For the past ten years, we in PR and social media marketing have been telling brands they must think of themselves as publishers and content curators.
We’ve insisted that you must feed the digital beast – or it will surely feed on you.
We’ve emphasized the value of content creation and SEO. We’ve talked about the value of converting content to conversation. We’ve discussed how content creates thought leadership. We’ve reminded brands that while content is king, context is still queen; meaning you want to put a strategy behind what you create and share as opposed to just filling search engines with photos and videos and links that don’t drive your business.
And, through it all, we’ve emphasized the importance of understanding and identifying the right platform to engage with your target audience. Rather than trying to be all things to all people on every platform, it’s better to have a clear, strategic and robust value proposition on just a few of the most relevant platforms.
At the Digiday Retail Summit in Nashville, attendees shared insights on which channel serves as the best platform for their content strategies, be it Snapchat, Instagram, a native blog or a Tumblr. Here is a brief summary of their thoughts.
Nina Alexander Hurst, vp of customer experience, Baublebar
Instagram. We have a team of stylists posting photos of every item before it goes live on the site, and then we use those photos for the product pages. Then we can say to a customer, here’s this product photo, it’s not on a model, the stylist wore it here, it went with this outfit, and this is why we think you would like this product. It puts a face to our team and gives us personality in an industry where a customer is expecting a call center. Instagram has been really great for that level of service, as well as building out the personalities for our stylists. We also generally try to be where our customers are, for instance, if a customer sends out a request for a wedding look and says she’s putting ideas together on Pinterest, we’ll respond with our recommendations with a Pinterest board.
Kira Clayborne, senior manager of digital media, Church’s Chicken
Facebook. There have been amazing ad-type-expansions that have helped our different digital integrations flourish. Particularly, around our mobile app, video and with canvas ad exploration.
Ethelbert Williams, CMO, InstaNatural
Personally, I’ll be first to confess that my team is learning our way to developing the right strategy, content and engagement approaches around social. I recognize the importance of social interactive content in our consumer experience — allowing consumers to discover, try and sometimes purchase in our category. We need to do better here and are putting stronger capabilities in place to win in the future as social is an important channel for engaging consumers and opportunity to bring to life our branded content and storytelling.
Kelly Goldston, vp of marketing, Eloquii
At Eloquii, we’re seeing great success with branded content on our new editorial hub, Style & Substance. Customers love seeing our lookbooks, blog posts and stories about real customers, and the proof is in the metrics: visitors who engage with Style & Substance spend twice as long on site as those who don’t.
So, whether you are engaging directly with influencers and customers on Instagram or leveraging your own newsroom and editorial hub, sharing relevant and useful content that connects with your customers and converts calls to action should be at the heart of every post.