08 Dec How to Not Create Pointless Content
In marketing, the word content is thrown around as carelessly as a Trump tweet. ‘Content is King,’ we all have a content marketing strategy and are obsessed with creating content for our blogs, social media, and websites.
With the pressure and urgency to create things to keep our brands relevant and in the minds of our clients and targets, it’s possible to lose track of the bigger picture. Brands are occasionally guilty of forgetting why they create content in the first place. Obviously, this is to generate discussion about the brand, raise awareness and ultimately GET MORE BUSINESS. We can all probably recall an advert that we thought was funny, or memorable, but when pushed, we can’t remember who the brand behind it was. Unless you’re in the movie business, your content needs to be part of a larger, cohesive marketing strategy to augment your business activities.
This year, spending on Christmas adverts has reached a new high with many brands looking to emulate the market leader — John Lewis. Over the last few years, they’ve produced beloved adverts that have helped to make their brand as synonymous with Christmas as turkey, sherry and The Great Escape. There’s a huge buzz when the advert is released, with many people feeling Christmas has officially begun upon its launch.
This year however, John Lewis has fallen into the ’content for content’s sake’ trap. Their latest advert featured Moz the Monster who lives under a bed. Whilst the production value is tremendous, and the narrative is indeed engaging. There isn’t a clear link to the brand. Moz doesn’t make you want to buy. The masters of Christmas ads have missed the mark this year.
Obviously, other brands have cottoned onto the power of the Christmas advert. It would probably be easier to list the brands that haven’t produced an ad this year. Notable offerings that have received significant attention include Aldi, Tesco, House of Fraser, Lidl and Argos. Some have also fallen into the John Lewis trap. Persuasion scores amongst viewers for Asda, Sainsbury, Waitrose and House of Fraser were unexpectedly low. This demonstrates that these brands missed the mark and left either the brand or an engaging call to action out of their adverts.
Speaking to Marketing Week, TCC Global’s Bryan Roberts summarised this point well, “We sometimes lose sight of the fact the whole point of Christmas advertising is to sell more stuff. It’s great making an Oscar-standard piece of cinema [like John Lewis] but at the same time, we must remember advertising is about providing the benefits of becoming or remaining one of your customers.
“Outside of Amazon, Argos and a few of the ‘big four’ supermarkets, I’m not sure enough marketers have remembered this.”
Amazon has widely been credited with creating the most ‘effective’ Christmas advert this year. Their singing boxes are engaging enough to not result in the audience being bored. However, the distinctive packaging and the emphasis on rapid, global delivery to your door during the hectic gift-giving season relate to the brand positively.
If your brand is planning on a content-based campaign next year, make sure that there’s some substance behind your stylish content. Relating to your brand and products is critical, otherwise, you’re just keeping people amused at your own expense.
Before you commit to your content you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the purpose of this content?
You need to do more than entertain, are you informing the public about your brand?
Promoting a new feature of a product or an offer?
- What does success look like?
Is your Twitter following going to explode?
Will the sales of a certain product take off?
Will you be selling in a new location?
- It’s a good idea to start at success and work backwards.
What is the desired outcome from the video?
In an ideal world, what would viewers do straight after they see your content?
Brands shouldn’t be producing content because this would be a ‘really cool idea’ or because the pitcher has Spielberg-esque delusions of grandeur. Cool ideas become incredible campaigns when they have goals, results and actions.
Only 11 months and 2 weeks until we find out if brands have learned their lessons.