Content Creators: The New Miracle Workers

Content creators must ensure content stands out on different devices

Content creators must ensure content stands out on different devices

In today’s day and age there is no dearth of content being pushed at us through multiple devices and social media platforms. Yes, a good content creator will have to make sure that what they create stands out but, a great content creator will make sure their content stands out on multiple social media platforms and devices. Organizations now need to keep an eye out on constantly evolving content creation and make sure they have creators onboard who can readily adapt to new platforms. An obvious argument against this would be that the organization will keep an eye out for where their target audience plays online. With new platforms emerging constantly, however, one needs to keep an eye out on them as well because of what might suddenly become more popular among the target demographic.

According to a survey that shows the number of connected devices per person, Canadians are connected to an average of three devices on a regular basis. So, what organizations need to stay on top of over the next few years is the ability to be able to tell their story no matter what the device is. Technology is constantly growing, while 2015 saw the launch of the Apple watch, every trend points to the fact that wearables will only see an increase in 2016 with more and more brands getting in on the bandwagon. That is just an example of what a content creator will have to adapt to. In order to stay relevant, an organization needs a content creator that can stay ahead of the times.

More importantly, one cannot make generalizations based on data anymore and mass produce content.

Don't make generalisations based on data

Don’t make generalisations based on data

Tailor-made consumption is where the focus is shifting to now. Organizations need to give their consumers the choice of how they want to receive their content. Personalized marketing is here to stay. What is personalized marketing you ask? According to an online article by The Guardian newspaper, “It’s the ability to reach different consumers with different creative messages, rather than having to have a single TV advert that everyone sees. It means you can subtly tailor your executions based on demographics, interests, location or even purchase history, reaching millions of consumers, but each with something that seems personally relevant and interesting. “ Content is going to become more and more about the consumers involvement. Coca-Cola’s #shareacoke campaign is one such example of a brand getting personalization right without going overboard and scaring its consumers. Any campaign like this will gain its fair share of negativity, but there’s no denying the numbers as Coke saw a significant increase in sales.

Consumers want personalized content

Consumers want personalized content

In a world where advertisement is unavoidable and people are coming to dislike it more and more, personalization is the trick to staying ahead. Every consumer wants to be able to feel like they are in control of their consumer experience and something as basic as letting them chose how they receive their content is a positive step forward for an organization. Content creators need to not only ensure they stay relevant on multiple social media platforms but that they also personalize the content that is being consumed and how it is being consumed.

 

 

To tweet or not to tweet? That really IS the question

Kenneth Cole, a leading retailer for shoes and accessories, seems to have taken it upon themselves to make light of political protests, revolutions and soldiers going into combat. For what? Why to start a ‘dialogue’ of course. We’re already well versed with the 2011 tweet making light of the protests in Egypt, but why stop at that? In 2013 the company managed to, pardon the pun, put their foot in their mouth again with an offensive tweet mocking U.S. involvement in Syria. Pictured below are the tweets:

This was the statement that CNBC ran with from the man himself, Kenneth Cole:

“For 30 years I have used my platform in provocative ways to encourage a healthy dialogue about important issues, including HIV/AIDS, war, and homelessness.  I’m well aware of the risks that come with this approach, and if this encourages further awareness and discussion about critical issues then all-the-better.”

Disguise it as he may, those tweets are socially irresponsible at best. The correct response to those would have been an apology issued by the company and the founder for making light of a tragic issue and a politically charged one.

Now here’s a company that did it right, Google. In the aftermath of the recent attacks in Paris, Google announced it’s making it’s hangout calls to Paris free and posted the following across their social media:

“We’re thinking of you, Paris. No fees on calls to France, via Hangouts. #ParisAttacks,” the company wrote on its Google+Twitter, and Facebook pages.

Social Web Strategies and Government Transparency 

Social web strategies are not a one size fits all when it comes to government agencies who want to display transparency in their policy process. According to a a report written by the Institute For Local Government, titled, ‘Local Agency Website Transparency Opportunities”, you need to look at what people are asking. Here are some great examples that they provided:

  • What questions are residents asking in emails or calls?
  • What kind of information is being sought in requests for public records?
  • What do web analytics say about the community’s interests in visiting the agency’s site? What pages are visited the most, where are site visitors spending the most time, and what are the top search phrases?

