Sunday 22 April 2018

Content as Currency and Other Thoughts From #Snowcial

This post was originally published on David Armano’s blog, Logic + Emotion.

Last week at “Snowcial,” an event that bills itself as “SXSW for the snow sports and hospitality industry,” I gave a short talk about content, convergence and connectivity. Below are a few themes from my talk:

Content As Currency

There’s a good reason everyone is talking about the role of content these days, but you have to understand the psychology of it all. Thanks to social networks, people share interesting, entertaining or even informative content because it makes them look good. There’s a reason why the word “meme” has “me” in it. It’s not enough just to produce content—your content has to be designed for sharing. I like to think of content in today’s hyper connected world as being “snackable”—sending out bits and bites of content which can be digested and shared rapidly. The reason why we’re seeing a revolution in visual content which is designed for social newsfeeds and mobile is based on this core understanding of why people like, share and engage around content.

Everyone Can And Will Publish

I shared a recent experience I had with Jeep in which I tweeted for help and was not only responded to but had my issue resolved through their customer care service which was facilitated through my initial interactions on Twitter. This is by no means a new model, but Jeep clearly had a process in place and was able to close the loop with me efficiently. Brands will continue to grapple with this as people move from traditional ways of initiating contact with brands and go directly to public forums. The obvious follow up question is “how does this scale?” My answer is “figure it out,” because it’s not going away. (And yes, my car is working just fine now.)

Insights Influence

For all the hype around influence, we’ve still largely got it wrong. We should be looking at analyzing who and what are driving conversations in the same context as we might run a focus group. Technologies that allow us to analyze conversations, how they spread and who influences them can provide great insights if we know what we are looking for. For example in working with the association that represents US dairy farmers—we analyzed conversations in forums and found these topics emerging. As we audited the content the organization was producing, we identified opportunities to make future content initiatives more relevant to what people were talking about.

You Don’t Not Need An App For That

There’s no doubt that we are living in an app economy, but it’s time to step back and ask ourselves if we need an app for every idea. Unless that idea involves significant functionality, it might not need to be developed as a standalone app, creating yet another format to maintain. My team has been developing content solutions using responsive design techniques, so the design reacts to the format it’s being viewed in. It’s not a perfect solution for every development problem, but it’s worth tapping where it makes sense.

It’s All Converging

Lastly, I spoke about the convergence of media models and marketing tactics—first from a broad perspective inspired by Altimeter’s model of converged media, but also as it applies to new digital advertising formats that blur hard lines. Facebook Sponsored stories are a perfect example of how paid, earned, and owned dynamics all come together. You can read more about it on the unofficial All Facebook blog, which covered my talk.

*ConAgra is an Edelman Digital client

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