Let’s talk branded video content

From online TV or subscription services like Netflix, to free video on platforms such as YouTube and social media, folks in Asia are consuming more video content than ever before. You’ve heard this all before – and while brands now have a robust video strategy in place, creatives are still far from perfect.

Here’s our 5 key takeaways on creating effective online ads for branded video campaigns:

Optimise video for mobile

Mobile is already the primary device for accessing the internet in APAC, yet, brands still choose to produce glossy 30-second TV-type ads that do little to hook mobile users. Because content is consumed differently on mobile devices, brands need to ensure their videos capture attention and emotion from the get-go.

Make a sentimental pitch

Video tech company Unruly’s data shows that sentimental storytelling ads are the best performers for 18-34 year olds, a key audience segment for many brands. The study showed that millennials have a stronger reaction to emotional content like this 2014 campaign for Thai Life Insurance.

 

 

Make it work for sound-off

According to Unruly, 80% of millennials mute a brand’s video ads. To engage this audience, advertisers need to create content for a sound-off experience. Avoid dialogue and use text and graphics to draw consumers in

Tailor video for specific social media

YouTube users hold phones sideways to consume content, while Facebook videos are best viewed upright. Majority of Facebook video is watched without sound, while YouTube is always played with full sound. Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter come with their own peculiarities. Brands that stand out are the ones that are tailoring social media content for each channel and country’s internet speeds.

Think beyond views

When it comes to measuring a video’s success, views aren’t everything. Whether it is to increase awareness, consideration, or influence sales, it is important for advertisers to establish marketing goals for their campaigns, and then come up with a set of KPIs to track and measure campaign success.

 

Let us help you create effective content – drop us a message at [email protected]

 

 

PR is evolving, and so should you

The way we communicate has completely changed over the past decade, including the concept of Public Relations and the way we do business. Recent office chatter brought up stories of how things were done back in the day. All media clippings were processed in-house and keeping a media list up to date was a job on its own. Today we outsource these services that helps us focus on what’s important.

In a rapidly evolving industry, there is no place for complacency. PR professionals should develop a hunger to learn more and become a specialist in the field. The ability to write an impressive press release and put together an amazing pitch is no longer good enough. The scope has moved far beyond drawing up a media list, writing a press release and following up. In order to make an impact across all platforms, we now have to focus and build relations with key media in the digital and social space. PR professionals or agencies that are not evolving with this landscape will be left behind.

Clients are expecting more. They want to be relevant and make an impact where it matters most. Here’s how PR and marketing can adapt to meet clients’ growing needs and demands.

Access to information in the palm of your hand

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, the way people access information has changed entirely and continues to change. Your target audience have gone from readers to users. Information is readily available to anyone, everywhere, at any time. Make sure you change with the times and keep content interesting, relevant and easy to consume. Check out our blog 3 ways to help bring your content back to life for some tips!

Find the right influencers

PR professionals and brands still dismissing influencers and bloggers as real content creators are committing professional suicide. Influencers are the most connected people today. Their devoted followers trust what they say and many influencers have larger followings than many media outlets. Collaborating with an influencer in your industry is a great way to get traction and interest in your brand or product. A word of caution though — don’t go in blind, it’s important to partner with someone who is relevant and authentic to your audience and brand.

Learn a new skill

The PR scope is getting wider and clients are demanding more. To be able to keep up with the demands, learn a new skill, understand how digital platforms work – it’s the only way to improve your offering.

Content

Content is and will always be king. Having the ability to create compelling and shareable content will make you indispensable. Learn the art of writing for various platforms. Know your audience and create captivating content that will get people talking. Great content adds value to SEO efforts and it encourages engagement, which means your content or brand will be seen.

Public Relations will always be about storytelling and being able adopt a forward thinking approach to how we achieve our targets.

Need help telling your story? Drop us a message at [email protected]

How to create a Buyer Persona

Sophie is 35 years old. She’s just been promoted to Marketing Manager at the Tech company she works for. She learned the ropes in a Marketing Assistant role and her seniors expect a lot from her position. Her first order of business: improving the effectiveness of the company’s marketing.

Here’s the catch, Sophie isn’t a real person. She’s a buyer persona – a representation of an ideal buyer.

With consumers exposed to as many as 5,000 marketing messages every day, creating user personas help businesses break through the clutter and capture attention with relevant content. It humanises your customers and paints the picture of an individual buyer, identifying their problems and values.

