keeping up with content & communities - Conferenz

moments, which is defined by Google as: And altogether, there are four ... Develop personas for a 360° view of your customers. What are the benefits of using ...
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KEEPING UP WITH CONTENT & COMMUNITIES #CONCOM2017

Written by Lena Taylor. Full credit for the 2017 Content & Communities Summit, March 28 - 29, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland. Look out for more marketing conversations at conferenz.co.nz.

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I think it's a well-known fact that we know (and greatly concerned if you are unaware) we are being marketed to. What differentiates our attitudes and behaviours towards brands and how we interact with them largely depends on whether or not they are providing us, their community, with relevant, timely and engaging content. I'm here to give you a run down on the latest insights from local and international content marketing superstars at the recent 2017 Content & Communities Summit in Auckland.

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1. At the heart of building brands is telling stories. Making an emotional and personal connection has been a huge part of brand strategy lately, through informing, educating or entertaining audiences with authentic stories. No doubt, social media transformed the art of storytelling forever with the ability to tell faster, more granular and more personalised stories than ever before. However, most of us are telling the wrong story at the wrong time. Kirsty Weir, Brand Strategy Consultant at Rough Sketch, noted to first, start with the story and not the channel. To truly capture the heart of audiences, make sure your customers are at the centre of your message. Next, be consistent and repetitive. You want to have five key brand messages maximum each year, so stick to what’s most important in your messages and find different ways to execute them. Then, make content that serves your customer, not you. And finally, organic. Customers are always more responsive to content that feels natural, and human. So which brands are consistently getting this right? Of course, LEGO - they raised the bar of storytelling with their ingenious blockbuster film. Kiwibank recently teamed up with Nigel Latta in their sponsored series "Mind over Money with Nigel Latta". Regan Savage, GM Marketing Communications at Kiwibank, mentioned that as a brand, you need to understand and respect your community of like-minded people and create content around the story your brand will tell that helps the community thrive.

Click here for video!

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And, need we say more about this simple & brilliantly executed ANZ campaign, #HoldTight.

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2. Engaging communities to take the lead! New communities are evolving, even unusually large communities obsessed with bread face cats (?). Wendy Thompson, CEO of Socialites NZ, informed us that our actual job as content marketers is to create an engaged community, as this is the key to a sustainable business, so being extremely clear on the "why we are doing this" is vital. The strongest companies come from the base where they want to change the world. One example demonstrated was Mitre 10 - they have their own TV channel with "how to" videos, and their phenomenal engagement with their community on social media has allowed them to see such compelling UGC - even a pirate ship! They aim to personally interact with everyone who comments on their content.

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Yvonne Brill, Senior Community Manager at Bank of New Zealand, explained that it was a necessity to separate out their websites bnz.co.nz and begoodwithmoney.co.nz. With one being the product and the other being the need, it wasn't appropriate to have content from both in the same place but felt it was necessary to help New Zealander's "be good with money". The BNZ online community forum was also created for customers, a first for NZ, for customers to ask any questions and share their thoughts - a great tool to help the company listen to the wants and needs of their community. Their Young Money blog also helped them engage with teenagers, students and young professionals who are just starting out in the workforce and sharing tips on how to use money wisely. 3. Micro-moments There were some terrifyingly insightful stats about mobile phones mentioned to us by krunch.co's Head of Content, Robert Moritz. 68% of people check their phone within 15 minutes of getting up in the morning. 30% of people feel nervous without their phone. On average, we check our phone 150 times a day. And now, 82% use their mobile during their shopping experience. Mobile has forever changed what we expect from brands, and yes, the classic sales funnel is dead. It's fractured the consumer journey into hundreds of real-time, intent-driven micromoments, which is defined by Google as:

"Micro- moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device —increasingly a smartphone—to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich  moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped." And altogether, there are four main types of micro-moments to be aware of for when you are creating useful, relevant and timely information in the moment for your consumers.

