Q&A with Desmond So, CEO of Uth Creative

1. Social/content marketing has evolved drastically over the years. For example, video content is now a lot shorter than in the past, shrinking from an average of 30 seconds to 10-15 seconds. How do you foresee future changes in content marketing?

I have to say, content marketing has been one of the fastest evolving aspects in marketing over the years. Marketers have been experimenting with content format, length, frequency, style and more to fit in the game. Nowadays, people are also pickier than ever. They look for better value in content.

It’s the same case for video content: there is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy. It is not about the length, but the goal. We should ideally put our efforts into customising content based on specific objectives and platforms. At the end of the day, the truth is that videos can never be too long, but only too boring!

2. Does content marketing serve as more than just a vehicle for “engagement”? How can brands craft great stories in 2018?

Content marketing is definitely more than that. It is not only for the engagement of a single content or campaign, but telling a story from the perspective of brand image, product and services, experience, word-of-mouth and more.

Content is becoming more personalised. It is very important for us to focus on using the right tone to create a strong connection with each and every audience. We have become far more strategic when it comes to the type of content we publish. We have to work together with our clients and plan ahead. The totality of look and experience is key.

3. As people’s habits change, and as marketers move away from “vanity” metrics, is social media marketing still relevant?

Definitely. Despite the growth of social media, it remains a key battlefield for marketers and agencies. Measurable returns are always the beauty of digital marketing, but measurement has become increasingly challenging over the years.

User journeys are often long and meandering. Audiences are viewing content from many brands on many channels. Coming into 2018, we have to rethink our way of looking at data and metrics. We should look for in-depth analytics and stick with ROI calculations.

Meanwhile, we can also borrow the traditional practice of brand tracking to understand how our audiences view the brand. By doing so, we can treat online as a communication channel with fair measurement in comparison with other traditional channels.

4. Clients crave extensive personalisation, and there are already cases in which AI creatives are doing the lion’s share of the work. How will this impact on human creatives? Will they still be necessary in the future?

Undoubtedly, AI accelerates the working process and solves problems, but humans still play the leading role behind creative ideas. AI will change the way we work and will allow us to focus on what’s crucially important. After all, what’s really going to create a meaningful impact is creative thinking, vision and leadership.

Besides, AI creatives create work that is mostly based on deep learning and machine learning such as analysing images, tagging assets, analysing data sets, etc. These are perfectly adequate in handling average works, but if you are looking for a breakthrough, it really boils down to human judgment – to challenge old beliefs and social norms.

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