These days it’s all about content. Content that’s shareable. Content that’s dynamic. Content that’s engaging. But what’s the secret sauce? How can you set your team up for success and create killer content that converts? There may not be a surefire way to make sure every asset lands 100% of the time, but there are things to keep in mind. In preparation for the upcoming AMA Atlanta Innovation Marketing Event, Cracking the Content Creation Code, we’re sharing our tips for how to have a content-forward mindset.
1. Repurpose. Repurpose. Repurpose.
Not all brands have the money to invest in big budget productions, and that’s okay. The key is to keep scale at the forefront of the strategy to make your client’s investment work smarter, not harder. For example: consider developing scripts that can be easily segmented and broken down into multiple assets. Or hiring a photographer to capture additional imagery at a video shoot for use on other platforms. The question should always be “how many assets can I make with this asset?”
If new content isn’t on the table, old content can be just as useful. A simple reframing or recutting can transform an old video into a snackable gif, or an old blog post into an Instagram carousel.
Our team had the scale mentality when IHG Hotels & Resorts approached us to help them reintroduce their Masterbrand to travelers in a post-Covid world. From one video shoot we iterated and repurposed content to develop a fully 360° campaign that could be seen everywhere from airports to smart phones.
2. Trust the data.
By this point we should all know the basic best practices for each platform (grab attention in the first few seconds, use a title and end card, optimize for search when possible, yadda yadda). These guidelines are a great place to start, and you should adhere to them when generating content for the first time.
However, rules are meant to be broken. You may discover some content performs in surprising ways – and when it does, you should trust the data even if it’s saying the opposite of how the experts say it should. Then you can iterate and optimize over and over to develop best practices that are unique for your brand.
When our team worked with the regional financial brand, Georgia’s Own Credit Union, we produced a wide variety of awareness and offer-centric assets. One in particular rose to the top in our metrics – even though it wasn’t the one we thought would lead the pack. Instead of calling it a fluke, we leaned in and blew it out and it led to great success.
3. Length doesn’t (always) matter.
Sure, vertical is in and with it comes short form content like 15 second Instagram stories, TikToks, and YouTube Shorts. However, despite society’s waning attention spans, longer content is becoming more and more effective depending on the platform. Take YouTube, for example. Viewers tune into their favorite creators and educators religiously and are willing to watch videos that are way longer than before (our team has seen videos as long as 45 or 60 minutes!).
It all depends on what your audience is prepared for and if your content is worth sitting through. Yes, we recommend you keep it brief on TikTok. But don’t be afraid to explore outside of the typical 15 or 30 second spots if you think you prove the audience is ready and willing.
4. Plan to be spontaneous.
We all know the mental whiplash that can occur when trying to keep up with online trends. They are here one day and gone the next. Should brands even try to stay current? Yes and no. While it’s not feasible (or reasonable) for brands to hop on every bandwagon, it’s critical to be ready to act when a relevant one comes around the corner.
Unfortunately, many brands don’t have processes in place that make it possible for their marketing or agency teams to react quickly enough. Instead, they miss the trend completely – or worse, they join in too late and become the butt of a new joke.
Alternatively, sometimes it’s not speed that’s the issue. It’s rigid brand standards that prevent more scrappy, authentic expressions of trends from getting approved. Brands should try to put a plan in place that allows for some departure from the norm and just see what happens. Worse case a new trend will come along, and your attempt will be quickly forgotten.
Need some inspiration? Check out Duolingo’s and Scrubdaddy’s social feeds. They consistently capitalize on trends at their peaks and quickly move on to the next flash in the pan. And instead of feeling dated or invasive, both brands come off authentically.
There you have it: four aspects of the content mentality. While we’re all still searching for the white whale that is the formula for instant viral content, keeping these tenants in mind can set you up for success and keep you churning out better and better assets. Want to learn more? Hothouse is sponsoring AMA Atlanta’s upcoming marketing event on Content Creation on Thursday, September 15. Join us to hear from a panel of experts including three of the most innovative brand-side storytellers who will walk us through their recipe for success. Register today and get ready to learn ways to crack the content code – and get your message to stick.