This is the presentation I gave at a @silverpop event on Tues 16 th March 2010. Great feedback from the 180 strong audience. In this session, I explained why content is now so important and outlined how to plan for creating awesome content.
Describe what you see Video? Advert? Viral? Entertainment?
Describe what you see Words? Conversation? Updates? Content?
Describe what you see Apps? Utilities? Entertainment? Content?
It’s very easy for brands to get drawn into the hype around the latest format, platform or tactic. Where as a couple of years back brands were all asking for a ‘viral’ it feels like they are now all asking for iPhone apps. It is worth noting that content is merely a means to an end, content drives conversations and conversation are how you engage with people, and engaging with people is the only way brands will be able to survive in this social media disrupted world we now live in.
Even if you are the market leader!
The tools and platforms have turned the Internet into a global, hyper-word-of-mouth engine
Everyone now has their own personal soap-box to talk about brands - good or bad, true or not, in real-time
Google and Microsoft are in an arms-race to deliver the best real-time search engine
The balance of power has firmly tipped from brands to people
In an immature market with small budgets it is obviously right to test on a tactical basis, however as brands investment in content increases a strategic approach will pay dividends.
Commitment to continuous activity, brands don’t control the end of conversations unlike campaigns Authentic Transparent Humility Engagement policy Crisis policy
Active Listening Clarify objectives Identify success metrics Set targets Set budgets
What subjects and topics are important to you? What’s your position on things, your point of view? Where’s the evidence you’re serious about this stuff? What’s your story? Why should people give a damn? Ogilvy talk about identifying your ideal * Dove believes the world would be a better place if women were allowed to feel good about themselves * Fanta believes the world would be a better place if we grew up less and played more * Scrabble believes the world would be a better place if we loved words more * Adidas believes the world would be a better place if people went beyond their normal boundaries * Coca Cola believes the world would be a better place if we saw the glass as half full - not half empty
What value does it deliver directly to people? We call this the social currency What is value does it deliver indirectly, i.e. by telling someone else about it? Entertainment – Advertising typically deals in this currency – does the idea lend itself to being parodied – Cadburys Gorilla example Personal value / Fame – The rise of Reality TV & X Factor type show how potent this value is to people Information / Knowledge – B2B thought leadership via whitepapers Monetary / Competitions - Consumer PR typically deals in this currency – Threshers 2006 40% off Voucher Utility – a lot iPhone apps fall into this category Sky+ Nike+ Fiat EcoDrive Charmin rolls out 20 restrooms in Times Square B&Q kitchen planner Can we tap into popular culture? – T-mobile Dance Can we ride a meme? – EA Games – Tiger woods How can we blend some of these together to make them more potent? - Game with a leader board hits two areas, competition for the next flavor of Walkers crisps (bragging rights) This is the modern day equivalent of challenges of creating an integrated campaign, i.e. you need a multi-disciplined/experienced/talented team to work collaboratively For more info on this read my blog post - http://blog.stevesponder.com/how-valuable-is-your-social-currency
Employees – Zappo US online shoe retailer encourages all staff to twitter and even have a Leaderboard which introduces a competitive effect. Agencies Industry Peers – Sign-posting people to relevant, interesting stuff UGC, crowdsourcing and co-creation – EepyBird - Mentos & Diet Coke, Can you have multiple sources? – Cadbury’s Gorilla and Eyebows parodies
Distribution Strategy? Brand media; outposts, web sites, email, events Influencer Network (Bloggers & media relations) Earned media (community and the media) Paid media How are you going to balance and/or integrate content across these spaces? Experiential and social work really well together – Event or PR stunt – WOM spreads online – trad media pick up the buzz and cover it - T-mobile Flashmob in Liverpool St station Is it possible that you could become a social destination brand? Not many brands can pull this off, if you try and you don’t currently have enough pulling power you could find yourself spending a lot of budget on traffic generation activates. It may be better to get out into the communities that already exist.
Blog posts Presentations Videos Pictures Podcasts Tweets Facebook or iPhone apps Live streams Virtual world Can you re-purpose content in different formats? – Whitepaper into a YouTube video interview with the author into a series of blog posts into an iTunes podcast Is it in a format that is easy for people to share? Is it in a format that is easy for people to remix? - Cadburys Eyebrows actively encouraged people to parody it
Who’s manning the outposts? Who’s managing the conversations? Who’s building the relationships? Who’s re-directing to the appropriate function? Who’s looking for early signs of a online crisis? Who’s responsible for engagement? Who’s responsible for your social brand? Central team Distributed team Employees (Policy) Agency
Remember conversations can’t be turned off like campaigns Look to plan a rolling 3mth content schedule What’s pre-planned, what’s not? How will you ensure a constant stream of content? How are you going to create peaks of interest?
Actively listen to find out what the reaction to your content has been? What conversations have you started? What conversations do you want to join? How are you tracking against your objectives, targets and budgets?
The Content Imperative. Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29391745@N07 Steve Sponder Chief Digital Officer, Five by Five // fivebyfivedigital.com blog.stevesponder.com // @stevesponder NB: Slide explanations are in the notes