Is Content King or Clutter?
Every time I look on twitter I have missed 450 + tweets and I am only following 547 accounts. Some people follow 3,000 accounts so how on earth do they see any of the content that is being shared? And is the content worth watching anyhow? For years people have said ‘Content is King’ but I wonder if ‘Content is Clutter‘ is now a better phrase…?
Since the explosion of online and social media channels, content creation has exploded. Anyone can do it and it costs nothing to distribute, so there is naturally masses out there for consuming. As consumers we need to master controlling the content we see so as to not fill our heads with images and words that do nothing for us and keep ourselves mindful. Clean out the clutter – Un-subscribe to irrelevant websites and social media feeds and curate the content you receive so that it really suits you.
There are two issues with mass content creation.
1. The creation of content
2. The distribution of content across channels
The people who are often in charge of operating the channels are not necessarily writers / publishers. Good content marketing is a profession, consisting of various disciplines just like design.
To be effective, companies need to create strong persona and target the right groups of people at the right time. Create content that follows the pace of customers and not the other way around! We should stand still and observe, using data, inviting other disciplines into play – sociologist, data experts, user experience and graphic designers etc. Businesses need to unclutter and set smarter strategies.
Cleaning The Clutter
As brands, content strategists and creatives we need to become more effective at producing content so that it is really specific and targeted. So that it has real thought behind it with a plan to really engage audiences. To do this we need to realise that content creation is a process that needs a multi-disciplinary, talented team – it isn’t a one man job!
The Content Recipe
- Create quality content through prioritising what’s really essential
- Be local and know the customs of your shoppers and talk their language
- Be human and conversational and truly know the absolute essence of your persona
- Be creative as competition for our eyes and ears is tough. You’ve only got one chance to make a lasting impression.
- Tell us stories – the films that get engagement and millions of shares are the ones with stories and a message. Whether its funny, sexy, interesting or just plain brilliant, the shares and likes prove how good the content is.
- Content mapping, re-use ideas to evolve more content but don’t repeat.
Keeping It Local
Global transportation has allowed cultures to fan out all over the world. When people leave one place and move to another, they sometimes try to live near people who speak the same language and share their culture. The local vocabulary of an area is a mixture of terms that have developed locally over the generations and that have been combined with input from many cultures. You can research local vocabularies all you want on the internet, but the best way to get accurate information for content strategy is from someone who has experience communicating in those areas first-hand. Your local SEO is best handled by an SEO expert who looks at culture and language as two of the keys to gaining a larger audience.
What About Bringing In An Anthropologist?
An anthropologist certainly wouldn’t hurt, but modern marketing has become a mixture of technical expertise, human centric design, content based on global trends, local insight on pains and gains, and brand storytelling. We spend as much time studying localizing global and local tendencies, trends and market developments as we do marketing principles.
The 360˚ Omnichannel Experience
The beauty of creating content today is the multitude of consumer touchpoints and mediums we can show and share it on. In-store on tv screens, brand websites, Twitter, Facebook and most importantly Instagram where 85% of all brand engagement apparently takes place. We have every opportunity to engage the customer with our content if we get it right. Yes, indeed, the total experience called Omnichannel. By bringing digital content into the physical space we start to merge the physical and digital to create what we call Continuous Brand Experiences.
Brands Creating Content Brilliantly
Inspite of Chanel only recently launching their e-commerce site they have been producing masses of diverse content on social media for a while now. Whether it is a story about Gabrielle Chanel’s fascination with astrology, photos from the Oscars, animated gifs or their spring summer story featuring Arizona Muse they are posting 2-4 pieces of video content daily with 12.7 million followers on twitter and 18.4 million followers on instagram!
Kerastase create beautiful campaigns posting an average of 3 videos per month on youtube. A combination of ‘How To’ use their products, product launches and campaign videos. My favourite and the one which has had the most (2.3 million) views is their campaign ‘Kérastase Discipline’ featuring dancer Diana Vishneva with choreographer Carolyn Carlson. A big campaign with a big idea which has totally seduced people.
Kenzo keep the content really fresh. It is either luxury, fun, emotional, colourful, crazy or sophisticated and all so very Kenzo. They are fun, playful and are always surprising me posting 2-4 videos per month. Their recent ad for their new perfume ‘Kenzo World’ is a great piece of advertising. As I watch the first scene I think oh yes, regular Parisien luxury brand kind of style…then boom the lead bursts out into the weirdest eye moves and dances….a film full of female power, surprise, rebellion and beauty it made me smile the whole way through.
The ‘Music is My Mistress’ campaign on Kenzo’s website is in stark comparison to the perfume campaign. It is a phenomenally atmospheric and emotionally charged campaign where drama unfolds across cultures, space and time.
Amsterdam based beauty brand Marie Stella Maris believes everyone should have access to a source of clean drinking water. They have a very unique and specific story to tell which they articulate through written stories, breath-taking photography and video content on their website.
Company’s Values Are The Key Driver
The reason the above highlighted campaigns / brands are so successful with content creation is they all have a very unique identity and a very unique story. They create content regularly – its varied, fresh and dynamic and can be shown across all media. The key to their success is their uniqueness combined with their ability to take their unique story and transform it into a multitude of creative marketing pieces.