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Content

5 tips to engaging and entertaining audiences on social

Emma Worth, Creative Social Strategist at Ralph, shares her top 5 tips for engaging and entertaining audiences on social media…

1. Become a Fan

To truly create an emotional connection with your audience on social, you need to share their passions wholeheartedly. That means living and breathing the brand and becoming as obsessive as they are. Ok, we can’t all take that as far as our tattooed Social Manager for Matt Groening’s Disenchantment, but we can take time to understand our audience and their lives. Because, if you can fully grasp your audience and master what they want from the content they consume, you’ve solved the first piece of the puzzle. This, in-turn, means they’ll engage and share more as a result. If they like quizzes, give the people quizzes!

2. Speak Your Audience’s Language

A bulletproof tone of voice is perhaps the most important thing for shaping your brand on social. We believe there are two considerations that you need to mould your brand TOV.

i) The language of social : Social has a language of its own, so embrace it in a way that fits your brand and your audience. Sometimes, we celebrate the language of social and memes so mercilessly that it goes beyond parody.

ii) The language of your audience : We have to continually be flexible with TOV dependent on the communities we’re trying to connect with. Going from the fabulous to the cynical.

But sometimes we might not inherently ‘get’ our audience. So for that, there’s comparative linguistics. Taking one data set of language and comparing it with your target audience’s use of language online, by filtering through AI – in order to find out the unique way they communicate, so you can speak that way too.

3. Create Content That Fits

The golden rule? Don’t feel pressured to be present everywhere, all of the time. Consider individual platforms and the way audience’s use them, and if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Ensure content fits seamlessly within the brand experience or play with functionality to subvert the experience. Consider also, the world we live in today: a ‘now’ world. Practically everything is on-demand and accessible. Social and our audience is ‘always-on’, so our content should be too. We shape and prime our messaging to be in-the-moment and for the now, reacting in real-time and only dropping content when an instant action can be taken.

4. Engage One 2 One

It’s easy to be seduced by big numbers. But don’t forget the little guy. Treat your community as individuals to build stronger relationships. Yes, we’re talking about our good friend, community management. This type of instant connection between brand and consumer is often overlooked, but it nurtures each and every one of the tips we’ve outlined so far.

Become their biggest fan, communicate with them in the way they communicate with you, share their enthusiasm, sorrow or excitement, and be present in the places they are present to show you’ve taken the time to consider their investment in your brand.

But don’t consider this as a boring daily checklist strategy. These relationships can be super playful, they can show empathy, be darn right sassy, or prove you share common ground; but most importantly, they can generate even more organic engagements from other individuals – because your audience wants to be a part of your conversation.

5. Capitalise on your community

Brands grow through incremental reach, so whilst it’s great to foster your community, it’s essential to aim above and beyond, using your passionate audience to make and break trends, creating reach outside of owned channels. This can be as simple as a Tweet that reflects the mood of your audience or using social to mobilise your audience to take part in real world events to spread your message far and wide.

https://ralphandco.com

Short videos not always the best for engagement

Video marketing platform TwentyThree has published a new study detailing how people consume video content, with surprising results.

Perviously, many followed the rule that short, concise videos offered more engagement than longer videos.

However, the findings by TwentyThree show that while 80% of the videos produced and shared on social media are under five minutes long, they actually account for less than a third of video engagement.

The study found that videos over 15 minutes in length accounted for 50% of all engagement recorded – but are only 8% of all video content produced.

Sixty-six per cent of people watch an average of 03.56 minutes of video, compared to 23% of people watching videos with an average length of 00.58, and 14% watching videos of an average length of 00:20 on Facebook.

The study also revealed that click-through rates increase by 62% when a video is laced in the thumbnail of an email campaign.

The study was based on feedback from  300 marketing teams, 1.5 million videos, 1.7 billion impressions and 650 million video plays.

Facebook beats LinkedIn as content king for senior execs…

B2B content marketing agency, Grist has confirmed Facebook to be the ‘go to’ social platform for C-suite executives to seek business advice.

As a result of its new The Value of B2B Thought Leadership Survey – presenting the findings from more than 200 interviews conducted at FTSE 350 companies – Facebook was cited as the most popular social platform for senior executives to engage with business content (79 per cent), followed by Twitter (73 per cent) and LinkedIn (68 per cent).

Regards thought leadership, 84 per cent believe this plays an important part in adding value to their role. Meanwhile, two-thirds search for thought leadership particularly on a Monday and believe it fails to make an impact when it’s too generic (63 per cent); lacks original ideas (58 per cent); or doesn’t address the reader’s needs (53 per cent).

Andrew Rogerson, founder and managing director at Grist said: “This research is great news if you are in control of your firm’s marketing and communications programme. The C-suite clearly values thought leadership and is happy to receive it from advisers.

“However, we can also see that much of this content is below par. The C-suite is a sophisticated and demanding audience, and will not respond to rehashed marketing material. Instead, thought leadership must provide a return on investment (ROI), both for the firms that invest the money to produce it and the senior executives that invest time in reading it.

“Consider, too, that Facebook matters in business-to-business communications. The marketing department, content teams and agencies need to deal with the consequences of this and devise a compelling editorial plan that includes a wide range of channels and different perspectives.”

