A post on maximizing every dollar of your content investments
Nothing irritates me more than wasting time or money. Hence – Nudge.
In 2017 Nudge measured 1000+ campaigns, each involving a different brand and content creator, which gives us a unique view into what delivers results and what does not.
These are some tactics informed by data and supplemented by my own observations on how marketers can extract more value from the campaigns they’ve invested in.
1) Use multiple pieces of content to offset set up cost
Brands often believe that their content is so great that people will want to read it more than once. This is a mistake.
Rather than doing one piece of content look at a series of either related, or continuous pieces.
The additional set-up, briefing, and trafficking costs are minimal – and you improve your penetration and opportunity to find resonance within the audience of your publishing partner.
2) Leverage every distribution point that you can
Use all the tools at your disposal to drive traffic. It may be posted on a partner site or their channels, but make sure it reaches your owned audience. Use your website, social networks, and newsletter to get it out there; you’ve built those channels, now use them! In fact, that owned audience might end up sharing the content farther and wider than the audience on your partner site.
Nudge provides visibility into the impact of each distribution source and trust me, you’d be surprised to learn what channels drive the highest engagement for branded content.
3) Content that isn’t consumed isn’t of any value
If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it make a noise? Of course it did, but no one cares! Don’t create content that no one sees or cares about! There is no value there.
Understand that not everything is black and white, consumption vs. no consumption. That’s why the smartest brands are planning around the concept of a “portfolio of attention”. Each campaign will have a different audience with different tiers of engagement, i.e low attention with high reach, medium attention with medium reach, high attention with low reach.
Whilst not perfect, this is a hedge around maximizing exposure through your content and preparing yourself for the most likely outcomes, as few campaigns hit all benchmarks of reach and engagement.
4) Brand integration
The best content has the brand integral to it. The second best is a clear association. There is no value in investing in content if the consumer doesn’t know who to attribute or associate it with, and why. Context matters.
5) Think time of day for impact
I don’t consume content consistently throughout the day, do you? Find your high impact zones and embrace them in your media strategy.
i.e. is this over lunch, is this on the way to work, is this second screen activity?
Too often we see brands blindly investing in times where people are less responsive.
Take a look at our SuperBowl insights, you can see how users swap devices during the day, and how to think about that in a different lens.
6) Slow loading content
Mostly everyone evaluating, buying, and signing off the content has (despite gripes) a better device AND higher speed internet connection than the average consumer. Think about the speed of the content – how fast it loads. If it’s slow for you, it’s even slower for the end consumer.
Google Page Speed has an objective score, use this as a sign off criteria.
Again, if it’s not consumed it’s of no value.
7) Competitive environments mean more investment in time and resources
Flipboard may not have the reach of Facebook, but it might be more effective at getting in front of your audience in a cost effective manner. It is easy to say ‘buy Facebook again’, but if everyone else is buying there, you have to invest more in creative, optimization, and bids just to get share of voice.
Seek out newer, niche and emerging platforms, to help bring your overall investment up.
8) Common sense test – would you consume this content?
A client asked me for a recommendation about five videos all embedded alongside one another, in a pop-up unit, on a tier 3 viral news site, with pre-roll on the videos, companion pop ups, auto-play with volume on, and a huge ‘buy now’ button embedded in the center – a slight dramatization perhaps, but you get the idea.
A simple rule prevails, would you or do you consume, this type of content? If no what makes you think that your consumers will?
A lot in marketing changes, but a lot stays the same. These simple guidelines aren’t rocket science, but are things we inadvertently overlook. I would love to hear your tips, tactics, or things that have surprised you to be effective, hit me up @bwagy on twitter.