Apple’s success story

Apple effectively uses buyer personas for its different products. Check out their persona focus technique in this iPad 2 advertisement:

 

Now watch this:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTFPB4OUqrM

 

The first features the user scrolling stocks and investment portfolios, capturing the business professionals’ attention. Suddenly, they can see how this product would fit into their work life and visualise themselves using it in their day-to- day business needs. The second shows an adrenaline junkie preparing to take on the torrential rain with his iPhone 7. Creating this persona attracts the outdoorsy types and demonstrates the waterproof features of the new device.

How to create buyer personas

Creating the profile is probably the most important stage in the process – get the wrong persona and you’re marketing to a completely different audience, not to mention wasting your time and efforts.  Here’s a couple of steps to consider to get you started when creating your buyer persona:

1. Establish the basics

Segment your target group and ideal buyer by gender, age, job title and role responsibilities. Identifying these basics will give you a strong starting point of who you are targeting.

2. Learn from example

When you create a persona, you are creating an example of your ideal consumer. From this example, you can identify your consumer needs, objectives and potential obstacles. Doing this also gives insight into how your buyers view your products and services. Use this information wisely to improve your offerings.

3. Study, study, study!

To do this study their needs, concerns, frustrations, urgency to buy and ability to buy. This helps to develop and tailor content that appeals to your target audience, resulting in greater leads and sales.

 

If you need help creating your buyer persona, drop us a note at [email protected] – we can help you to tap into your target market! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small fish, big pond. When to outsource your marketing

Whilst almost everyone can grasp the basics of marketing, what does it take to really shine?

The overarching goal for most businesses is to expand and grow, though when it comes to marketing, too often there is a shortage of time and resources to figure out the most effective digital, transactional, and diverse strategies. Sure, you can try do it all yourself but that could lead to poor quality, potentially harming your business. And what a waste of your productive time and money that would be!

Hiring an agency to give you a hand is no longer exclusive to bigger shops, in fact, it is a lot more common than you think for small to medium size businesses to call in some experts to give them the boost they are looking for.

First and foremost, you get a VIP pass to expert industry knowledge. The benefits are immediate. A great marketing agency is not only up to scratch with marketing technologies and how to make them work for you, they also have the experience of doing it for others. This could give you the edge you need and saves you scrambling to play catch-up with competitors.

Secondly, putting your marketing in the hands of specialists, means your marketing won’t suffer due to staffing issues. Consistency is key when it comes to successful marketing, especially online – if not, Google will notice flows in your content production. Nowadays, all it takes is for your in-house marketer to go on holiday or have a sick day to affect the smooth running of your output. Outsourcing simply keeps the consistency despite what may be happening in the office. All the while, you get to focus on what your business does best. Working with the right agency not only means being up to date with latest technologies, it also helps to know where your target audience is and what systems are best suited to tap into them. All you need to do is sit back and watch your market grow with the trust that this is being done for you.

Outside knowledge from working with an agency can bring you and your business numerous benefits that you may not have considered; fresh eyes, new ideas, industry expertise and technology know-how. Skype, for example, used a team of developers in Estonia to build out their business when they first got started in 2003, leading to a buy out with Microsoft in 2011 for $8.3 billion USD. Slack is another company that has seen great success outsourcing design in its early days.

Last, but certainly not least, brand monitoring. Outsourcing your marketing function shouldn’t be a one-trick pony. A dedicated and proactive agency should be continually optimising your marketing efforts. The world is a competitive place for brands big and small, and it is crucial to lower your risk of market stagnation. Brands need to be up to speed, consistent, as well as creative with their ideas. Having a great marketing campaign but not the strategy and monitoring in place is a slippery slope for brands. However, an agency will constantly try new things to keep your business on trend to deliver agreed-upon goals.

Sound good? But where do you start. Choosing the right agency for your business can be mind boggling and full of people trying to sell you something without your objectives in mind. Find an agency that understands your brand and is willing to take the time to work out the best strategy for your business.

If you want to discuss your business potential, big or small, drop us a message at [email protected]

 

3 Ways to help bring your content back to life

Creating content may seem simple, and sure enough it is, but keeping your audience engaged is a totally different game. When we talk about content, you might automatically think of a blog post or article that you post onto your website, and while this may be partly true, content can come in many different forms, such as videos, graphics and e-books. Often these can be a lot more interesting and creative – and is exactly what is needed to keep your readers interested and engaged.

Here are three tips you can use to keep your content alive, and your audience coming back for more:

1  Repurpose and re-use

No doubt you have already written a lot of content, much of it is probably timeless. Great – don’t waste it. Just because you’ve written a blog and posted it on your website one year ago, doesn’t mean it needs to stop there. You can re-use your evergreen content and repurpose it for a different platform. For example, if you’ve shared some amazing healthy tips about the different ways to use chia seeds, why not create bite-sized video content and deliver this across your social media channels. You can even do a recipe album on Facebook. Remember, there are endless ways to revitalize older content and re-fresh it to keep your readers excited and engaged with your brand.

