For the last couple of years and again this year, I have been attending Social Media Week London, a conference spread across one week, where brands, agencies and marketers share their experiences and knowledge and likeminded people come together.
What I like about SMWLDN is that there are a lot of topics, with official and independent events, some more general, some very specific and hands-on. This format enables you to personalise your event experience and adapt it to your needs and interests.
Since I started my own business/went freelance this year (say hello), and am also working with CreativeMornings Vienna, I developed a passion for connecting brands and people, by telling a compelling story and bringing it to life with different touch points and exciting, fun campaigns. That’s why, my main focus was to find new ways of connecting brands and people, creating innovative experiences, as well as finding out more about how we can use social media to amplify what we are already doing.
For me, the main take-away from Social Media Week is, that marketers and respectively brands really need to focus on understanding their target audiences and motivations of their audiences.
There’s an increased level of noise and disconnection between brands and consumers, perhaps at its highest peak today. In this sum up I will discuss several approaches shared at SMWLDN, to bring meaning back to this relationship through valuable and emotional content delivery.
When you understand the motivations of your audience you win!
The focus is going to be on smart creative, that respects peoples time and engages them in something they find interesting. The key is to use insights and data to talk to audiences in the right way.
As a brand, there is usually a topic you care and want to talk about. But in the end, that’s not necessarily what your audience is interested in and engages with.
A talk from Social@Ogilvy’s James Whatley suggested that: Social Content is the new viral video — but it’s your audience who decides whether it’s social or not.
What you need to do is look for the overlapping area of what you care about and what your audience cares about.
As there is already so much content out there, it’s about answering a demand and focus on something that respects peoples time and gives something to the audience.
A good example of content creation following a demand was the talk by VICE’s Marc Adams, who explained VICE’s approach: supply to what’s the demand.
In order to find the demand, we need to do our market research first, finding the cultural white space or finding trends and niches that people are interested in.
This approach should be considered for whatever you do and whatever type of content you want to create. The key is to use insights and data to talk to audience in the right way.
“Think of social media as a human system. Things that nourish will continue in the ecosystem” @ageofaudience
QUIZZES: the secret weapon of the internet
One format of content, that got a lot of attention at Social Media Week London was interactive content, in form of quizzes.
What’s special about quizzes is that they offer a personalised experience, but have the potential to become social AND if you do your research right, they do answer a demand.
The condition to create relevant quizzes, is to find niche and hot topics that people are interested in and looking for. If they do so, it means there is an opportunity to get people excited about something. So again: Do your research!
This demand also means, that blogs and influencers are more likely to pick it up!
Once you found the spot, think about this:
- Show something cool
- Feed people — let them learn something
- Stay on topic if you found what people like
- Make people laugh
Last but not least: Make it stick! If you invested in creating that content, make sure people see it. This is where you will need to use advertising to make the right people aware of your content.
The future is not products or services, it’s shared experiences.
Beyond content, another big topic at SMWLDN was innovation and creating “shared experiences” with new technology.
We see deeper explorations into creating meaningful experiences through this technology, rather than the technology itself. Augmented reality, virtual reality, life-streaming (with services as Periscope): all of these can be very useful to enhance user experiences and contribute to more shared and immersive stories.
With new products on the market (e.g. the virtual wardrobe app Pictofit, which uses augmented reality to make users experience products in a new, personalised way), these technologies also impact how retail businesses can bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds.