In his essay, Content Is King, Bill Gates states that much of the real money to be made in the digital world will be through content.
It's true. The high majority of folks don't trust traditional ads anymore. But success in the content arena requires more than just producing content for the masses. You need to engage your customers. To do this, you need content moments.
Content moments are a type of experience-based marketing. They're when you leverage live events to kick-start conversations in real-time on social media. If successful, the end result is increased brand awareness, social amplification and enhanced customer loyalty.
Just recently, we explored how important it is to begin building content moments into your event and experiential strategies, but easier said than done, right? To help you get started down the right path, we're backtracking a bit and diving into our own playbook for generating content moments.
Understand How to Connect Your Brand to the Event
First, you need to be aware of why your customer is watching, reading or playing something. For instance, research has shown that 23 percent of consumers view content to be inspired. Here are some other main reasons:
- Discover something and be in the know
- Update on social media
- Connect with others
- Feel good, comforted or entertained
To figure out what your customers care about, listen and evaluate what they are saying and doing before and during the event. Employ data analytics to get a better idea of what will connect—and what won't.
For example, if your company is attending a sales conference, you can do everything from give Facebook updates and conduct field reports to hold interviews and analyst chats. Find the best way to link your brand to the event and the audience, and then engage.
Create a Plan and Run with It
Whether you're creating your own event, attending one or building a campaign around a major event (like the Super Bowl), you'll need to flesh out a plan in advance. Obviously, the details of what you create in a moment will change based on the event. But you should have a general structure in place.
From hashtag activations and TED-like storytelling to hackathons and amazing races, there are many ways to create content moments. Train yourself to see content moments wherever you go. And ideas will pop in your head.
Here are some ideas for live events you'll physically attend:
- Product demos
- News style dailies
- Fireside chat theaters
- Teams of evangelists roaming and delivering organic experiences
- Field reports
For inspiration, also look to past successful examples. During the 2016 Olympics, Panasonic UK ran a campaign called #Superfans. Throughout the Games, the company updated its social media accounts with pictures of fans from Team Great Britain doing wild stuff—like painting their bodies and flying out of parachutes—in support of their country.
Clearly, Panasonic did not have an idea of what these pictures would be exactly. Yet the company knew it was going to create content moments with such photos. When the Games started, the camera maker was ready to roll.
Evaluate Your Content Moments and Refresh
Think of creating content moments like a cycle—not a finite line. You need to be constantly optimizing and improving. This involves evaluating the response you get from these content moments.
For instance, if you find that a roundtable discussion did not get the traction you wanted, maybe you need to go for something more immersive and interactive, like a competition or virtual reality experience. Your success lies in knowing your audience and adjusting to improve for your audience when necessary.
As you continue to create content moments, continually evaluate and refresh. Then, create a plan and implement it. Data is key in helping with this.
If you can do experience-based marketing well, your brand will see great results every event. And you'll be on your way to sustainable success.