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The (im)possible task: Making sure your content matters

If you are going to insert yourself or your brand into the conversation, do so with a true point of view. Consumers are looking for authentic voices with clear values and something relevant to say

Bret Werner, MWWPR

 

In an environment with multiple stakeholders and an unprecedented number of cluttered communications mediums, clients are continually evaluating efforts around earned media. But is the main challenge breaking through with earned media or is it determining when and how to integrate into a trending discussion? By the time this decision is made, the conversation has often moved on.

Timely, strategic content can solve so many challenges – and it’s up to agency and in-house communications leaders to redefine how to do this. Building content around social and cultural moments allows all entities – brands, individuals, nonprofits, and B2B organizations alike – to grab the attention of all stakeholders.

The way we tell stories – and where we tell them – serves as the basis for the way companies, products, people, and causes are perceived. The content we create can spark a conversation and invoke emotion, loyalty, and action in the form of a like, a share, a vote, or a purchase – all ultimately contributing to a movement.

Today’s consumers look to brands’ actions to determine the products they buy, as well as the companies they invest in, work for, and with which they do business. Using content to establish an authentic connection to cultural and societal issues through conversations consumers are already having elevates the dialogue to focus on something the audience cares about. And if it’s really good content – and by “good” we mean relevant, right on time, and impeccably messaged – it can result in profound influence.

So how do you create content that will boost your brand?

Strike while the iron is hot. By the time you read this, the conversation that was peaking minutes ago just flatlined.

Have a real point of view. If you are going to insert yourself or your brand into the conversation, do so with a true point of view. The days of sitting on the sidelines are long gone. Consumers are looking for authentic voices with clear values and something relevant to say, no matter what the topic is.

Be relevant and useful, or at least entertaining. A simple, but important tenet. People want to feel emotion, learn something that makes them sound smart, or laugh out loud.

Don’t focus on the vehicle, but rather how you’re going to get there. Worry less about the channel and more about how and where your message fits into the current conversation.

It is increasingly difficult to truly break through. It has thus become clear that those who do are not capturing lightning in a bottle, but rather speaking in a voice that’s relevant to the right audience at the right time. Today’s buzz is a fast-moving game where yesterday’s Olympic medalist is replaced by today’s Oscars’ hero, which is quickly overshadowed by a tweet from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The inflection point for organizations becomes the ability – or inability – to integrate themselves into the current cultural vernacular in a meaningful way. As they say, change is hard, irrelevancy is harder.

Bret Werner is the president of MWWPR.

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