During a recent webinar hosted by Meltwater on trends in marketing and communication in 2023, presenter Davitha Tiller of Red Havas US revealed that people wouldn’t care if 75 percent of brands disappeared. A concerning statistic for brands and marketers. The question is why?
Today’s consumers expect immediate fulfillment, a personalized experience and VIP treatment, according to Philippa Dods of Meltwater. In essence, they are looking to be engaged in a meaningful way—something that consumers believe 48 percent of brands are not delivering.
We are entering the “authenticity era” with social media driving engagement and brand growth. where our audiences are looking for six key content value propositions. They expect to be entertained, inspired, educated, informed, helped and rewarded.
How do we build trust and authenticity in this digital age? We’re living in an age where consumer power is the new norm. The ongoing shift that is happening is that brands are slowly losing control of the narrative. Rather than interactions being private and direct to the consumer, they are now very public and open for all to see—on a permanent and searchable forum where people can meet over shared experiences, whether good or bad. Organizations that look the other way are missing the opportunity to leverage these shared experiences to drive meaningful engagement with their customers.
Consumers purchase products from a company because they trust them. And people are increasingly likely to openly complain on public forums if they don't receive instant gratification. brand consumers need to be able to trust the brand that they're interacting with. Today, consumers are putting their power into action. How do we connect with them consistently to ensure the trust we’ve built over time isn’t destroyed in a matter of minutes?
Consumers of the brand and the content it produces want personalized experiences. The smarter we get about the way we relate to customers; the more positive business outcomes will be—but only if it’s done right. Measuring and managing customer engagement leads to better customer relationships, resulting in greater profitability. There is a huge possibility for growth and success when we just listen to our consumers across the social media platforms. Brands looking to succeed in delivering an authentic customer experience are those that create integrated personalized experiences. And they can do that by making intelligent data-driven decisions.
Engaging through social media
Currently, more than half of the world's population uses social media, and they're spending an average of almost 2.5 hours a day. The average social user now has more than eight social media accounts and 91 percent access their channels via their cell phones and tablets. We're navigating different social media channels and formats, faster and more frequently than ever before. And the average attention span of social media users on mobile devices is just 1.7 seconds!
With that in mind, how do we ensure our content stands out from the crowd? Using the right format and techniques, which will vary based on the social platform (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or TikTok) will not only help pique their interest but retain it.
Every social post should have a purpose yet almost half of all content is not meaningful to consumers of that content. Creating content that has a clear driver behind it, and a strategic purpose is critical. People want to know what you stand for and expect to receive something from the engagement, whether it’s learning something of value, being inspired or getting something in return. Audiences will forget what you said—but they’ll remember how it served them. So, make it memorable.
More brands than ever are engaging their employees on social media. Yet, more than 80 percent do not have a formal employee advocacy program in place. This presents a great opportunity for a brand to differentiate itself from the competition. By encouraging employees across the organization’s different channels to become brand ambassadors, the company’s reach can grow exponentially. If 100 employee advocates with a social network of about 500 people (the average) share the brand’s content just once a month, it’s reaching a potential audience of 500,000 each month.
There are many benefits to activating employees on social and many ways it can be done. Benefits include increased visibility, brand recognition, traffic to the website and improved search engine rankings. In addition to amplifying the brand’s content, employee-generated content can be powerful, whether they create original content or use templates provided by the company.
Telling a story
Two-thirds of America binge-watch with nearly 104 million hours of Netflix streamed every day. This may not be new, but in 2023 it is bigger than ever and a good reason to approach our social content in the same way. Marketers should create series with content that people would expect from the brand and will keep them coming back for more.
Having a guiding insight into what interests your audience is the starting point. This insight will also allow for strategic planning and auditing of content. Additionally, including a branded hashtag across all content in the series will link the content and allow the audience to easily find the company’s posts.
Several principles to consider when creating a social content series include brevity, clear purpose (inspire, educate, reward, etc.), ability to customize to fit the different platforms, clearly defined segments of the series (i.e., part one, part two, etc.) and ability to measure the series’ performance based on the company’s key performance indicators (KPIs).
2023 is the year of creating interactive content experiences, especially with the arrival of Metaverse. 81 percent of marketers agree that interactive content is much more effective at grabbing people's attention than static content. And 66 percent have reported greater audience engagement. What is an interactive content experience? It is content that requires the audience to click or tap to reveal something more. Interactive content invites audiences to answer a question or participate in a quiz or a poll. It’s also a great way to interact with your audience on a more engaging level.
Short or long-form video can be an engaging form of interactive content. It could be a video that includes numerous call-to-action buttons, allowing the audience to take a different turn or choose a different story of their own (i.e., personalizing their experience with your brand). It’s about connecting with the customer on an entirely different level and reported results indicate a significant increase in conversions compared to generic video.
Test and test again
When we try new things, sometimes they fail. But, if we don’t try, we don’t learn what does work. At AOE, we are constantly trying new approaches, whether it’s video, serial or interactive content. And we test the different formats. What performs better for this project? Is it a story, a carousel of images, a fireside chat video or an infographic? Social media algorithms prioritize content based on the likelihood the audience will want to see it. These algorithms prefer brands that build on their latest innovations. Therefore, testing and learning the latest format or feature to be launched is paramount to ensuring the brand reaching its audience in a relevant and impactful way in 2023 and beyond.
If you would like help with your social media strategy, creating content including video and graphics, or measuring your ROI, please reach out to the AOE team.