. Address them directly and they RT
7) Don’t platform hop. If a corporate snapchat account doesn’t suit you or your brand, ignore it. Fad.
8) Monitor what works, what you are doing and test different approaches over time. Evolve.
e.g. a quiz that works well – answering questions give great responses
9) Play the long game. Don’t start getting twitchy when you have 8 followers after 2 weeks. Patience.
10) You are on peoples timelines for a reason. Be Interesting. Or helpful. Or offer an insiders perspective. Filter. You have access to stuff they don’t have.
Things that didn’t make the list:
– Only RT appropriate stuff from appropriate people – Value your audiences timeline and don’t pollute it
– Don’t use loads of #hashtags for no real reason.
– No-one cares if you’re nearly at 5/10/100k followers (especially those who are already following you)
– Accept that not everyone will be a fan. Take criticism well. Learn to ignore the ridiculous stuff.
“The GOV.UK Approach to Content”
Our aim from the beginning was to bring simpler, faster content.
Started with the design principles.
We started with the user needs, rather than what government think people need to know.
We read all pages and asked “What’s the point of this page/content” Asked four questions of each page:
- What’s the point of the content?
- Do people want it?
- Do people expect government to meet this need?
- Can only government meet this need?
Gov. should only do what Gov. can do! e.g. Keeping bees – Other websites can do this better.
Do the hard work to make it simple – Make it look simple & easy. We set up a system to score each page and this gave us the info to cull the volume of our content.
We also simplified the layout of content using 80-20 rule. Service the 80% of what people need to know first (up there, up front). We cut down from 75,000 pages to 3,000.
Response – we have fewer pages but our users are more engaged. Longer time on site, more pages per visit
For example – if you Googled “what is the government’s policy on Afghanistan” you were presented with several departmental websites all with several different pages of content full of jargon, different messages and styles, etc.
Now there is a single page 3 tabs one voice 1 place.
We developed our style guide and made it publically available (shows our approach to content on the website).
For example. Plain English is mandatory. Avoid metaphors & have a banned word list (policy people love them!) Our info has to be understood by everyone – So accessible to all. There is no space for waffle on Gov.uk
People scan web pages. In and out. It’s not about a fun browsing experience. We have even used rich text mark-up to push info to Google so visitors don’t even need to click through to our site.
Our reason for good a content strategy?
To generate savings. We have saved £542Mil. We also help people complete tax returns & keep people out of trouble all contributing.
Our content strategy hits EVERYTHING. It’s a way of working. It’s our Culture. Gov.uk
“Content Marketing Trend Watch: 2014 and Beyond”
Fergus Parker, CEO of Axonn Media
In a recent paper by a paper by Axonn Research (Content Marketing trends in 2013) we found:
– When asked “Where are marketers spending their online budgets?” -More than one third on content marketing. 58% of those surveyed will be spending more next year.
– Found a wide scale lack of awareness
– Lack of strategy
What are the most important parts of successful content marketing?
– 90% of the world’s info has been created in the last 2 years (source: IBM)
So the biggest challenge is to do content marketing right.
To what degree will content marketing change over the next 18 months?
Axonn’s view – we have a content marketing “Royalty” theme.
3 fundamentals and the combination of these 3 working together:
1) Connection. Much has been said that content is King (Bill Gates 1996) NO! We believe that content is NOT King. It’s the Kingdom in which we are living. There is an insane amount being produced every day (over 50 billion devices connected by 2020 (Cisco) in a world of 7 billion people). Everyone creates, consumes and interacts.
For us “Connection” is the new King. Without connection you cannot have successful content marketing.
2) Context is Queen. It enables Connection with content:
- Audience context (where when, environment)
- Content context (Production, promotion & positioning of your content). Essential that you have a consistent set of media & narratives across all platforms.
Customer content journey: Interest, research – See picture on main camera
Visual! 65% of the population are visual learners. Needs to be a big part of your content.
3) Technology. This powers the Content Marketing efforts. Without it you can’t get Connection.
Big Data! But – it’s only going to get bigger. High volume, high velocity, high variety data that needs innovative methods/technology to process and analyse. We can now do much more with this info.
User Experience: You will need someone who can make this data meaningful. The key is in how you do the analysis and “Make that data small again”. Looking for meaning in all this data.
Mobile: 1.08bn of 4bn of the world’s phones are smart phones. This year phones will exceed desktop internet access – Get on-board!