Based on what they provided these are my suggestions for more transparency by government agencies with a web presence:

  1. Be Available Beyond 9-5

Social media doesn’t stop working beyond office hours and neither should you. People will always have questions, especially if there is an emergency of sorts, so agencies need to be available and responsive on social media accordingly.

  1. More Transparency With Tax Money

A lot of agencies are vague with how exactly the money is spent. A progress report on where the money is being spent would be a good way for government agencies to gain the trust of its constituents. They should also list government agency revenue and general expenditure as well.

  1. Listen and Engage

Traditionally government agencies have used their website and social media to establish their presence online. Engagement has not been their primary purpose which lends a certain sense of distrust among its constituents. With major corporations and nonprofits using social media to listen to their target audience and engage with them, government agencies need to step up their game as well.

  1. Who To Contact

In a lot of government agencies the office hierarchy is not very clear. If someone has a problem that needs clarification they actually don’t know who exactly to get in touch with and get passed around from one official to another. That also happens as agencies don’t make it clear enough who to get in touch with in the first place. Information on agency decision-making and advisory bodies (governing body, boards and commissions) should be made clear and easily available.

Social Web Strategies And Their Target Audience

Government, nonprofits and for profit organisations are the three main organisations under which the daily life of every person falls in some way or another, and so each sector communicates with it’s intended audience and in today’s day and age that communication is via social media. Here are some interesting statistics compiled by We Are Social, a London based social media agency, on the sheer number of people out there that have gone digital:

  • Worldwide social media users exceeded 2 billion back in August (2014);
  • Worldwide penetration of mobile phones passed 50% in September (2014);
  • The number of global internet users passed 3 billion in early November (2014);
  • The number of active mobile connections surpassed the total world population just last month (December 2014)

Just the number of people that can potentially be reached digitally by the three sectors is immense. But they can’t just dump out information and hope it reaches the right ears. Each sector needs to reach their intended audience, the ‘target’ audience, via a specially designed web strategy and the target audience is different in each case. There are of course some overlaps but all in all the goal of each sector is different and hence the different audience. While that obviously means different web strategies it also means different online platforms. A government agency is not going to use Snapchat just as a brand that’s targeted towards teenagers is not going to use LinkedIn. In my Infographic provided below I take a look at the key difference in web strategies amongst the three sectors and their main goal as well as preferred online platforms to display their key messaging.

Social Web Strategies-4

But can you meme?

According to Dictionary.com a meme is, “a cultural item in the form of an image, video, phrase, etc., that is spread via the Internet and often altered in a creative or humorous way.”

 One of the most popular examples of a recent meme is the image of a cat called Tardar Sauce, or more commonly known as Grumpy Cat. The cat has a form of feline dwarfism which causes it’s features to appear like it is permanently frowning. It was a face that was juts begging to made into a meme, it was made into a meme alright and it went viral world over. Apart from having become an internet star grumpy cat is on merchandising ranging from mugs to t-shirts and is going to be star if its very own Lifetime movie later this year. That’s one profitable cat right there.

The reason for the popularity of the cat in question is fairly obvious, it’s grumpy face. That’s an emotion everyone can deal with world over and cats have been entertaining people with their antics on the internet for many years now. Combine the two things, grumpy and a cat, and there’s an instant hit right there.

What do we take from this? Memes are popular because they are something that we can relate to. Memes can be highly simplistic that practically everyone will understand, or they can be more complicated and relating to a specific thing that only a particular group of people will understand.

For my meme I chose a picture of Jim Carrey from the iconic 1994 movie, The Mask. It’s from a scene that shows him holding a lot of money. In a sense, it evokes a feeling of satisfaction and relief that one has money in their hand and I felt that’s pretty relatable so I decided to meme that.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 10.41.15 pm

https://imgflip.com/i/tl69r