2  Hook with a headline

You can spend all the time in the world creating something fancy, and sure, that’s very important. But what’s equally important is the hook of your headline. Your headline is what will draw readers in and get them to click your material. Get creative and tip the readers off with just enough information to maintain the mystery. But make sure you’re genuine with your headlines and avoid creating clickbait headlines as that will just annoy people. Here’s a great example from Buzzfeed on Facebook for all you Friends lovers out there. I don’t know about you, but I certainly clicked on this link.

3 Get personal

Gone are the days where direct selling was the main way to secure business. We’re now living in a world where customers want to see the ‘real’ you – and the Internet and social media have opened the doors to this type of discovery. Your customers want to know your story, the people behind the brand, and they want to talk to you. Share real stories about real people – be it case studies or behind-the-scenes footage. Open the lines of communication with your customers through social media by posting exciting and fun content, and write as you would speak – you know, like a conversation.

It’s time to let your customers in and get personal. Tell your brand story and develop content with a human element. Show people who you are and what you can do without making an obvious sales pitch. Your content strategy should be filled with cool ideas that have your customers craving for more. The key is to have fun, be consistent and creative.

Let us help you bring your content back to life – drop us a message at [email protected]

How to come back from a content mistake

One Academy Award, 14 Oscar nominations, and once considered the most powerful man in Hollywood – Warren Beatty is now going to be remembered as the guy who read out the wrong name.

Things went downhill soon after the cast of LaLa Land went on stage to receive the coveted Best Picture award. Even as one of the producers was speaking, viewers at home saw someone run across the stage holding an envelope. It was quickly announced that it’d been a mistake, and that Moonlight was the actual winner of the prestigious award. The live audience collectively held its breath the entire time. But no matter how many times you watch the blunder, it doesn’t get any easier watching poor Beatty trying to explain it away.

But, mistakes happen. And marketers operating in real-time know this better than anyone else. We’re breaking down the mistakes and lessons to be learnt from this train-wreck.

Mistake #1: Driving yourself crazy with self-editing

Of course, checking what you have written is a good habit to get into, but do you really need to spend hours self-editing content that already took you hours to write? When it comes to content marketing, practice makes perfect. Yes, editing is crucial, but it should only take you a few minutes. Constantly reviewing something is a recipe for disaster, at least in the same day. When the writing is still fresh, your mind will automatically make up the gaps in your copy and your editing will be subpar. Instead, put it away and come back to it another day — or at least several hours later.

Mistake #2: It isn’t relevant

You take the time to write a content piece, possibly spend longer than you should editing and build a landing page, then there’s one thing that kills it- it’s irrelevant. And we all know that irrelevant content doesn’t drive engagement. The answer to this is simple – sit down and do your homework. Make your content is easy to read and digest. The goal is to leave your readers hungry for more.

Mistake #3: You’re too jumbled up in SEO

If you are clogging your content with back links and unnecessary keywords, your just making life harder for yourself, and your readers. Remember to write for people first, and search engines second. This way, it makes your content more readable and sharable.

Mistake #4: Your focus is quantity over quality

The biggest secret to content marketing is just that, the content. Producing blogs posts to fill that promised KPI isn’t going to bring much value. One of the biggest mistakes made is wasting precious time and resources creating content that is not attracting your target audience. Delve into the mind of your audience. Who are they? What do they need help with? And craft content to solve their problems. This is a lot more valuable than the rat race of getting a blog out before your neighbour just for the sake of it. Put more focus on creating and promoting quality content that’s fit for purpose.

Mistake #5: You’re selling too hard

Golden rule#1: content marketing is not created for hard selling. You create to educate, inspire, engage and build your brand. Not to receive immediate acquisition. Of course, gaining business is an important goal, but it shouldn’t be obvious to customers. These days everyone does their homework online before purchasing. That’s why it’s important to provide relevant information, answer consumer questions, solve problems and offer alternative perspectives. Because if you don’t, someone else will.

Mistakes happen to the best of us – it what makes us human. Here’s hoping that LaLa Land Producer, Jordan Horowitz, and Moonlight’s Director Barry Jenkins can see it in the same light.

If you need help crafting a killer content marketing strategy, drop us a note at [email protected]

6 tips to help you pick the right content marketing agency

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve probably heard it a thousand times: content is king. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would also understand the important role content marketing plays in driving leads and delivering results.

