How Brands Can Meet Consumer Demand With Content
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In Demand Media's packed Internet Week session entitled "Creating and Sharing Content for Real Life: Content as a brand differentiator," three representatives of the agency discussed the concept and implications of "pull marketing" in the current landscape. In a nutshell, this idea is the same as it always was: it's better to find out what consumers want and provide it than to create content and "push" it out, hoping to create demand where there was none before. The internet now provides brands with more insight than ever before regarding what customers actually want - so it's on brands to make useful, meaningful content.
The panelists discussed this topic, mainly through a case study of their partnership with L'Oriel. With the cosmetics and hair care brand, they did a deep dive into data to discover what women were actually searching for when they thought about beauty and discovered a huge number of people were typing specific questions into google, like "how can I do my makeup like Lady Gaga?" In response, Demand worked to produce 1,126 videos in a matter of months and on a budget, each addressing a common "how to" search query.
Some key takeaways from this panel presentation:
- Search queries are getting longer - often ten words are more. People are looking for very specific content when they search, and if you can provide it, that's a huge service.
- The best videos for this sort of marketing are "evergreen" - that is, they remain relevant for a long time (3-5 years) by containing generally useful content, rather than being attached to a trend, celebrity, or launch. A light touch on the branding also helps the videos feel authentic, and not tied to very specific products so much as the brand.
- If your brand is traditional, start with a test - produce just a few examples of the new content type and see how they perform in search and on your site. Success is your best shot at convincing the old guard to try new tactics.
- Social listening is of the utmost importance - in fact, L'Oriel has changed their call centers into customer listening and insight hubs. Understanding what people are saying about your products, and the surrounding industry, allows you to channel feedback to the right people and meet actual demand.
- Data is the key to staying on top as trends change - know where the landscape is headed, not just what's working now.
Demand Media clearly takes their name from this core idea of understanding customers and meeting their real needs. If L'Oriel's experience is any reflection, brands should consider this a viable approach to online marketing. The advice: put your next brainstorming session for edgy creative on hold. And just listen.
This guest post was written by Dinah Finkelstein of Catch 24 Advertising & Design.
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