How to Reach Social Success with Contextual Marketing

The following post is part of the Mindjumpers Network series and written by our Community Manager, Sara Hansson. Mindjumpers Network is a global network of local country community managers enabling international companies to execute and maintain brand communities in a structured, quality assured and cost effective way across markets with the aim of creating effect and value.

 

Throughout most social media networks, content is king. But content without context is just messages without any bond to your long-term brand strategy. To have an Always On-strategy is to think long-term – on a short-term basis. Meaning that your overall brand strategy should be implemented at a daily basis by amplifying the content you share with your consumers with relevant real-time trends and happenings. This is where the content is truly put into a meaningful and relevant context to your consumers – and this is where you’ll create valuable interaction.

 

The value of contextual marketing

We believe that there are two types of context: Context that is connected to the brand, and context that is connected to what’s happening right now. The most valuable content is when it manages to combine both categories.

Many brands have understood that content including surprising and fun elements is a golden ticket to gain reach and engagement. But without a context attached to the brand and to people’s reality, the content will lack the very thing that makes people bond with a brand. It will therefore not create the brand awareness and close relationships that the brand is hoping for. Thus, the most successful content to create business value is based on a context that your consumers can relate to, that always is true to your brand and that is real-time.

 

A challenge for global brands

Context influences the way people understand expressions. The challenge for global brands to keep an Always On-strategy is to get the context in place across local markets. How is it possible to put content in the right context if you’re communicating with hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people located in different countries with several different cultures and local happenings influencing how they perceive a piece of content?

 

How to put content into local context

To put content into a local context will create engagement in the most optimal way. If you can form your content to a local context, you can create relevance – and relevance means interest. To do this, we believe that only Community Managers who are grown up and based in the local markets can create content with true authenticity and with the right context. Taking language, culture and real-time happenings into consideration, is a task a Community Manager in charge of several of different local communities simple isn’t able to execute.

 

 

… without losing a global strategy

By establishing a central hub in which global guidelines and strategy can be placed and knowledge sharing of best practices and learnings can be done, Local Community Managers can leverage global messages, which can then be adapted to a local context.

 

Increase sharing through local connections

When you’re planning to execute local campaigns or offerings through your social media channels, tie them together with something people are familiar with, e.g. a local tradition or a current local trend. Make sure it also conveys your brand values. Combine these and you’ll create a campaign that people are willing to engage with, since they see a greater context that actually brings them something valuable.

Local Community Managers can monitor across social media channels for user-generated content with high relevance to amplify through the local brand channel. This content works as peer-to-peer recommendations, which, as you know, most likely is the most trustworthy advertising you as a brand can get. As these recommendations are at a local level, they are of course even more relevant and scalable to the given local community.

 

Mindjumpers Network

Mindjumpers Network is our way of working with local market activation for global brands. We enable agencies and international brands to do local social media management in a quality assured and cost efficient way across markets and countries through native Local Community Managers situated in the specific markets. If interested in more information about the network, you’re always welcome to contact us.

 

Clickbait: Information overload! How can brands cut-through all the noise?

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.11.34You won’t believe the hidden message in this blog post! Or rather – there isn’t one, I just wanted you to click through and read this. But bear with me – I’m about to suggest something incredibly controversial – a never-heard-before admission by a social agency!*

As much as clickbait is the emotional catnip of our online experience and can drive consistent traffic for publishers like The Daily Mail and Huff Post who churn out multiple stories each day, it’s still hugely annoying to discover you’ve been duped by an over-excited headline promising to give you all the feels. For brands, adopting the same practice can negatively affect perception and ultimately – sales. So how can brands cut through all the sensational copy and deliver successful results without falling prey to creating clickbait themselves? How do they beat them rather than join them?

 

Platform crackdown

In the early days of social, Facebook optimised content based on engagement, meaning that if users clicked on a piece of content, it received a higher ranking in newsfeeds. In 2014 Facebook took steps to try and crack down on those gaming this ranking using clickbait, and in February this year it introduced an update based not just on what users engaged with in their feed, but what they wanted to see. Facebook’s advice is that Pages should avoid encouraging people to take action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time – meaning the latest ranking favours content that users naturally engage with rather than content that users click on through coercion.

 

Last month Instagram followed suit and announced it would alter user’s feeds to optimise the content users “care about the most”, and Twitter has also adopted a similar change (although users can opt-out and revert back to the chronological feed). The changes will hopefully make it harder for clickbaiters to game feeds with meaningless content, but the real aim for the platforms hosting is to surface more engaging content more frequently so users return often and stay longer.

 

The same goes for brands on social. If the content they produce is consistently engaging, then users will interact more frequently, leading others to discover it through preferred ranking. Ultimately, these new newsfeed algorithms exist to generate more meaningful engagement, driving not just clicks, but conversations via comments, and shares.

 

Learn and adapt

Meaningful engagement begins with relevant content that creates value for the user and the brand. While an insight-driven content strategy is key to delivering this, brands should also adapt stories and messages based on the emotional needs and behavior of their audience. This is more than just a case of ‘test and learn’ or refining what has already been done. Brands must also evolve their approach in line with new behaviors, platforms, competitors and rankings or risk being left behind by those who do.

 

A good example of a brand that does this well is Buzzfeed, who’s CEO recently shared their new strategic thinking, revealing how their objective has changed from getting users to click through to their main site to view stories, to allowing content to be consumed directly on other platforms. The new direction was prompted by analysing which content generated clicks and discovering that users prefer to consume some types of content within the platform they are already on. The company also found a discernable difference between user interactions with the same content on different platforms, demonstrating how content demand and consumption vary across sites. What spreads like wildfire on Facebook might fail miserably elsewhere.

 

Relevance is key

For brands looking to use social content to drive click-through to their site, it’s important to balance the goal of the company (clicks to eyeballs, or conversions to sales, for example) with the desire and behavior of users on different sites, and monitor response over time. Relevance is key to interaction, and brands that think like publishers will know that relevance is an ever-changing chameleon. While users are bombarded with meaningless clickbait, there is ample opportunity for brands to channel the social zeitgeist by delivering valuable content that meets audience needs in the format, time and platform that suits them. If they get this right, they won’t need clickbait.

 

At Mindjumpers we help companies and brands to think as publishers and provide end-to-end social media management across multiple markets, encompassing full social strategy, planned and reactive content creation, analysis and reporting.

 

If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.

 

*Don’t be naughty and scroll to the last paragraph – I’ve hidden the controversial part somewhere to optimize your dwell time in finding it!