Traditional marketing is falling out of favour with many consumers, and content marketing fills the gaps with regular creations and distribution of quality information relevant to your target audience – drawing them in and ultimately turning prospects into customers.

Sounds great doesn’t it?

But the only problem is that content marketing requires a full strategy, time and dedicated resources. This means that at least one or two team members should be dedicated to executing your content strategy, which can be tough, particularly if you don’t have the knowledge or manpower. If you don’t have the time, your next bet is to hire an agency to assist you. Agencies are generally made up of skilled professionals, meaning you can utilise many different talents and levels of expertise to help you drive your marketing strategy forward.

But with so many agencies out there, how do you pick the right one?

Here are some tips to consider when choosing a content marketing agency:

1. Define your purpose

This may seem like a no-brainer question, but so many brands out there get caught up in creating content just for the sake of it. When planning your strategy, really think about your key goals, and what you want to achieve. Do you want traffic? Increased conversions and leads? Or perhaps building brand reputation and awareness?

Your goals will determine your agency evaluation criteria. For example, if you’d like to to develop a strong content strategy, you might focus more on the team’s knowledge of your industry and knack for strategic and analytical thinking. But if you just want to outsource the content creating process, you would more likely look at hard skills such as subject matter expertise and video or photo editing skills. Most brands might not require the full breadth of an agency’s content marketing skills, so tailor your search accordingly.

2. Measure success

Ultimately, what you want out of your chosen agency is measurable results – to determine your ROI. So find out how they measure success and what content management tools and data sets they use. Getting to know and understand their processes should give you more confidence to select the right agency for you. 

3. Do the groundwork

Being a content marketing agency without a blog and social media accounts is akin to a pilot without a license: unqualified for the job. Don’t take what they say at face value, do the necessary legwork to validate their claims. Check out the quality of articles on their blog, who writes it, and how they’ve been growing over time. Their abilities should shine through at this point, and if you remain unimpressed, move on to the next agency.

4. Get to know the team

Ensure the people working on your account are knowledgeable and skilled. It’s not uncommon for top-level executives to pitch for your account, and then pass it over to other members in the agency – but it’s also your job to get to know who will eventually be on your team. Clarify these details, find out their track record, and if possible, meet and get to know them. They are the ones who will pluck out everything amazing in your company, and turn it into fantastic content that’s worth sharing.

5. Test the relationships

A good relationship is crucial, so make sure to pick a team that you’re completely comfortable and confident in. Besides having faith in the agency’s abilities, you should also feel assured that they will not hesitate to tell you if your ideas might not work, and recommend other strategies that are in line with your goals. Having a good working relationship also helps when you have to coordinate between your in-house team and the agency. The agency should be working as an extension of your company, and should help make this process seamless.

6. Don’t forget culture and values

While it’s important to assess an agency’s skill set and competency, cultural fit is also an important factor to take into account. Besides allowing for a smoother partnership, a good culture also determines the type of team you get. People are an agency’s number one asset, which means success comes from the right people with the right skills, doing the best for their client. It’s essential for the agency to have clear values in place, because those values shape the culture that attracts and retains top talent. Without an amazing culture, an agency will be subject to high turnover, which may affect your account.

And there you have it, 6 things to help you choose a content marketing agency. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it should help you get started and point you in the right direction.  

Drop us a note if you’re in the market for a creative content marketing agency. Reach us at [email protected].

 

Fall in love with data to shape your content marketing strategy

The first thing that often comes to mind when someone mentions content, is creativity. That’s almost true – great content is indeed dependent on creativity, but it’s also reliant on data. Data helps guide content towards the next best direction. After all, brands aren’t just shelling out money for nothing – they want to see value and ROI.

Data should never be an afterthought. It should be looked upon as an integral part that can help a business angle its content to accurately reach their audience and drive results. 

So if you’re having trouble filling up your content calendar, look to your data set first. It’ll give you access to the latest trends and insights  – and as well a whole new mindset on how to approach your content marketing strategy.

Here’s where to start:

Step 1: Do your research

Kick off with extensive research on the external data that’s available to you out there. Start with these:

1. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is great if you’re looking to see which specific keywords/topics are trending. You’ll also be able to see the number of social shares and engagements a particular topic has received. You’ll be in luck if the topic you’re writing about is already trending.

2. Google Trends

Always wondered what people are searching for on Google? Here you’ll find market-specific trending searches and search interest in various topics/keywords.

