Content is King but Where Should it Live?
In our hyper-competitive world, standing out from the crowd has never been more important. To make headway in a flatline economy, frustrated by the ongoing Brexit debacle, businesses need to reconsider how they get their message to market. And times are changing. New research from Origin (Hill Holiday’s internal research arm) has found that Generation Z (those born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s) are leaving the social media they’ve grown up with, en masse. According to the study 34% say they’re permanently quitting social media and 64% are taking a break from it. This doesn’t mean we should all abandon ship when it comes to promoting our brands on social media – in reality Gen Zers are likely to quit certain channels and not others or indeed just take a break and re-join their networks rather than disappear from view forever – but it does mean we need to review our communication strategies.
Worthy of Investment
The study suggests that for the most part, social platforms are still relevant and worthy of investment, but that marketers and advertisers need to refocus on helping Gen Zers use social media for good. This is already a generation that doesn’t trust institutions and that has little faith in corporations, they align with brands they believe in and will call foul of those that don’t demonstrate strong values and ethics. Brands need to invest in using social sites responsibly, to focus on amplifying brand messages that are relevant, and that do good.
Whether we’re talking to this Generation with our brand communications, or others, the same principles of getting noticed apply – it’s partly about choosing the right platform for the right message, for the right audience at the right time, as this study highlights, but it’s also about creating a narrative that will resonate with that audience. If you look at Business to Consumer marketing, it’s all about bringing the customer along for the journey. Getting consumers to buy into a brand by appealing to their emotional side. You only have to think of Christmas TV adverts to know what we’re talking about! Although the technique is far less used in Business to Business marketing, staying true to your brand and including the personable will generate results in the realm of trade too. After all, people don’t stop being people when they arrive at work.
Thinking of your marketing communications as a means of connecting with your customer on a personal level is useful. If you want to build a successful, sustainable business and a brand that will garner loyalty, your customers should be able to immediately relate to the language you use, the images you show, and see themselves in what they see of you.
Creating loyalty and measurable benefits
Creating a brand is not simply about standing out and getting noticed with a one hit wonder campaign that gets talked about for a few days and then forgotten. It’s about building something that people care about and want to buy into. It’s a long-term commitment to a way of doing business that creates loyalty among customers. This will become the foundation of your brand and a strategy for future growth.
Standing out from the crowd with a strong brand that’s unique to your business makes it easier to trigger conversations with prospects, as a unique proposition will pique their interest. The only way of really knowing if you’re getting it right though is to analyse sales and establish to what extent customers are attracted by your marketing approach, and to what extent your branding is helping you retain customers. Measuring the financial benefits is essential in making sure your marketing strategy is working for your business on an ongoing basis. It also means you can adapt and evolve to new marketing and market contexts as you go to ensure your offering is always relevant and results driven.