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Good content makes for contented clients

01 March, 2015 - Source: Kindred

A piece from the Kindred team on what good content marketing means and some do's and don'ts...

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Owned and earned channels, always important, are now at the forefront as brands realise the value of ‘acting like the publisher’ - surely already the most-used phrase of 2015.

As advertising, design and digital agencies all compete to grow their ‘content’ offering, there’s no shortage of advice on how to make great content: be quick, be engaging, be interesting, be ‘native’…

However, it is equally important to remember why to make great content. Like any other channel, content needs to provide a return on investment. To (very badly) paraphrase JFK, “ask not what you can do for your content, but what your content can do for you”.

Content can stretch the ROI of other activity

Although producing content quickly is certainly a guideline, so is planning in advance – by building content needs into production plans for TV, radio and other traditional assets, you can build on an existing investment.

Effective content can also result from savvy curation. With The National Lottery, for example, winner phone calls (complete with shrieks and happy tears) make for terrific social media content – shareable, human, and great for reminding people of the excitement of playing the game.

Similarly, the material for great content might already exist and just need a little tweak to become shareable and compelling: converting boring survey data into interesting infographics, for example.

Content can talk to your audience in places you can’t go

Content is now a key part of a SEO strategy, but briefs that focus on delivering traffic to a brand’s owned media are missing out. Content can travel in a way that other channels can’t. Great content should be shareable, so it can live in any context, and not just in the brand’s owned spaces.

Instead, brands should consider content’s role as an ambassador – something that will be invited in to the audience’s own space. To achieve this, content needs to be engaging, to provide some sort of educational or emotional value.

Simplicity is key – it makes the content more portable and self-contained. With The National Lottery, some of our most shared content is also the most straightforward, for example, an image of a new minted millionaire’s “Out of Office” sign. A small piece of content, but it delivers proportionate value – a quick chuckle.

Content can drive action

Content marketing can be more than brand-building or SEO-driving, it can also be used to drive direct action. For The National Lottery’s 20th Anniversary, we wanted to spread the word and get as many entries as possible in a competition for prizes.

Rather than push people towards a traditional microsite sign-up form, we created a set of simple, beautiful, celebratory videos with a clear – but intriguing – URL. The content turned a routine action into entertainment. We released a new video every day at a fixed time, and saw entries increase with each one. Great content turned a simple competition into destination viewing.

Content can change behaviour

Content can demonstrate or encourage new habits, contributing to an overall behaviour change strategy.

With the “Draw My Win” campaign for The National Lottery, we encouraged people to tweet in ideas for where they might be when they won an Instant Win game on their mobile phone. Ideas were then drawn up and tweeted back by @drewyourtweet – a popular Twitter artist.

As well as a great way of engaging fans, this followed a tried and tested framework for behaviour change. We encouraged people to visualise the best result and then share it publicly. We then provided positive reinforcement. And the entire exchange happened through the desired channel – via the mobile phone.

All successful campaigns for behaviour change – or driving action – or sharing content – or getting great ROI – rely on audience insight. This is as true for great content as it is for any other form of communication. At Kindred, we’ve set up our own consumer panel to ensure that we keep in touch with people are talking about, what they’re doing, and what’s on their mind. That allows us not only to create content that’s relevant and engaging, but to make sure that we’re delivering it in the right way.

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