It’s changing rapidly, but regardless of what’s out there – Connection, Context and Technology will be driving it
“Inbound Marketing – The Art of Not Sucking”
Kieran Flanagan, Marketing Director EMEA at HubSpot
Start by understanding your audience. Create primary persona. Why is this person the right fit? Create secondary personas who may have different goals, challenges and reasons for purchasing. Hence we need different content for all these personas.
23% of European marketers are focussed on reaching the right personas that will buy the product.
A successful Inbound Marketing strategy is anchored around understanding your buyer personas.
Create content that ads value.
What would my audience pay for? What pain points would they pay money to solve?Can I create things of equal or greater value that I can give away for audience acquisition? Over deliver on value to gain audience
– Not everything is solvable by text. For example – we created 50 Customisable calls to action and give them away.
– Persona “Mary” needs stock photography – So we gave away 250 Holliday stock photos.
– We noticed a segment that became less and less engaged –So we asked them why and they said they could not keep up with all the content. So we created the “Coffee tips” series – short emails with an actionable tip that was easy to implement.
All the above delivered great engagement with our sign up page
How do we distribute this great content to the right people”?
Map all channels and put numbers on them. Ask “How do I increase the number on all these channels?”
– Hire for content distribution
– Leverage audience – Ask your audience to share a “Lazy tweet”
– Personalise you offers page
– Paid content discovery is going to be big. Outbrain.com, http://www.taboola.com
– Aim to be remarkable
– Promote the value you create
“The ZMOT is going to get you. Hide or use content marketing to face-down your demons and fight?”
Matt Roberts, VP of Product/Marketing at Linkdex
Consumers are complicated. They have multiple devices.
ZMOT Google talks about it.
– Zero Moment of truth,
– First moment of truth
Google ecosystem matters!
Last click keyword attribution is not always true – Sometimes we hear of a brand, then go research more into generic keywords.
How do we influence the ZMOT?
– Visible –content needs to be social
Its complex, but Complex is ok. You can’t manage every part of the process, but you can define processes to audit it.
Procedures, Process and Framework
– ZMOT is awareness
– Content is key
– It’s a team game
– It needs ownership
Everyone should be aware of the ZMOT. Download the eBook and the handbook!
“Don’t forget about long-form content”
Sarah Howard, Head of Content at Red Rocket Media
We want no-effort content, right? Say it quick and say it right? Social Media, Videos, Infographics, news, however now is the time to attract with short form and keep them on site with long-form content.
Why Long Form Content?
– Mobile tech = means more time for content
– Reflects expertise
– Creates a bond
– Sales Funnel support
– Its shareable
– Search friendly
It’s worth the resource – It will cost money
Top Tips for Long form content
– Write because you have something to say! (Have enough research and time – don’t just cobble something together)
– Design a great content experience (if it’s thousands of words long it doesn’t engender a great reading experience. Include pics and fonts) Make it beautiful and make it look like a magazine to get people to read from top to bottom
– Use data to tailor your strategy (Use Google trends, Query data in GA, shares, comments, bounce rate, conversions, top landing pages)
– Let your long-form feed your short-form (get the most out of it, create satellite pieces around it. Produce webinar, slides on Slideshare, blog pieces around sub headings, infographics). Maximise the content efforts.
– Tap into expertise. You might not use the right terminology & jargon and can be spotted from a mile away. Put a brief together. May need to be proofed before publishing
– Long- form is your friend but so is short form
– Long form works as part of a wider strategy
– Don’t make it a burden
– Invest in it or don’t do it at all
“The Dos & Don’t’s Of Hiring a Freelancer”
Jo Petty, Freelance Copywriter
Do shop around
– Find the right fit (like finding a pair of jeans)
– The person with the highest rate is probably the best
– Ways to find freelancers (recruiters, google, networking )
Do you know what you want?
– Write it down (do industry research )
– What type of person do you want?
Do give precise briefs
– Dealing with picky clients? Give as much detail as possible
– Send as much detail as possible
– Decent freelancers will interpret the brief
– Whatever you decide –write it down (in case they go off brief)
Do get a contract in place
– Doesn’t have to be long winded
– It’s for the benefit of both parties
Do give good feedback
– Give constructive and useful advice
– It will strengthen the relationship 9They will get to know what you like)
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
– It ultimately speeds things up
– They’re experts in their field
Do be a good contact
– Be responsive
– Get someone else to do it if you are too busy
Don’t forget to pay the freelancer!
– It can make the relationship go wrong
– Know who processes payments
– Don’t leave it to the last minute
– It keeps everyone sweet