Reimagine Content

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“The pandemic has changed consumer behaviors, some permanently. We have seen a consolidation of shopping trips: in China, for example, the number of transactions in grocery declined by 30 percent during the pandemic, while the average value per transaction increased by 69 percent. In the United States, e-commerce availability and hygiene considerations are increasing store switching behavior, with 17 percent of consumers shifting away from their primary store. Many customers have also tried new omnichannel models: buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) grew 28 percent year-over-year in February compared with 18 percent in January, and grocery delivery is up by 57 percent. More important, many of these new engagement models are here to stay. Consumers report high intention to continue using models such as BOPIS (56 percent) and grocery delivery (45 percent) after the pandemic.”

With Omnichannel and Digital first approaches, it’s imperative for brands to reimagine content across channels to offer a seamless experience.

Some of the content trends that are emerging to make the customers experience across touch points seamless are:

Personalization

Customers expect personalized messaging from brands to stay connected with brands during these troubled times. Conquer personalization with these five steps:

Collect Data on your customers

Build Personas

Use Dynamic Content

Choose your channel

Use personalized messaging

Gamify your Content

Engage audiences with gamified content. Offer content that increases user engagement. An example of this is Virtual workout offered by Nike China. Nike China activated its digital community by offering virtual workouts and saw an 80 percent increase in weekly active users of its app.

Use Video Conferencing

Businesses can make greater use of video conferencing to bring the in-store experience online. Customers expect to get individual attention and bringing in store experience online is a great way to keep the customers engaged.

Use Innovative techniques

Make use of new technologies to engage users with content that is innovative. Jewelry brand Kendra Scott is tackling that problem by launching a new platform, Virtual Try-On, which uses augmented-reality (AR), machine-learning, and computer-vision techniques.

Create Content for Bots

The use of Chat bots has gone up during the pandemic and brands need to connect with audiences via the bots. Publish content that meets the customers needs requires insights for their top most concerns. Listening to your customers can help understand their fears that can be addressed via chat bots. Additionally product queries can be better answered with a product inquiry bot.

 

Brand Conversations For 2017

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As the brand conversations shift their focus to 2017, here are  key trends in consumer engagement.

Ephemeral Stories and Content Creation

“The days of conventional brand storytelling is over, thanks to the democratization of content creation and the rise of image over text.”, according to Accenture Interactive report, Fjord.

With democratization of Content Creative, the narrative is now focused on users contributing to the story. According to Forbes, there is a risk to organizations that try to control the message.

Conversations are the New User Experience

According to  Forbes, “User Experience trends shifted from brick-and-mortar physical spaces and in-person interactions to online text & visual content and virtual interactions. Fjord indicates there is a new shift starting to emerge, that of a shift to conversations with AIs instead of human-to-human and human-to-content.”

To view more trends, Click here.

Five Ways To Engage With User Generated Content

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UGC, User Generated Content  resonates better with the conversion rates for UGC being 5X higher. Brands have reportedly seen an increase of 10 percent in conversion rates when User generated content has been used in the buyer journey. While Sweepstakes is a commonly used tactic to expand reach for your campaigns, UGC with ratings, reviews, Q&A’s and user submitted images can improve your site’s search rankings. According to a Forrester’s research on UGC,  User Generated content is helpful through all stages of buyer journey, making it a key tactic for new product launches.

Consumers research more and more products online and on the go. Consumers don’t just research big-ticket items like cars or computers, they research everyday purchases like toothpaste and cereal. 

Marketers view user-generated content as a critical tool during the early stages of the customer life cycle. 

Marketers employ UGC as a key component of new product launches. For leading consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers, user-generated content has become a key tactic for new product launches — the lifeblood of CPG brands

UGC has significant SEO benefits 

UGC and The SEO opportunity*

Use Consumer content to reveal the words that are more relevant to search queries.

Repurpose content such as reviews, questions, answers, opinions, photos, videos, and other types of consumer content in multiple places where it can provide a desirable user experience or help guide the consumer decision process.

Users expect reviews in search results without a click. Do A/B tests to understand search results and revenue when review content adheres to this principle.

Content written by consumers has a shelf-life, therefore it’s important to have a content generation strategy that provides a constant flow of quality content.

