People get tired of seeing and hearing the same things.
This is the line during my 3-hour copywriting online seminar that struck me to think. It’s one of those things that you and I have probably heard but never really took in. A passing phrase over the multitude of workload we had to get done. But when I had the opportunity to create innovative content, I found myself introspective as I review my portfolio. And I wondered if other creators have said and done the same thing. And most of all, if any of my audience cared about it.
In the pockets of a well-suited digital marketer, you’ll find the essential skills to make creative work in the digital world. Most digital and social media content creators would boast high amounts of artistic work over vast and impressive portfolios. But a deeper dig within their pockets familiar trinkets and niceties wrapped in the same funny captions, pop culture references, and trending videos that we have all seen before. Even if we roll up our sleeves, we can’t deny that at some point, we have been inspired by previous creators to create a similar thing, regardless if it’s for the art or the money.
And I’m not talking about plagiarism or any originality issues that artists often work to earn a badge for. I’m talking about whether your online content, especially social media content, contains substantial innovative qualities to capture the attention and convert to sales in today’s satiated digital world. With more than 500 million posts that get published per day, it seems impossible to find an audience that is hungry for good content. But what’s worse, everybody wants to get in on the job.
Research firm Morning Consult surveyed 2,000 Americans within the ages of 13 to 38 regarding social media and influencers. A whopping 86% said they would post sponsored content for money and 54% would choose to be an influencer if given the chance. It seems everyone wants in on the marketing game. And there are quite a few things we could take away from this.
For example, digital marketers may find themselves at an indirect competition when it comes to creating content. It’s not to say that we can’t collaborate as some brands and digital marketing agencies often recruit influencers for higher advertisements, especially when the audience is the younger generation. The competition stems from the fact that these influencers could shape and rehash the same digital marketing techniques we stuff inside our pockets. They won’t be professional designers overnight, but considering their verification badges and celebrity status often intensify their ability to infatuate the masses, they would add to the millions of content already out there. Engagement, creative shots, funny captions, amazing headlines, influencers can and will use these techniques from our overstuffed pockets. In an era of social media marketing, influencers may find themselves holding a bigger stick when it comes to social media attention.
Another, the same article said that 39% of agencies have focused budgets on influencers. This means most digital marketers recognize that influencers contribute to and affect audience attention and social media content creation. That places us in an awkward position to create something, for lack of a better description, more original compared to what they put out. The celebrity status of influencers makes it easier for the audience to think that they are following, talking to, and watching a human post content rather than a company. In the end, these influencers would directly contribute to the overall market resistance, making us reconsider what works and how can we differentiate ourselves with what they can do.
In the chessboard of digital marketing, your content keeps the gave alive. But engagement travels across the board. ‘Engagement is queen’ in such a way that it will help you dominate the game, no matter who or what you face. But engagement often gets thrown around. When it comes to strategy, there is little talk about it. We can gamify a picture, post questions and engaging captions, post and comment with followers on social media. All of this contributes to great social media content. It’s true—even your comments, whether it exists or not, contribute to the lasting impression your followers notice. But like I said, influencers already do this. Sometimes agencies hire social media managers for this stuff.
The difficulty of creating engagement is that we have to differentiate yourself. Remember what your teachers told you to think outside the box? No, that’s not what you need to do. Let go of the thought of the box altogether. We have to think of better ways, as a digital marketer, social media content creator, or CEO, of other ways to engage our customers. Like the one with Kings Arms pub in Devon.
Rob Bass runs a pub in Okehampton, Devon and as an owner, he knows how difficult it is to capture the attention of the locals with his pub. In his op-ed, he questions his dire need to stand up. Apart from the competition, pubs and publicans face vast amounts of problems from beer price hike to bars and clubs. These contemporary establishments are becoming an indirect competitor for alcohol consumption havens. While he noted that positive word of mouth does good, he also notes that it’s not enough.
He stated three key elements to his successful stunt: social media, content, and customers. Now, I know you already know this. But like most experts, he emphasized engagement and individuality. Last year, the Kings Arms Collective created a song called When the Lions Roar! This celebrated the World Football Cup, a sport most of Kings Arms’ customers follow and watch. The original song and music video garnered them the Best Marketing Initiative at the Ei Group Awards for Excellence. Kings Arms showed customers and the Kings Arms team dancing with each other to the music and some behind-the-scenes footage. It was an ambitious way to capture attention. But truly set Kings Arms apart with the local community by showing a different kind of engagement through music.
Local talent is something Bass took advantage of. One thing he mentioned he was asked for help among marketers and the local community and made great use of their talents. Ambitious and effective marketing strategies, though with a bit of luck and flexibility, are conceptualized with an amazing team.
Bass also mentioned creative social media content that captured his attention. A Warrington pub he knows of gave away free cake after holding a contest of ‘The Great British Cake Off’ which appeared in their local press. A licensee in Worcestershire celebrated an event called ‘Nigelness’ by gathering 400 people named Nigel after finding out that no one was named Nigel in their city in the previous year.
Kings Arms Collective created a second video and posted it recently. Though the second video has yet to experience the same attention as the first, they retained their format of engaging content that made their first one so popular. Time will tell if Kings Arms will experience market resistance or sophomore syndrome, but either way, his article proves he felt success in his marketing campaign.
Creating social media content is a dynamic process. Things that worked before and things that work now don’t always retain their throne to successful marketing strategies. When you find yourself overstuffed with techniques, empty those pockets and start with a blank page. You can always reach out to your hands and find which content will make your audience give you a handshake. Social media marketing is not just a trend anymore. It’s here to stay. So, look at it as a new slate or a new channel for your creativity.