3. Twitter

Twitter makes it really easy for you to look at what is currently trending – just look to the left on your homepage and you’ll see the number of tweets each trending hash-tag has received. You’ll also be able to view market specific stats relevant to your preferred location.


4. Instagram

Instagram doesn’t quite have the same function as Twitter, but if you tap on the ‘Explore’ tab in your account, you can see what’s popular. Keep in mind that this is tailored according to your behaviour on Instagram, so the results won’t be an accurate reflection of what is truly trending.

Another feature of Instagram is hash-tags. Hash-tags with the most number of posts attributed to them signify popularity. Movements or trends that start on Instagram will usually use a unique hash-tag to group all related posts together as well. For example, take a look at Jamie Oliver’s #MeatlessMondays. Since this began, hordes of other food bloggers and enthusiasts have jumped on the bandwagon to produce related content.

If you’re unsure what hash-tags to use? Check out this link. However, it’s always important to keep your hashtags relevant to your content. For example, don’t hash-tag #dog if your photo is about baking.

5. Facebook

If you’re on Facebook’s mobile application, you’ll be able to see what’s currently trending through a quick tap on the search bar. This mostly changes everyday so if you see recurring topics that have remained on this page, you’ll definitely want to try and angle your content around that.

 

Step 2: Look deeper into your existing content


Recommended reading
: When was your last content audit?

Now that you know what topics people are talking about, you should now take a look at the other side of the coin. An internal content audit will give a deeper insight into how well your current content is performing. This is where you’ll find out what your audience likes, and what they aren’t really receptive to.

For starters you can take a look at your website analytics and social traffic.
Website analytics

Google analytics is a nifty tool for any content marketer out there. Simply set up your  account and copy the unique code on your site (if you aren’t sure how to do this ask your web developer). This tool will offer insights on your web traffic and referrals – you’ll also be able to identify your most popular content pieces in terms of views, time spent and bounce rate.

Social traffic (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter)

1. Twitter Analytics – this can be found on the top right portion of your account.

Here you’ll find tons of useful data, including Tweet impressions, profile visits, mentions and follower growth. You’ll also be able to export these analytics into a useful Excel sheet so you can match these numbers together with other data that you’re analysing.

2. Instagram

If you’ve linked up your Facebook page with your Instagram account to get a business profile, you’ll get access to useful data including number of impressions, reach and engagement for each Instagram post. Simply go to each photo and tap on ‘View Insights’.

3. Facebook

Facebook has a really intuitive way of presenting data. Simply go to your Facebook business page and click on ‘Insights’. This tab will tell you everything you need to know from the thousands of people you’ve reached to the number of people that have liked/un-liked your page in the past month.

For starters, click on ‘Export Data’ and exporting ‘Post Data’. This will show you key information on individual post, such as reach and engagement. But of course, feel free to play around with your Page insights – there is a lot there to explore.

 

Step 3: Set your KPIs

Now that you’ve extracted your internal and external data, the next step is to set your KPIs. With all of your previous research in mind, you should now have a clearer idea of what a good result looks like, and what doesn’t. This would then set you up to decide on achievable and realistic KPIs. Here’s some ideas for realistic goals you can set:

Web traffic

In Google Analytics, you’ll want to set your goals based on your past sessions, new users and page views. If you’re slightly more advanced, you can break the data down to the different channels where your traffic comes from. For example, finding out where the majority of your web traffic comes from, i.e.Google, Facebook, Twitter, Newsletter etc.

Engagement

One of the biggest issues that content marketers face is driving engagement from their audience. Because you’ve already done your content audit, you’ll now know what numbers signify a good engagement rate.

On social, you could set goals based on reach, impressions, engagement, link clicks, comments and shares. On your website, you may want to work on improving lead generation from newsletter sign-ups or free source downloads through your content.

Getting started on a content marketing strategy can seem daunting because there are so many factors to consider. But take it one step at a time and it’ll no doubt pay off.

And finally, in the wise words of David Welch, Former Adobe VP of Marketing Insights & Operations, ‘Creative thrills, but data pays bills’.

 

If you need help in shaping and executing your content marketing strategy, drop us a note at [email protected].

 

5 strategic benefits of PR

Why should I spend money on PR?”

It’s a question many business leaders and entrepreneurs ask when allocating their marketing budgets. And even though it’s possible to drive a business with minimal or no PR spend, it’s unlikely that the brand will ever gain traction in its industry or key markets.

Many businesses regard public relations as an afterthought and the PR machine is only activated when they are hit by a scam or crisis. On the other hand, brands with consistent PR efforts are able to create long-term sustainable accomplishments, and are far more successful in dealing with negative publicity.

