Digital has changed the way audiences consume content. We are no longer stuck just pushing out messaging to an audience at large. We now have the ability to selectively target our communications to small, like-minded groups of individuals. Here are 5 things to consider when planning your digital strategy.
- Need for Content
Budgets and resources are stretched across the board This means creating content for digital platforms is a huge stumbling block for brands and agencies alike. But this, however, is an opportunity for industries to evolve their communication tactics.
The shelf life of creative has dropped drastically requiring messaging to be updated on a more frequent basis. Brands need to work closely with media and creative agencies to ensure their investments deliver the biggest impact possible while constantly working on the evolution of that messaging to advance delivery on the brand goals.
Creative agencies need to shift how they approach the creative and production process to minimize costs for multiple executions. That doesn’t mean the product will be less. Instead this means there is an opportunity to create content that connects with the audience on a more personal and targeted level while still communicating the attributes of the brand.
For example, when producing video assets a company like Apple may still want the highest quality cameras and lighting to highlight the precise details of what they’re selling. On the flip side, a clothing company like Chubbies, targeting the millennial male, may want to create vine-style content requiring one camera and a microphone. These approaches require an in-depth understanding of how the brand needs to express itself and who the targeted consumer truly is – as well as where and how that consumer engages in digital media. This understanding drives further engagement as consumers see content created specifically for and even by them rather than a broader audience.
Digital media can server multiple purposes: awareness, engagement, etc., while platforms continue to evolve and drop off. Defining brand objectives to determine the desired outcome will dictate the type of content that needs to be created and what channels they live on.
The bottom line, no matter how strong the creative or media is, if they don’t work together on digital channels things will fall flat.
- Better Audience Understanding
Not necessarily a “big data” concern, but analytics continue to evolve providing more information than ever before. Data should be part of the equation in the whole process from conception, launch, to finished product, informing every step of the way.
If there’s little to no data on consumers to start, finding third-party data around competitors or similar industries is a great approach. It’s important to understand where the audience is, how they consume messaging, when are they online, what they use the Internet for, etc. By defining these up-front questions and integrating them with the brand goals, it will be easier to plan the content and where it needs to live.
As content is pushed out, testing measures should be set up to determine the success. Not only will this process help optimize where the placements are, but it will provide a more in-depth understanding of what the audience wants to see, what they don’t, and what they’re responding to.
Side note, not all content is the same. For example, understanding the expectation a video and how it will perform with click through rate is different than understand the expectation of a social photo post and its click through rate. Where content lives and what the audience does within each channel shapes the expectation of interaction across the web.
Finally, gather the data to see how the original audience responded. What were the key learning opportunities and how can they impact the next wave of communication and the tools used? An audience will evolve as messaging and platforms evolve so it’s important to continue monitoring on an ongoing basis.
- Customized Messaging
Get as big brother as you’d like with this. It’s becoming commonplace for messaging to be more targeted to an online audience. Different tactics and data can be used to evolve messaging. Note that consumers are becoming blind to the traditional pre-roll, banner ad placements.
Customization can come in many forms. For example, the path a consumer would take to purchase craft beer. The consumer could research reviews online of new and exciting products they haven’t tried. After gathering information, maybe they head to work and while looking at social channels, they are served a message that shows the product they were looking for. It’s lunchtime and they leave the office, while checking scores on their phone, an ad pops up showing the nearest location to purchase the products they have been researching were with a direct link to purchase location through the product map application. The consumer ends up at the store in the product isle. While online and reviewing what’s on shelf, another message pops up with a coupon to be used immediately with purchase.
That’s just one example of many on how messaging can evolve to make things more readily available for consumers. Based on Brand needs, customization can take many forms – from device specific to infinite audience segmentation. The endless possibilities completely depend on what best serves the audience and brand together.
- Omni-Channel Integration – Digital can live on it’s own, but it shouldn’t.
Content on its own can serves a purpose, but the power comes from interconnectedness with traditional media. From awareness to engagement, digital can either lead or help support more traditional efforts.
Take TV as an example. It’s still a terrific way of generating mass awareness. The audience has already taken the time to sit down and enjoy programming making messaging blindness minimal. At the same time, it doesn’t drive engagement the way digital channels do. With the integration of the two, there’s opportunity to create awareness while using a call-to-action at the end to engage the on line community (website, mobile app, social channels, games, etc.). This connectedness makes it easier to track the conversion from awareness to engagement.
While traditional channels can become more integrated, there is still a lot of work that can be done with shopper marketing and digital to better align. With the rise of digital coupons, interactive displays and other tools, digital has an opportunity to influence the evolution of actual products offered as well as impacting the point of purchase.
- Lowered Barrier of Entry
With so many digital channels available, a brand can start small and scale, not to mention there are several channels that make placement quite intuitive. Sure there are multiple areas where digital is tried and true, however a lot of it is rapid trail, gather data, respond and evolution. With a minimal investment of time and resources it is easier to get things going and start seeing results.
If help is needed to get off the ground or pivot, Agency Squid is always there to help!