The formation of an intimate relationship with a brand and their consumer is built on a trust that assures people that their needs are considered above anything else. Producing content that is both credible and idiosyncratic is a sure-fire way for marketers to exceed targets and drive business.
According to PWC’s Digital Services Group, 94% of senior level executives ‘believe personalisation is critical or important to reaching customers’. This indicates that individuality is no longer a desirable asset to content efforts, but a necessity, which engages and interests customers.
Failure to adapt and remain consistent in customer-focused content often results in monotonous marketing efforts that lack prominence. Forbes contributor Stephen Diorio believes that ‘marketers will not be able to “write” or “spend” their way out of this problem. They will have to change.’ So what will 2018 need to involve for brands and marketers to stay relevant?
Remembering The Bread And Butter Of Content
A brand needn’t question the importance of producing content, but it is vital to recognise the reasons for which it works. In the digital marketing sphere, content is distributed for many reasons whether it is to entertain, to inform or to implement your brands identity.
Your brand’s services or products are designed in a way that gives value to its consumers, and it is imperative that your content reflects that. Instilling the ethos of your brand into your content can be as rudimentary as tone of voice or use of colour, but these factors are as essential as anything else.
Marketing automation platform MailChimp has demonstrated this effectively through its highly personal tone of voice, which can be seen in the above example. Their consistency with this style across their site, their social platforms and even email marketing emits personality into their content, thus humanising their brand.
While a somewhat colloquial tone is befitting of a brand like MailChimp, it is important not to endanger your own product’s credibility by simply imitating this tone. In the same way you dress yourself as you want to be perceived, you must make similar efforts with your content.
Content That Reflects The Customer
When creating a marketing strategy, tactics of profiling customers should always be at the forefront as a means of directing your content appropriately. Use of Google analytics, search trends and your own client database gives your creative team a head start when deciding the type of content you produce and how it will appear.
When a brand successfully advances beyond the basics of content such as tone of voice, it is typically done with an eye towards the consumer and their own habits.
For years, the content marketing efforts of companies like Red Bull have revolutionised the industry as a whole, forcing brands to scrutinise the desires of their customer outside of their product. Their demographic is fixed as an individual at the lower end of the 18-34 range, and their use of video content pays tribute to this.
Above we can see the multitude of channels through which Red Bull produce content, with topics ranging from extreme sports, motoring and the fast rising eSports industry.
In their attempts to give emphasis to their customer base, Red Bull subtly allows their product to play second fiddle to their content. An established brand like Red Bull has both the financial and creative freedom to consolidate their marketing strategy, which they do well. Therefore, by capitalising on existing data, a brand can tailor-make unique content to maximise results within their target demographics.
Stick It To The Brand
Daring creative marketing dances a fine line between being simultaneously fun and credible. A brand is always looking to incite interest, but distancing themselves too far from their business risks authenticity.
The idea that a brand can simply shoehorn their product into any topic purely for the sake of links or coverage is dangerous. Companies that provide a service that people depend on need to appear more reliable than their competitors. This means that a brand must be capable of being transparent in a way that does not dilute the creative nuances within their content.
A solid method approach in content marketing is to produce innovative data studies. At the end of last year, Kaizen produced an infographic study for medical travel insurance provider Get Going that measured the reliability of airlines in a period of 2017.
The research weighted the results of 5 metrics to score the best and worst airlines and has gained 30 pieces of coverage including the Independent and Lonely Planet. The value of content of this nature is that it is both unique and boasts longevity in how it can be reproduced year on year.
The link between airlines and travel insurance is an authentic one, so readers are more likely to develop a natural trust with a brand. The vice-president of iQ Media Ashley Deibert spoke of consumers stating that:
‘When you show them [customers] that you care about what they want, it not only boosts loyalty, but offers a human element to the brand experience.’
By staying true to your brand, your marketing is more understated in that it does not force itself or its service on the consumer. For instance, Spotify’s uses their own listening data to produce their ‘Insight’ content (example below).
The success of this content is dependent on the fact that its topic matter doesn’t stray from the core principles of the music streaming service. Much like the Get Going Travel Insurance piece, the concept yields repeated success. Spotify are able to implement across a variety of subjects to broaden their appeal.
While the concept of personalisation can seem an overwhelming and slightly overused term, it is critical to any marketing strategy. The attention you give to your brand and your consumer is what sets you apart from your competitors. In 2018, content marketers would undoubtedly benefit from a comprehensive approach to personalisation.