How to be Creative in a Social Media World
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In an Internet Week Webby Session, Executive Director of The Webby Awards sat down with creatives Suzana Apelbaum from Anomoly, Colleen Decourcy from Socialistic and Keke Toleda Piza from LiveAD. The topic of discussion focused on "how innovators and creatives from around the world are shaping the future of advertising and marketing in the digital age."
Decoursy, who "put her fear in a bag" and started an agency is excited about content marketing and social media in general which she says is "moving at the speed of culture."
There was a notion among all panelists that marketing in general is quickly shifting from advertising to content-fueled story telling. Gone are the days of a campaign which had a short life span. Today, it's about creating an ongoing conversation that never truly stops. There is no end date to the "campaign."
Apelbaum said "social media is forcing brands to have a consistent voice, not a campaign voice." It's a voice that doesn't change from campaign to campaign. She added that banners have "become like TV ads. They are a seduction to what's beyond." That's not necessarily ground breaking news but her point was that there has to be more. To compete, brands need to engage consumers more than they ever have before drawing them in with interesting content that tells a story and keeps them coming back for more. Simply saying "our brand is better than theirs and here's why" just isn't enough anymore.
Piza noted effective marketers will possess and in depth knowledge of the product they are marketing in a way that will allow them to manage communities and create content on the fly that is informative, rewarding and enjoyable without need for layers of approval. It's not that current day marketers don't possess in depth knowledge. It's just that they are hamstrung by layers of process that slow their ability to just jump in and start creating content and, hence, potentially reeling in new brand fans and customers.
Of these coming changes, Apelbaum noted social media and all current forms of advertising are going through the same thing that occurred in the early days of digital when the practice was siloed into a corner and not truly integrated into the overall marketing. Today, we are seeing stand alone social media programs that aren't truly integrated into a company's core being. We are doing social media when it should be all about social business. Go ask Edelman. It's their mantra.
Addressing the current fixation with fans and followers, Piza noted gathering those fans and followers is great but it's also pointless unless you get them engaged with the brand in a way that is educational or inspirational and pushed them to want more and more of the brand experience.
Apelbaum made an interesting insight regarding how brands perceive Facebook. Because of its social nature, many brands see it as a table in a bar that they can just walk right up to without regard for the fact it's an intimate setting for friends who know each other. To correctly approach the table, brands must - as we have argued many times in the past - approach the table as if it were a conversation at a cocktail party. You politely and quietly approach, listen to what's being discussed, absorb it and then if you have something relevant to add to the conversation, do so in a non-interuptive manner.
The internet and social media have allowed creatives to tap into much more information to fuel their information. All panelists enjoy it and take full advantage. Decoursy likes to "take a bath in it" the towel off and find some solitude to process what's she's exposed herself to. Then she can start formulating the building blocks of a solid idea. Otherwise, there is simply too much continuous noise.
Piza shared an example (below) of how his company is working towards making brand experiences more engaging while reducing the friction to participate.
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