What’s more?

  1. PR helps generate leads

A targeted media outreach backed by high-value content assets (data studies, whitepapers, opinion pieces) will gradually convert into a lead generation machine, catching eyeballs of the right investors, talent and prospects. With the right messaging and strategy, PR can increase your credibility as a stable and potentially lucrative investment target while cultivating relationships with key opinion leaders.

  1. It helps to boost your SEO

For any brand, the key to driving visibility and positive impressions relies on being top of mind. And, the importance of SEO becomes even more critical as brands must be present and found online, easily. The more media coverage a brand receives, the more links it receives back to its website. Links from reliable, trustworthy media sources rank high in Google’s algorithm, leading to better search results.

  1. Trust for editorial content is more valuable than ads

PR’s approach to positioning your business in the public light differs greatly from that of advertisements. Media reports suggest that consumers trust third-party editorial content (which is shareable and can be re-purposed), more than any type of advertising or endorsement.

  1. PR builds successful thought leadership

Thought leadership is one of the more strategic approaches to building up the credibility of CEO’s and business leaders. It provides a great opportunity to accomplish critical business objectives, evangelise company culture, support recruiting efforts and gain partnerships and endorsements. A well planned out thought leadership campaign is not just limited to publishing opinion articles but also creates a pipeline of events, conferences, speaking opportunities, and of course social media.

  1. PR enables cross-channel messaging

Creating a digital editorial calendar is critical to keeping your company’s messaging consistent across your key distribution channels. By combining information for your blogs, email marketing and PR efforts, you ensure consistency and one unified message directed to all your content channels.

With the rise of digital and social media, the fight for attention has never been greater. Trust can be difficult to build and reputation has become even harder to protect. PR helps build brand honesty and credibility, and it’s one of the best investments a business can make.

“If I was down to the last dollar of my marketing budget I’d spend it on PR!”
– Bill Gates 

 

If you need any help with your 2017 PR efforts, drop us a note at [email protected].

5 steps to help you plan the best content mix

Content Marketing is still marketing. We’ve covered the ‘content’ portion, and now we’re going to apply this to the ‘marketing’ side for the perfect content mix. The basic formula is the same, there’s a funnel, so have something for every stage of the funnel.

Awareness

The most important thing to keep in mind here is who you want to generate awareness from. It is easy to boost a post to an entire market for a week, and bask in the vanity metrics. However, raw impressions or even ‘Likes’ do not mean much. Learn who your audience is, and find out how and where to engage them in a targeted way. It could be an event, in which case roll out live content supported by social. It could be a publication, so try a solid PR pitch or even sponsored content. 

The thing about awareness is, it is the widest part of the funnel, and a good awareness campaign requires a metric tonne of effort. You have to create something entertaining, on-brand and shareable, and distribute it well. That said, wide does not always mean tall. Awareness content should not dominate the content calendar. Put that effort into distribution and quality, not quantity. 10% of the calendar can go here, and space it out across the year.

Interest

This is where we start getting into the bulk of your content. When people ‘Like’, ‘Follow’, ‘Subscribe’, search for you and so on, it means they are interested in your content. To translate that to interest in your product, align both content and product closely. From a potential customer’s point of view, think of the questions they would ask that will lead them further towards you.

Typically, it is a pain point of “How do I do X?”, where X can be any problem, such as:

  • Choosing the right facial cleanser for Asian skin in a Western-dominated cosmetics market that tends to either over-dry or cause breakouts
  • Integrating big data into marketing analytics without the need for IT intervention
  • Getting lunch in Singapore’s CBD for under $10

Furthermore, the context of ‘Problem X’ varies based on prevailing trends. Weather changes cause breakouts, and technology changes cause breakdowns.

News sites and social media are a great way to surface these questions. Apart from that is also Google Analytics and Trends. That means ‘Problem X’ is going to form the backbone of your SEO. If people find you through viral content, they’re looking for a laugh. If people find you to solve their problems, that’s where there’s a clear path to conversion.

40% of your content should make up the interest stage, and if it performs well, feel free to boost on social, or go more in-depth with a white paper.

Desire

Here, people want your product, but they are curious. The solution is to show it to them. Webinars, trailers, teasers, demos, testimonials. Make compelling case studies, create infographics showing the amount of improvement possible… and then put a call to action at the end. Here, conversion should be the main goal; sharing and engagement is just a bonus. After all the effort attracting an audience and building up credibility, this is what needs to happen:

So make this 18% of your content.

Action

As far as content marketing goes, action is pretty straightforward. Want, give, have. However, APAC is a market where a single discount day generates e-commerce sales that dwarf the rest of the world.