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This 15 second video by Spark perfectly celebrates micro-moments:

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4. Using data & analytics to back you? But what are you trying to achieve? AARRR! Apparently, pirates can play a huge part in your content & communities strategy to pump up growth according to Lisa Venter, Content Strategist and Growth Manager - Central Growth at Skyscanner. The company is all about using the "Pirate Metric" framework in order to get results. To fail forward and learn fast, they use this approach: 1. What is your hypothesis for the activity? 2. What is the Pirate Metric you are looking to affect - Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral or Revenue? 3. What's the idea? 4. Validation 5. Design like you're right and test like you're wrong 6. Results: Look at your data and see if you achieved the product activation rate, Facebook Reach, Facebook CTR etc. that you wanted In simpler words, define, design, develop, test and learn, and don't be afraid to use software like Trello, JIRA, tableau, or #slack to help you along the way! 5. Creative over data, or numbers over innovation? Content people and marketing people. It's complicated. Max Johns, Director of Content Strategy Simplified, explained that this relationship is broken in a lot of places. Content people don't like their work being analysed alongside numbers/revenue because it's art and all about the story, but what's the point of investing in content that can't be measured & potentially doesn't achieve short-term results? You need to know what the other parts of the organisation's goals are and it's essential to work horizontally and not vertically (e.g. just in the marketing team). Patrick McFie, Global Head of Video at Xero, says creativity is at the front, and that's not surprising with their customer-centric video strategy 

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which is taking Xero to the world stage! 80% of millennials are now using video to consider their purchasing decision and in the next 3 years, Facebook has said they will be a video led platform. With creativity at the forefront, you will achieve exponential ROI on production, advertising budget, brand preference and awareness. If you get that messaging wrong and don't invest in your message, this will absolutely have a detrimental effect on your brand perception. However, there is always a relentless experimental culture inside the business every single day, and they are tweaking constantly. So when you nail it, scale it!

Ian Howard, Chief Strategy Officer at Little Giant, briefly talked about his time at Māori Television and their creative piece of ambush marketing against the infamous show, "The Bachelor". His advice is to go all in and warm your audiences up, while still keeping relevant to your brand.

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6. Getting more juice out of content starts with a conversion strategy! 93% of marketing spend goes into the attract stage of the conversion funnel, and unfortunately, we are ignoring the other stages (convert, close and delight). Colin Kennedy, Head of Content at Espire Media, gives us some quick tips on creating a solid conversion strategy. Attract: Niche your content which is relevant and credible, and use it to educate and inspire. Use influencers and guest blogs to really captivate your audiences, as well as social media, microsites and platforms like Outbrain (places your content on other websites, e.g. NZ Herald, but can be targeted to follow NZ visitors only). Convert: Understand the problem to be solved, be a valuable resource, and use well-designed forms to qualify. What is the problem motive? Close: Integrate your marketing sales team, and use emails, live chat, social media, seminars, after-five networkers which finally leads to oneto-one. Delight: Don't ignore your existing customers and build your community with content relevant to them and your brand values. Educate them with emails and webinars, and create networking opportunities and special offers. 7. Develop personas for a 360° view of your customers What are the benefits of using personas? It gives us insights into what we're doing, and why we're doing what we're doing. Funnily enough, our unconscious bias plays a huge part in how we believe other people think. We think we know what other people are like because we choose to hang around people with similar values, attitudes and belief systems to us, and these are reinforced the more we are around them. But there are pitfalls in putting people into boxes - Kat Hardisty, Design Lead at Optimal Workshop, surprised us by saying that Powershop's oldest customer was 104 & using his smartphone! There are 5 main types of personas you should be aware of:

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Demographic personas: Age, income etc. Assumptive personas: Personas completely based on hypotheses and no work has been done to validate the assumptions behind them yet Attitudinal personas: Uncovering behaviours and motivators. For instance, people who don't use the internet. Usually, people stay in the same attitudinal persona for their entire life Quantitative personas: Based on data. You are always getting more new information so these personas can change/be updated quite regularly. Circumstantial personas: Lifepoint of someone (e.g. getting married etc) So, try to have the minimum personas possible and attempt to keep it under seven. Which type of persona should I be using? Always come back and focus on your strategy and objective.

"Art challenges technology, technology inspires the art" - PIXAR

Overall, as highlighted by Seth Godin, "marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but the stories you tell". Instead of researching about products and brands themselves, people find it much easier to ask "Jo, what do you use?". Be aware of the referral process and connect with your current customers so they can tell your story to their friends and their friends. Be smart with your automation: create different personas based on how they respond to your content, and listen/react to their behaviour to qualify. AR, VR and 360° videos are here to take over, so invest in tomorrow, today. And lastly, understand the analytical tools you have on hand to create stories that have both head and heart.

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This article can be found on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/keeping-up-content-communitiesconcom2017-lena-taylor