Last week, members of the 360i Community team attended Expion’s 2014 Social Summit. The two-day conference featured marketers from Coca-Cola, Mondelēz, Univision and others. Below is a summary of the top learnings for marketers.
Want to improve your content marketing efforts? Just remember the ABCs.
Consumers are constantly inundated with marketing messaging online, which presents a challenge for brands vying to separate from the pack. In a keynote talk, 360i CEO Sarah Hofstetter noted that making good content isn’t about how quickly marketers react to “real-time” opportunities – instead, marketers should strive to develop content that is:
- Applicable: Given the volume of content out there today, what succeeds is not only beautiful imagery or high-end creative, but creative that taps into what consumers find interesting, relevant and applicable to their daily lives.
- Break-through: For content to break through the clutter, marketers must take the standalone content that currently dominates social to the next level – it’s all about storytelling.
- Cross-platform: No single platform dominates online engagement – similarly, no single platform should dominate a marketing strategy. Instead, successful content translates across social and digital lines, reaching consumers where it’s most relevant.
- Discoverable: To create content that resonates, marketers should place content where people can naturally find it. Deep-diving into consumer behavior allows marketers to pinpoint new opportunities for their brands to expand.
- Ever-changing: The digital world changes on a near-daily basis; marketers must adapt with these changes, or risk being out of touch with their targeted audiences.
Move over Millennials: Generation Z is driving consumer culture.
Millennials might still be the buzziest marketing target, but the incoming generation of young tech adopters – Generation Z – is one to watch for marketers. For that reason, Expion assembled a panel of Generation Z-ers and grilled them on the how’s and why’s of their digital behaviors. Led by Robert Wollner, Managing Director of Expion Europe, the talk underscored the importance of keeping up with the youngest generation in the market.
- Generation Z, the first “mobile-based” generation, self-curates more than the Millennial cohort. While similarities exist across the two – tech-savvy, always-on and eager to engage – Millennials are more apt to share anything and everything online (regardless of platform); Generation Z is more selective when it comes to what they publish and when.
- Members of Generation Z adopt and follow their own social content strategies. Similar to how marketers publish branded content online, Generation Z creates content customized for the platform – and even more interestingly, the audience – they are publishing to, which has resulted in the advent of hyper-local, closed off communities defined by these very platforms.
- Per the panelists, Instagram is for publishing broadly relevant content – a Starbucks morning coffee, for example.
- Snapchat is for publishing content that is specifically relevant – for example a selfie that is sent to friends only.
- And Facebook? Facebook represents a less personal means of communication reserved for acquaintances and family who might not be privy to a Generation Z-er’s day-to-day life.
In sum, Generation Z knows what marketers have learned the hard way: not all content is applicable across all platforms. A winning social strategy isn’t just about creating strong content and publishing it across the entirety of the digital space – it’s about taking a step back, learning the behavior of each social platform and developing content based on those insights.
Analytics can connect the content marketing dots.
Measuring content performance should go beyond identifying your brand’s top content across a weekly or monthly time period, says Albert Chou, Chief Innovation Officer at Expion. It’s better to assess and gauge success by looking at performance on a macro-level.
Using Expion, marketers can identify a norm or trend across historical KPI data for the previous 30 days and overlay this with existing data for the month. This will allow for a more comprehensive evaluation of content performed based on a benchmark that removes any outliers that may skew data. What you’re left with is a contextual analysis of post-performance at a macro level, deeper and more actionable observations, and insights to inform and optimize a long-term strategy.
Expion also announced a lineup of new features to help marketers guide content management and performance. These include: analytics offerings that compare paid vs. organic content; real-time, interactive dashboards and simplified listening tools to help brands monitor conversations across the web.
Expion is a three-year partner of 360i in the social marketing analytics space.
Karri Wells and Namrata Patel contributed to this post.