So maybe your audience wants your product, but they expect a bit of special treatment. Space out contextualised specials very sporadically to cater for this. Perhaps it is your company’s anniversary, or Christmas. In any case, emphasise the context to make it clear this doesn’t happen every day. After that, dress the copy up to sound fun and drop a subtle call to action at the end. Do this about 2% of the time.

Retention

What do Seth Godin, Bain & Co and Salesforce’s US$2bn annual revenue have in common? True, they’re all rich enough to fill a pool with money, but the point is, they all support the notion that it is easier to retain an existing customer than it is to acquire. In all likelihood, existing customers will be interested in finding out solutions to related problems, and feel reaffirmed by your case studies and infographics. In other words, most of your existing content should already be relevant.

That said, there should still be some space dedicated to the post-funnel- to cover the human side of the relationship. From a content perspective, that means personalising the brand. Make your own in-jokes to get people to laugh with you. Share milestones to let people know you’re here to stay. Tease your latest updates so there’s something to look forward to.

Naturally, this is not the kind of content you would expect people to search for. However it is more ‘Likeable’ than how-tos, so an interesting graphic can get great traction on social. Aim for people to engage with this content organically. If people ‘Like’ your content, then they’re more likely to see your other posts in future, and cost less to boost towards. This stage should form the last 30% of your content.

 

The recommended split should add up to an 80:20 fluff:sell ratio. For brands new to content marketing, it is a balanced, middle-of-the-road guideline to start off by testing everything. However, each brand is unique in their own way, and ongoing data will lead to each option being weighted differently as time passes. Your CRM, Google Analytics and social platform’s insights will be your friends here.

If you need help planning the best content mix for your 2017 communications strategy, drop us a note at [email protected].

 

Planning a tech B2B content calendar in 2017

2017 has arrived, and that means another year of content that needs to be planned. For tech B2B companies, it should go without saying that your company blog is important for generating leads, engaging and retaining your community, or simply letting people know the lights are on. On a broad level, not much changes, but every year brings its own quirks. So how do you plan blog content for 2017? Here’s some key trends to keep in mind:

More people are looking at you on mobile

This varies from company to company, so check your Google Analytics to see how many people are reading your blog from mobile. If it’s more than 30%, start cutting content down to size. No point being verbose if it makes people swipe away.

Mobile-friendly also means thinking about how to handle content other than text. Widescreen formats still work, but important details or text should be viewable even when shrunk down to 4 inches wide.

Your site should also be mobile friendly – it’s easy bonus points for ranking better on Google. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to make sure your content works well on mobile. But please, draft your content on a keyboard. Being typo-free goes a long way towards looking professional.

Hedge your traffic sources

It’s 2017, so write for humans first. Robots should always come second, but don’t forget about them.

Facebook will never stop tweaking their ranking algorithms, so don’t expect what works today on Facebook to work forever. Because of Facebook’s endless changes, 2016 saw the prolific collapse of a number of clickbait-like sites, and plenty of collateral damage at respectable news outlets. Fake news looks likely to follow, but I’d like to hope we’re all honest people here ☺. Of course, Facebook is still a valuable source of traffic, but a sustainable strategy means looking beyond the gold rush.

On the Google front, the search engine continues to update its ranking algorithm, aiming to prioritise original content that makes people stay, read and share. Focus on interesting content, and don’t forget to support it with meta tags, and just a smattering of keywords in the right places.

Ideally, traffic should come from a combination of social, search, back links and dark social. If a single source accounts for more than half your referral traffic, think of how to diversify and buffer against algorithm changes.

Go live

Consider live content to make your posts more visible. Videos streamed ‘in the now’ do not just rank higher on Facebook and Twitter, they also give you a reason to repeatedly post related Tweets and photos to stay visible and hit different hashtags for the duration.

This tactic works best when you actively go out and network. Attend (or organise) events with a huge following, meet reputable people and tag them in a photo. Leverage their following to reach a new audience. Bonus points if you can feature them in your content and they share it. Offline activities boost your online presence – who’d have thought?

Plan it out

When you’re ready to start making your content calendar, click below for a free content template. This is based on the very same template we use to plan client content throughout the year. On the “content calendar” tab, you can plan your posts to make sure a regular stream of content goes out every week. On the “report” tab, a pivot table has already been created, where you can filter by month or content type to make sure you have the right balance.

 

If you need any help with your 2017 content marketing efforts, drop us a note at [email protected].