Format was also discussed, as 800-word articles (63 per cent) and 300-500-word blog posts are preferable to longer content pieces.

Access the full survey here

Guest Blog, James O’Day: Travel marketers are missing out on the mobile revolution…

Mobile is changing the way we travel. It’s how many of us research and decide where to go, when to go and what to do when we’ve arrived. However, the travel industry hasn’t yet fully caught up with the mobile revolution. This is a missed opportunity.

More than ever, mobile is defining consumer behaviour in the industry: 60 per cent of research on destinations and more than a third of all bookings are made on smartphones, while 90 per cent of in-trip information is accessed via mobile devices.

Increasingly, travellers are looking for the feeling of a bespoke, tailored experience, whether they’ve booked through a big tour operator or are travelling independently. Mobile is key to this experience because they want relevant, accessible, shareable content on the go. Many traditional publishers have failed to adapt their content to take advantage of this opportunity. The big crowd-wisdom sites, such as TripAdvisor, have plugged the gap, but they are not trusted and faked reviews are still perceived as a problem.

How do marketers take advantage of this?

Travel companies have not appreciated the opportunity to produce great content that travellers can use on the go. As a marketer, providing this content gives you the chance to talk directly to your customers in your own language yet few operators have effective content strategies in place.

The opportunity is open to companies big and small. It is equally true of boutique hotels, which could help their guests get the most out of the surrounding area by providing mobile-friendly,  personalised recommendations for pubs and restaurants, or cruise liners, which could give customers tailored guides to Caribbean islands depending on their personal tastes.

Some companies neglect content creation altogether, while too many others use ‘flat’ content – information hosted on an external site or webpage. In today’s mobile world that’s no longer good enough. First, it’s a missed opportunity for direct customer engagement. Secondly, as travellers, we don’t want to be directed to external sites for information, we expect a more convenient, easy-to-access, immediate experience.

Two years ago, I set up Pearlshare with my co-founders Michael Liebreich and Oliver Brooks; it is a digital platform where anyone – companies, friends and like-minded travellers – can build and share guides to their favourite places and attractions. These pearls of travel wisdom can be shared via any messaging app or social network and also embedded into third-party websites. Personal recommendations carry five times as much weight as paid advertising or paid-for posts.

The Airbnb revolution has accelerated this trend; guests want to ‘live like a local’ and good hosts help them do this by giving the inside track about the hidden gems around them. Not only are they providing an accessible guide to the best their locality can offer, they are also taking the opportunity to open up a direct dialogue between host and guest.

Now we are helping marketers adopt this authentic approach on their own sites. Customers want advice they feel they can trust and that’s relevant to them and their interests. Pearlshare’s guides can be embedded in holiday companies’ own digital platforms. They can be shared with customers before, during and after they have travelled, creating the sense of a shared journey. Customers can contribute their own ‘pearls’, posting recommendations and photos, which turns the process into a dialogue rather than a monologue and helps build communities with shared interests.

Independence and individuality are prized more than ever before by discerning travellers. Travel marketers who can create a simple, informative platform to communicate with the communities they are trying to reach will stay ahead of their competitors. Mobile is the gateway to achieving this.

 

James O’Day is COO of Pearlshare, which he co-founded in 2014 with Michael Liebreich and Oliver Brooks. Prior to launching Pearlshare, a digital platform accessible through www.pearlshare.com or a downloadable app, he was a project leader in the London office of Boston Consulting Group.

lastminute.com group acquires WAYN to boost content offering and audience reach…

The European leader in the online travel and leisure industry, lastminute.com group, has confirmed that it has acquired the largest travel social networking platform, ‘WAYN, Where Are You Now?’, in a bid to garner further traction across the group’s portfolio of travel sites.

It is thought that WAYN will be integrated with lastminute.com group’s new media business, the ‘Travel People’ to mark the next step of its ‘ambitious’ strategy to help advertisers showcase stories through powerful content – engaging a captive audience with WAYN’s 20 million registered members, as well as continuing to attract lastminute’s 43 million monthly unique visitors.

Chief audience architect of lastminute.com group, Marco Corradino, said: “WAYN is the perfect fit for lastminute.com group. The WAYN team is a group of exceptional entrepreneurs who have created a vibrant community of travellers who enjoy sharing millions of travel opinions. Its business complements and expands our offering in Europe and, with its strong social travel network platform; it will become the content hub for our entire group.”

The group’s current network of leading online brands consists of: lastminute.com, Rumbo, Volagratis, Bravofly and Jetcost.

Discovering content the most popular method with consumers…

A recent report conducted by the US video platform company, Rapt Media, has found that the majority of consumers prefer to find content themselves, even if the content sent out is personalised to the individual and their preferences.

Surveying 1,000 consumers, the report analysed consumer attitudes to marketing content and revealed that 43 per cent completely reject online ads, and an overall 95 per cent claimed to take some action against receiving ads. Moreover, 67 per cent complained that brands are sending too much content; 55 per cent stating that much of it is not relevant; and 46 per cent claiming that the content information comes across as ‘pushy’.

Read the full report here