Content Marketing: Striking the right chord with content marketing

This was a sponsored post by Spotify under the Master Report series. 

According to a 2016 study from Accenture, 75% of consumers are more comfortable with brands collecting data if they are part of the creation and curation of exceptional personalised experiences. With the right balance of the “man and machine” approach, brands will be able to leverage data to deliver personalised value to consumers and earn their trust and loyalty.

Seizing the micro-moment to optimise content discovery and delivery

Today, we as consumers, are constantly inundated with advertising messages from every platform available. But is it truly effective?

Content marketing in the age of data often focuses on understanding what people are doing rather than how they are feeling. Consumer decisions also rely heavily on the emotions they experience. According to data from various functional magnetic resonance imaging neuro-imagery scans, consumers use emotions rather than information when evaluating a brand or product.

This is also why content shared by friends or influencers is often a catalyst for consumer action. Taking into consideration our highly personal environments, content needs to be perceived as trustworthy, authentic and relevant – all strong human emotions – to inspire consumers to take action.

These moments which matter to consumers should matter to brands as well as they present a remarkable opportunity for them to connect with consumers on a deeper level. Unlike demographics or device IDs which are often used to approximate a target audience, moments reveal profound insights about consumers, giving brands the possibility to truly achieve perceptive advertising.

Consumers of today are looking for content that will complement and represent moments that are relevant in their lives. By reaching audiences during moments that matter to them, brands can leverage their content with personalised messages to their user, based on the user’s state of mind. Unfortunately, brands tend to fall into the trap of marketing to machines, and not to the user directly.

Humanising the tools of the content marketing trade

With today’s Generation Z defining what’s mainstream, brands need to be open to change and one way of doing that is embracing the fact that we are addressing a new market; a new generation.

The unique ability of micro-moments to flex to consumers’ needs, makes it an especially powerful marketing tool, as brands reach their audience when they’re most engaged with personalised content that matches their moment.

Human connection, context and creativity seem to be evading the advertising industry more and more, and brands are looking to their agencies and media partners for a sea change in approach in 2017.

As more brands demand a much higher standard of insight into the ways real people are consuming their messages, content and advertising; the experience will be back in focus.

Essentially, we are talking about people-based marketing. Micromoments not only connect brands with audiences that matter the most, but also reaches them at the right time. In the music industry, for example,studies show that people use music to regulate their moods and emotions more than for any other purpose. Taking a leaf out this book, brands need to start thinking “mood or situation” instead of “genre or artist”.

The marketing value of a single moment

Many brands understand the role of cultural nuances – time of day, holidays, pop culture events – in creating contextually relevant content.

However, moments need not be big annual events, they could be less conventional “cultural moments”. For example, when Spotify created a job posting on the Spotify career page called “President of Playlists”, people around the world took note.

Allowing consumers to create and share their individual moments and experiences is another way for brands to fine-tune their perceptions of consumer behaviour. By tapping into user-generated content, brands can communicate with campaigns that engage existing consumers and appeal to new consumers.

As an example, last year, Spotify launched a data-driven global campaign bidding farewell to 2016, using the sign-off “Thanks 2016, it’s been weird.” The out-of-home and digital banner ads shared fun, quirky and hyper-localised insights to reflect the culture of local communities via their streaming behaviour on the platform. It was not only a good way to wrap up the year, but it was a channel to connect with listeners and remind them of the importance of specific moments, even if they seemed insignificant.

There really are many ways to translate data to content. The most important one being that it should give an insight into the emotion that people are expressing. Regardless of the channel and format used, it is about why people should care instead of what the core message they should focus on. The experiential benefits of content are what motivates people to come back to a brand’s content platform.

With that in mind

Today, the marketplace has become cluttered with various messages. To stand out, brands need to not just connect with the target audience, but truly understand them. It is only when brands intimately understand their audiences, they can dynamically evolve effective marketing strategies to reach their audiences in the right context, with the right (relevant and personalised) message.

It is time for brands to incorporate strategies that will tackle the concept of moments, while truly understanding their audience.

Read also:

The Master Report: Adding a melodious spin to your marketing dollars

Content Marketing: See how Spotify worked with OPPO and Levi's