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Content:The jam in your transactional sandwich Josa Young
One I made earlier (1996)Searchablecontent UGC E-commerce
Enter a vegetable, and you will get aselection of recipes to help you decidewhat to do with what is in the box –completely novel concept at the time(remember no one really knew whatceleriac was in 1996, let alone kohlrabi!)
Pre-internet: A business that took off as a result of an article I researched & wrote for the Telegraph…Ideal audience, compelling content, great pictures, accurate contact details = sales!
Now everything’s gone a bit blurry…• The traditional boundaries between advertising and editorial have dissolved. With the onset of the internet, marketing, advertising, editorial have all blurred into one package• The key today is to associate your brand with well-executed content that will support your customers’ decision to invest in your brand and product…• So the examples I am going to show are pretty broad, ranging from blogs to video, articles to quizzes
Content is the human touchContent, in partnership with design, iswhere you inject emotion and storytelling into your customer relationship• Get it right – provide a delightful experience that adds value – and you can act like a consumer journalist, guiding your customers towards what they want, and with luck, what they didn’t know they wanted, within your transactional space…• Brands are snatching the initiative from the traditional media
The trend in content• In the wider digital marketing landscape, the traditional media fear that the content initiative is being wrested away, as brands no longer need media to engage directly with their customers’ hearts and minds online• Traditional media talent is moving across too• Lucy Yeomans from Harpers Bazaar has been poached as ‘editor’ of Net a Porter. Essentially an online retailer boosted by glossy magazine kudos
Getting it wrongGet it wrong –introduce confusion,jargon, complexity,clutter, marketingspeak, dead ends,sharp corners,pushiness and pain –an overlong video ordull blog that addsnothing to theirexperience – andyou’ve lost them
What is content?• Broadly, content is your ‘stuff’ – anything that populates the various platforms you use to use to serve your customers – from a tweet to a Facebook posting, a video to an on-site blog, an article to a questionnaire.• I am going to start off with a very boring organisational slide because content can be very expensive to create, and there is no point in doing it unless there is return on your investment• And your investment is time as well as money
Engaging audience emotions By the reassurance of an ordered experience of phase- led, task-led, inspirational/informative and conversion content defined by:1. The phase of the customer’s online journey2. The tasks they need to complete to move ahead3. The many types of content that will inform, inspire and entertain them and support their progress4. The tools that enable conversion• Aim to surprise and delight your audience
Creating content that is perfect for your audience is crucial for engagementAdvent calendar with prizes, ecards to sendyour favourite recipes, a personalising quiz tochoose your ideal Christmas menu, and lotsand lots of gorgeous recipes…. • The uber-hip and cool developers told me that, ‘We don’t do things like that any more…’ • The supermarket audience loved it, and conversions were high from this source – you could click to buy all the ingredients for your chosen Christmas dinner in one easy move • This package of prizes and interaction, gorgeous Christmassy design and fun personalisation was ideal for this audience – definitely not cool and hip!
Example of the audience and brand perfect content… Get a room… Mr & Mrs Smith Aimed at exhausted parents who want to get it on….
Interactive video – Tippex, a brand associated with typewriters, and therefore overtaken by technology, goes viral
How it worked for Tippex• They didn’t know who their audience was any more, so they created a new one using viral content• It’s a winner in business terms, too. A survey by Tipp-Ex showed that the ‘buying attention’ of potential customers – which positions the brand as the first product they are likely to buy – increased by 100 per cent, while sale volumes were up by 30 per cent compared to the same timeframe the year before.
blogs• It’s just a hunch, but I don’t think the navigation term ‘blog’ gets many clicks in a straightforward navigational website• On the other hand, blog-type content, or interactive articles, can be a strong driver for sales – particularly if there is unique expertise involved• Woven deeply into the transactional content, so you can find information as you consider a purchase, posts, blogs, articles (call it what you will) can be powerful• Drawing your users into reacting to your content is key – via commenting, social sharing, reviewing, rating…• Particularly if it is well written, picture heavy and, like the best consumer journalism, draws a picture of the place of an item in a real person’s life
Forming partnerships with bloggers• There is nothing more ‘authentic’ than a genuine blogger, defined as writing about something they are passionate about and deeply versed in – the tone and style is worth capturing with a view to enhancing a brand.• Brands do ‘blogger outreach’ which always sounds rather sinister… but it can be very effective.• One brilliant blogger, linked to your site, can enhance your brand.• An example would be an independent gardening blogger writing lively and interesting seasonal posts, linked to a garden supply site or nursery.
Original, expert, interestingWebsites retailing fashion are now beating a path to popular fashion bloggers’ doors;we decided to do something a bit different with The Scent Critic – perfect for a bigperfume retailer, written by leading beauty journalist Josephine Fairley….
Using your Facebook page as a blog – fast and effective – update regularly
Using Twitter as a blogThis is not an ‘official’ Twitter stream – but it has served to boost brand awarenessfor this robot vacuum cleaner. Unlike Shippams paste which had a sense ofhumour failure, real Roomba seems to tolerate self aware Roomba – thesophisticated response!
Where does content come from?• Commissioning• Aggregation• Syndication• White labelling• Repurposing of existing branded content• It doesn’t matter where it comes from, as long as there is a consistent editorial direction dictating quality, tone, style, impact and engagement of every piece of content delivered• Oh, and fail quickly: A content strategy must also take into consideration a evolving digital landscape - rapid prototyping and testing of content types for effectiveness against a range of goals can streamline experience and lead to greater success
Don’t hide your content• Be proud of it!• Flag it up at the top of the page!• Make sure it is not just flat articles, but interactive• Consider tools, calculators, questionnaires about attitudes that deliver answers in the form of a advice and b product• Make sure that your users can share it easily with prominently displayed buttons
2008: Content innovation – as the recession began to bite, and jewellery ofall inds became a massive trend, it was essential to highlight jewelleryshopping on Vogue – concentrating on style, but including the expensivestuff too…
Bye bye car, we’ve really enjoyed driving you…Delightfully amateur UGC from Mumsnetters to highlight the family friendliness of thevehicle and associate it with ordinary life, buggies, laundry and babies!