Spending any amount of time browsing Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram is tantamount to an absolute deluge of brand content exposure, so much so that the average user, completely overwhelmed by all of the information coming their way, unconsciously filters out most of it. In order to beat the rising tide, brands have to go a step further when producing their content, and win the consumer’s trust when it comes to online advertising.
Video Rules Supreme
Facebook and Snapchat gain eight billion and ten million video views per day respectively. YouTube records that users watch “hundreds of millions of hours” worth of videos every day on the site, and Twitter’s video views have grown by 220 per cent in the past 12 months. But what can be made of these eye-wateringly high statistics?
In a recently commissioned study, Brightcove, an online video solutions provider, found that it is video which has the most traction when it comes to winning the consumer’s attention. “Consumers are spending an average of six hours per week watching video content on social media alone.” In a study which measured consumer/brand interaction on social media across five different countries, video appeared as a clear winner in terms of winning customer leads. In the UK, of those that currently interact with brands on social media, 47% do so by watching branded videos. 43% of all UK respondents have also made a purchase after watching a branded video on social media, proportions that were similarly reflected in the US, Australia, France and Germany.
So how can brands take advantage of that six hour window and get their content under their consumer’s nose? It’s all about your brand personality. 79% of respondents to Brightcove’s survey agreed that online video is one of the easiest ways to get to know a brand. So how can you make every one of those precious seconds count? By making sure your video content presents a brand personality that your target audience can engage with. Jo Swann, director of Chocolate PR, a PR and content agency, says: “Brand personality needs to be authentic and illustrate values. What social provides is an opportunity to tell brand stories, to show what a business stands for, to get under the skin of what customers care about[…] Customers are engaged when they receive a consistent voice from their favourite brand, delivering content of value to their lifestyles.”
Managing Your Brand Personality
It’s important to remember, however, that brand personality is a multi-faceted organism. Consumers witness brands battling for their attention across so many digital platforms, but there must be cohesion between the content that you create to draw leads and the personalisation you offer to your loyal customer base. Massimo Fubini, CEO, Contactlab, explains: “It’s important to have a balance between corporate communication and personal communication. Everybody now is sending email, so really, to be able to communicate with customers is always a mix of those two kinds of communication.” Brand personality is something that has to work on all levels, both on the wider outreach of your brand, and in the more intimite individual interactions you have with your customers. The key is balance.
Marina Cheal, CMO, Reevoo, explains that it’s only by listening to your consumer that you can hope to nurture a relationship with them that’s mutually beneficial. “I think it was Jeff Bezos that said: ‘Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.’[…] Social media is a good way to keep your finger on the pulse, and an awesome way to express brand personality through many intimate interactions. But when it comes to actually shaping that personality in the first place, you need feedback more robust than what you get on social.” Cheal describes social media feedback as being like an “echo chamber”. Specificity is the key to cutting through the white noise. But the most accurate feedback won’t come back to you on its own. “To do [it] without being in the room, it’s best to get that done by an independent third party. Get them to collect reviews from your customers, and allow your customers to speak on your behalf.”
By keeping up to date with your customer’s expectations, you can ensure that your brand personality works seamlessly at all levels, whether you’re introducing your brand to new customers or rewarding your loyal ones. By keeping your content strategy fresh and dynamic, you can make sure you send the right message that will keep consumers wanting that relationship with your brand. Jessica Thomas, social media specialist and account manager at Bolser, says: “Don’t stick to the same strategy – test, learn and adapt. Social media is not just about getting content out there fast; it’s a two-way street in which you can have a conversation with your audience. Got a problem? Ask them a question. Social is a platform that people expect to be quite lighthearted, so embrace it as a medium where you can be more conversational with your audience and build up those all-important customer relationships.”