Properly structured UGC can help generate rich snippets that appear in search results and can increase click-through rates by 30 percent.

Awareness Campaigns For Storytelling

Campaigns that are designed to harness the power of UGC require an awareness campaign that positions the campaign to be unique enough for audiences to react, engage and share. Generating awareness with existing fans and followers can increase conversions from your Sweepstakes Contest.

In a User Generated Content Campaign, Under Armour has effectively used Video advertising to create awareness with a YouTube video to promote the contest with hashtags #RuleYourself and #IWill.

 Customer Centricity

Consumers have a world of content to choose from. If you are too self-serving, you will turn customers away. Instead, focus on your customers’ needs to provide value-added content that puts customer first, product or brand second. Include ratings and reviews wherever possible.

At the same time harness the power of endorsement, turning referrals into a point that creates compelling messages for your audience.

According to Forrester’s report,  “Harness the power of peer-to-peer endorsements by sharing them widely. Incorporate stellar ratings or innovative product uses into point-of-sale materials and online or mobile ads. One CPG manufacturer learned that display ads that incorporate ratings and reviews drove higher web traffic and conversion than ads without such information”.
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Pixar And The Art Of Storytelling

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Making the story relatable is more than a clever video creative or animation. Pixar delves into various attributes that make the story relatable. The Raison d’être for a story is what determines the success of the film’s story.

Strong characterizations is one of the factors that lend to the relatability for a story. Encouraging audiences to empathize with characters creates a unique bond. Inspiring emotional understanding brings audiences to delve further on the story and explore the subject matter.

Brand Storytelling with Content requires Brands to start a conversation with the targeted audience that helps them see the usefulness of the Brand in their lives and thereon engage audiences in an ongoing conversation. Brands that seek to evoke emotions with fans and followers, can use different types of content to tell the Brand Story. Brand Storytelling can be used to engage audiences at different stages of Consumer Journey right from brand discovery to post purchase or advocacy stage.

 

Photos, Video Clips and Animated GIF’s

Visuals are known to be more engaging. To be able to capture the sentiment of your audience with the visuals makes for campaigns that resonate with and engage your audiences.

Content Fillers For Ongoing Audience Engagement

Use Content Fillers on Social Media to keep the audience interest alive in your Brand or Campaign by adapting content to be used as a filler to further your brand’s story.

Target created a  Holiday Adventure Series that led through a maze of presents presenting a number of options that were available for gift shoppers, while building on the story of a magical quest to light up a ridiculously Giant  tree.

 

 

 

Create Video Content and Contests For Themed Engagement

Oreo’s Open up with Oreo themed campaign takes forward the campaign idea of openness making the brand relatable in different contexts. The storytelling approach here builds on the idea of inspiring openness and curiosity in every day lives .

“As a brand that inspires openness and curiosity every day, OREO believes that, if we begin to open ourselves up, we’ll make more meaningful connections and discover that we have more in common than we think, no matter where we live or what walk of life we come from,” said Jennifer Hull, Brand Director Global OREO.

 

 

Oreo has earlier taken the idea of “Wonderfilled Moments” to tell the story with video clips that generate enthusiasm with the audience with an experience #PlayWithOreo that directs users to a link with recipe.

Use Video Contests to engage users with a theme that establishes your brands’ support for a cause, that can be used to package your brand as a socially responsible brand by supporting a cause or promising benefits that generate positive association for the brand.

If you are looking at a product centric campaign then a series of simple quizzes or content that is useful can bring forth the product features and help you build your story. Ben & Jerry’s post on Instagram about Flavor Facts created more than average engagement.

 

Use Exclusive Product Shots and Visual Treatment

Product shots that are exclusive create recall for your content. Another interesting way to approach the visual treatment is to see attributes that are closely associated with your brand and use those attributes to create a unique style for your posts.

Brand Content For New Launches and Offers

Ben & Jerry’s uses video on Instagram effectively to make the story relatable with links.

Amazon’s Prime Now builds on deals and ultra-fast delivery promise with social media posts.

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Brands that rely on social media referrals can use posts that showcase consumer reviews or user-generated content to endorse the Brand Story. A simple compilation of Users with images in a video format can engage audiences making them feel part of the story while helping you achieve your campaign objective.