Headline | February 21, 2017

Is content marketing just like a bad date?

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By Lucy Markham and Lindsay Weisberg, Group Data & Insight 

Yes, according to Havas’ latest Meaningful Brands study, 59% of us think that most brands still aren’t getting their content right.

At its best, content can feel like a good date, where your male / female counterpart might ask you what you are interested in before proceeding to relay all their anecdotes around said topic.

At its worst, you have to escape to the loo to orchestrate a family emergency.

Havas’ latest wave of Meaningful Brands research revealed that 59% of us are not happy with the content brands are producing. (That’s a lot of it if you consider there are 500 million tweets, 4.3 billion Facebook messages and 500 hours of YouTube footage sent, posted and uploaded each day!). These findings made us think of content marketing like a bad date, someone who sits across and talks at you about what they are interested in regardless of whether or not you have any interest in what they are talking about. However, it doesn’t need to be this way. In fact Meaningful Brands also revealed that great content is a driver of personal wellbeing and therefore meaningfulness. So how do we ensure we are making great content and are not comparable to a bad date?

Just like a new relationship, you should never try too hard or come over too keen, but fear not – relationship advice is at hand for you…

In order to get content right, it starts with an audience-first approach, otherwise known as listening. Instead of building content and then finding the audience, we need to flip the process.

The trouble we have is that people will only engage with content that sparks their interest or imagination. Content that fits into their lives and newsfeeds seamlessly, that adds value and doesn’t feel like an interruption.

So how do we flip the process successfully?

It’s all about the spark! It’s all about passion!

Just like on a date, the most interesting conversation is not around age, where they come from or what they earn. Connections are made when we discover shared interests, passions and people.

Brands can attract numerous audience segments with varying interests, passions and lifestyles, and each audience segment requires different communications.

Communities occur naturally outside of forced segmentations. Havas recently did some work for a travel client using social insight to analyse the naturally occurring interests of their audience.  We were then able to map this output to the client’s own segmentation to offer new and unique insights into what these groups really care about.

insights imageIt’s time to get intimate

 Once you’ve chosen an audience segment to focus on, it’s time to get to know them intimately. What makes them tick? Who influences them? What are they into? How do they see themselves? Who do they engage with?

By using various insight tools we can discover valuable insights really quickly, such as:

  • What are their favourite brands?
  • Who influences them most? Celebrities? Athletes? YouTubers?
  • What are their key interests?
  • How do they describe themselves?
  • What content do they trust and where do they get it? Blogs? News?
  • How connected are they to others? What topics bring them to engage with others?

When we have the answers to all of these questions we are then able to highlight the passions and emotional levers for discreet groups. Whether that is world affairs and fine dining or their children and grandchildren.

Immerse yourself in their world

 This might even mean booking tickets to see Fifty Shades Darker.In the same way, brands flourish when they indulge their partner. Audiences are constantly changing and new trends are emerging. We must connect with audiences at the speed of culture.

Context, of course, is everything. Marketers must live, breathe and feel the pulse of audiences.

At Agency Insight we believe the devil is in the detail and have gone as far as leveraging our social insight toolkit in order to identify the emojis used most by a core audience, giving insight into the way they feel and talk to brands, as well as each other.

image 3Further to monitoring emoji’s, watch, listen, and follow relevant brands and influencers that your audience are interested in. Do your homework and explore their lives. (If someone catches you following Kim Kardashian you can always say it’s for work).

Measure what matters

Relationship success isn’t judged by number of flower deliveries or daily texts. Focus on what really matters – nothing else!

Brands get hung up on the wrong metrics – it’s not about likes, or retweets. An audience-first approach means your measurement should be about how you are resonating with and attracting the right audience.

It’s the age-old matter of quality versus quantity. (By the way, quality wins).

Using Emotional Trac – our new emotion tracking tool – we are able to understand what drives the emotion behind the audience’s feelings towards brands. We can see where our brands are doing well or falling behind industry averages, and therefore understand which emotions brands need to dial up.

For example, if we saw that a brand was falling behind the industry averages on joy and trust, addressing and then continuously monitoring the change in these indexes would be a far better measure of brand health and success, by putting the audience’s emotions first.

Finally, content marketing is only set to grow. To ensure your content doesn’t fade, it needs attention and dedication. By taking an audience-first approach, we will ensure that resources aren’t wasted and that content is valuable, relevant & successful.