 

6 content-driven ways to engage the finicky Millennial

Millennials are an interesting bunch. They currently make up the largest portion of the Singaporean workforce, and by 2020 they will account for over a third of the global workforce. Many will soon be entering their prime working years with high purchasing power, making them one of the most lucrative target groups for marketers.

However, connecting – really connecting – with Millennials is no easy task. There’s a reason so many marketers tear their hair out when trying to target and engage them, simply because Millennials aren’t very responsive to traditional methods of advertising. This is also true for the Millennials’ younger siblings, Generation Z.

So how can you approach and execute a campaign that appeals to the needs of today’s tech-savvy youth? Answer: Through smart and targeted content.

  1. Keep things mobile friendly

Everyone knows this about Millennials – they eat, live and breathe mobile, and are addicted to social media in all its forms. They are the mobile generation, constantly consuming online content on the go. This means brands need to tailor their marketing to think mobile first.

From making sure your creatives are specifically tailored to each social media platform, through to creating bite-sized videos that are interactive and easy to digest – make it a point for your marketing to be fit for the Millennial on the move.

TIP: You can make use of some amazing free resources such as Facebook’s business tips and ad guides which can help ensure your content is both desktop and mobile friendly.

  1. Make them feel important

Be active on social media, and by ‘active’ we don’t mean just post things regularly. You have to engage with your audience on a genuine level. Reply to comments, ask for feedback and interact with people, as opposed to using these channels purely as promotional avenues. Involve your Millennial audience and let them be a part of your brand and its story.

  1. Listen, educate and don’t interrupt

Millennials grew up in a world of smart devices and laptops, surrounded by fast-advancing technology. Having been bombarded with advertisements from a very young age, they know when they’re being sold to and hate it, which explains the amount of ad-blocking apps at our disposal. Think about the commercials played before a YouTube video, or between songs on your free Spotify account. Those commercials interrupt to sell, and detract from the user experience. Instead, a targeted content marketing campaign focuses on listening to people. It allows brands to address consumer pain points without that annoying sales pitch.

Produce educational content that is engaging and inspiring. Always consider the end-user and what they need. As Millennials are time poor and want quick solutions for everything, you can post an advert online that tells how fast they can do something, be sent something, or complete a task. For example, if your ad’s messaging is around the world’s fastest-drying hairdryer, promote a piece of content discussing “5 speedy ways a quality hairdryer can save you time”.

Where an ad might be disruptive, the article serves to educate and allows the readers to make up their own mind on their next beauty purchase.

TIP – Always have a call-to-action on every content piece. This will help direct a potential customer further down the purchase funnel.

  1. Get personal

Instead of creating content around a generic understanding of Millennials, create targeted information that appeals to life stage rather than age. Targeting all Millennials is too general, and would likely result in your audience thinking you don’t understand them at all. A 30-year-old professional would have different life priorities when compared to a 17-year-old student.

Makeup giant Sephora, does a great job in targeting the Millennial audience with all the latest makeup products, tips and tricks. Here’s a Hello Kitty styling product focusing on a younger Millennial demographic with this cute graphic and fun content.

Then there was this year’s must-have beauty buy – the new Dyson Supersonic hairdryer. This post is targeting those ‘older’ Millennials with a bit more disposable income who value beauty and luxury. Each post from Sephora has a different targeting purpose to ensure the brand covers the wide Millennial demographic.

  1. Be authentic, relevant and fun!

It’s important for every piece of content to be authentic. Create personalised stories and use a conversational tone of voice. Millennials will appreciate it and are more likely to respond to a genuine conversation.

Remember, Millennials love to be a part of something and respond well to human qualities when it come to brands and their marketing. Be real and relevant to YOUR audience!

Clever marketing will get the message across in an engaging and humorous way that will have the audience coming back for more. Check out this great Instagram post from Dunkin’ Donuts who were able to have some fun with the Pokemon Go craze and received a lot of fan attention as a result.

  1. Bring your visual game

As people who live in the digital sphere almost 24/7, Millennials are easily distracted. A website or post with poor design is an instant turnoff, while eye catching visuals accompanying content is more likely to grab attention. It’s all about the #aestheticgoals here, so use a mix of engaging creative such as videos, infographics, images and GIFs.

Global snack food brand Oreo has mastered the art of visual content with its clever Instagram account. Check out this fun work-themed example from Oreo that received a lot of fan engagement:

Yes, Millennials may seem like one of the hardest demographic group to target, but this is largely due to our lack of audience understanding. A well-developed content marketing campaign helps brand to engage and drive meaningful connections with their key audience.

If you need help reaching your audience, get in touch with us at [email protected]