By John Kultgen, Content Director
Social Fresh, the digital and social media conference full of actionable presentations and case studies, occurred this past weekend. Admist the Snapchat jokes and the breaks we took to read the latest on the Ryan Lochte drama, I witnessed live presentations from some brilliant marketing minds. Here are some key takeaways I recommend all brands and social media agencies should follow as they close out the rest of the 2016 year.
"Build the message first, build the media second."
–Sally Hogshead, Fascination
Sally's advice centers around the warning not to build blindly. Brands should determine what makes them different AND what they do best. Only once this is determined should they begin building out this message.
"Is it gonna make people care, swear, or share?"
– Sarah Evans, Sevans Strategy
What a wonderful gate to put up when evaluating content. Everything should have value to your user.
“Paid advertising amplifies great content. Not content — GREAT content!"
— Justin Levy, Citrix
At the heart of everything, the message and the way it's presented will determine success.
"People trust their friends and family five times more than a brand message."
—Amy Greber, American Red Cross
Don't let paid social advertising be your only focus. When happy consumers share your content, it has such a strong value, so always consider the shareability of what you're producing.
"Text still matters."
–Heather Taylor, The Economist
According to a survey conducted at her company, visual content may bring the reader in but long-form text such as whitepapers and reports will help B2B products convert. Decision-makers need this in-depth analysis before agreeing to move forward.
“Video for the sake of video is not a winning strategy.”
–Jeremy Goldman, Firebrand Group
Determine what kind of video you're showcasing and why. Behind-the-scenes? Brand hero? Exclusive offer? These messages need to be in place before determining if video is necessary.
"Acknowledge mistakes, and show how you are making up for them on social media."
–CJ Vasquez, RE/MAX
Social media demands transparency. If you deny something, it will work against you. Instead, use social media as an opportunity to showcase a true apology, helping consumers and your own team move on.
"If we want to see scripted, we'll watch the TV commercials."
–CJ Vasquez, RE/MAX
Another great insight from Vasquez. Social media inherently has authenticity to it that television does not. Utilize that opportunity to show a more spontaneous side of your brand with live video.
"There is no such thing as good content. There is only content in context."
–Melanie Deziel, Mdeziel Media
What a breakaway from the cliche! Deziel explained that what makes something good is IF it's relevant in the context we're examining. This prevents us from comparing differing pieces of content that target two different audiences or have two different primary objectives.