Digital Director at the mission™ Agency bigdog, Dan Marsh talks about the criteria that you should employ in creating content your audience can't ignore.



Dan Marsh is Digital Director at bigdog, a full service creative Agency and part of the missiontm. Dan has specialised in digital marketing for more than half of an agency career spanning over eleven years and works with clients across digital disciplines in helping to define digital marketing strategy. He also works as part of the wider team on projects focussing on optimising user-experience, eCRM, search, content strategy and tactical acquisition. Dan talks to us about creating content your audience can't ignore.


THE CHANGING WORLD OF CONTENT CONSUMPTION

In June this year, a report released by Cisco estimated that video will make up 82% of all internet traffic in just four years’ time. In 2016, it accounted for 73%. But this isn’t just cat memes and fail compilations. This includes ever-popular streaming services like Netflix, VOD television viewing as well as the increasing growth of live video broadcast through social media.

While this growth is hardly surprising, it does illustrate that the digital revolution is truly defining the way we consume media and the increasing time consumers are spending online.

With this increase comes a new challenge to brands already embracing content as part of their marketing mix. How do they stand out when our average customer is faced with such an onslaught of content fighting for their attention?

MOVE AWAY FROM A MARKETING MIND-SET

It may sound obvious to say that you should avoid producing content that’s too ‘sales heavy’ but it’s a trap so much brand curated content falls into all too often. In fact, a recent survey published in Marketing Week suggests that consumers consider 60% of brand curated content as ‘just clutter’ that has little impact on their lives. So how do brands avoid falling into this trap?

At bigdog, we’ve adopted a DEEP philosophy in content production. Content should meet as many of these criteria in order to earn the attention of ever-demanding consumers:

1. DESIRE: Appeal to your audience’s aspirations; consider how best to inspire them or feed their sense of desire.

2. EDUCATE: Provide valuable information or opinion on a specific topic where your brand has relevance, credibility and authority.

3. EMOTION: Prompt an emotive response or establish a connection with your audience that transcends function.

4. PERSONALITY: Ensure the tone, context and execution of your content is unique to your brand.

This final point is an opportunity for brands to ask questions of themselves in order to define their personality. How do your core brand values translate to a personality? If you got chatting to your brand in a pub… what type of person would they be? And what would they be talking about?

Going through this will establish content pillars which help roadmap a content strategy that is unique to your brand; and in turn, really help content producers create things that help you stand out from the crowd.

THINK 'WOULD I WATCH THIS?'

It’s easy to feel emotionally invested in something that you’re so close to. Whether it’s a video, infographic or static image, you and your team’s shared proximity to the brand makes it difficult not to imagine it not having an effect on your audience.

But content is different. Brands are playing in spaces where there is so much else your audience can interact with that we have to add another layer of scrutiny. Branded content should be thought of as another form of entertainment, with your brand as the producer. This association can trigger more common communication responses like spiking interest in a product or building brand advocacy.

The world of content is still so new to many marketers, and it’s moving faster than a lot of companies can keep up. But as suggested, viewing and consumption habits are changing and the marketers that find a great formula today will be able to adapt and have an advantage longer term.

Ultimately, as a brand, if you use the right ingredients of understanding your audience, articulating values that are most relevant in an entertaining and engaging way, and distribute through channels you know your audience are active in – you’re more likely to produce content they can’t ignore.

July 2017