Every marketeer will agree that thinking along traditional marketing lines is just so 2018. But if that’s the case, why is it still so commonplace? Sometimes unconsciously, granted, but even so. Too many banks and insurers nowadays are still feverishly sending (especially pushing) content. As for the target group, that hardly seems to matter. So how should it all be done then? There was no shortage of good examples at the recent Branded Content Event 2019 in Utrecht’s DeFabrique. Digital Consultant Uschi Braun is more than happy to list them in this blog and tell us what we can learn from them.
1. Create content that touches people and really influences their behaviour
It’s easier said than done, but certainly not impossible and, more importantly, totally worth it. Philosopher and comedian Paul Smit dedicated his keynote speech to the topic and spoke about the evolution of content in relation to the brain. “You can make a difference by looking at the consumer differently,” he insisted. From the areas of psychology, philosophy and neuroscience, a great deal of data is available about the behaviour and functioning of our brain. Did you know, for example, that the nucleus accumbens, which is also known as the brain’s “reward centre”, strongly influences the choices we make, without us always being aware of it? In fact, we are often completely unaware of it. By stimulating this part of the brain – with the right content – it is possible to influence and even dictate (buying) behaviour. My advice then is to not make it all about yourself but about your customer. Take a long, hard look at your target group and find out what ticks their boxes.
2. Invest in content and people
Does your content rely on a peg, such as “Apple Pie Day”? Or is it perhaps an in-depth interview that doesn’t really read easily? As tough as it might sound, in cases like these you really must kill your darlings. Opt for quality over quantity. “Apple Pie Day” might well appeal to your target group, but ask yourself whether the content contributes towards the realisation of your objectives. It might make more sense to throw out a few feelers and perhaps invest some time, energy and money in a video production that answers a frequently asked question. It does mean that you’ll need the right people to make strategic and budget- and vision-driven choices.
3. Keep adapting (and take your time)
So, should you immediately take the plunge and invest in expensive video productions and mega campaigns? Definitely not! In fact, the best advice is to start with small-scale testing and then upscale if it’s successful. And take your time in doing so; it’ll be worth it. Define themes that extend over a longer period, because content marketing is a long-term investment. To make an impact, your content must appeal to the right target group, and this can be achieved in several different ways. It doesn’t necessarily have to be funded by a huge media budget either; a well-written blog, for example, could just as easily hit the spot. Above all, don’t fixate on a channel-specific strategy; focus on the message. And if the message isn’t immediately driven home, just keep testing. Talk to your stakeholders to find out what they really want, and adjust your message accordingly.