When Ian Cohen, president of content creation and innovation at Weber Shandwick, talks to his clients these days, the most difficult conversations often come down to where within their budgets for paid distribution .
One of the biggest mistakes marketers make today is focusing entirely on content creation without giving it the proper thought — or budget — to deliver that content. In a way, you can’t really go wrong with them. The original promise of social media marketing was how inexpensive it was, with social media evangelists selling brands with the idea that if you took a moment to put together a piece of content impress the public, you can also have an “Oreo moment” and reach a large audience worldwide without a doubt.
But in the last few years, the landscape has changed dramatically. Social feeds are so saturated with content that it’s almost impossible to get through without paid distribution, and Facebook’s algorithm changes have posed huge hurdles for any brand to want. spread naturally.
Final Continuity Summit in New York City, Cohen — who was joined on the “Build Your Content” panel by Luke Sherwin, co-founder and chief creative officer of Casper, and Josh Golden, vice president of communications and Xerox’s global digital marketing – explains that it won’t work for brands to create great content unless they have developed a plan for how to distribute that content and spend money on advertising pay fees.
“We have clients who say to us, ‘Well, Beyoncé’s going to tweet it.’ Congratulations, you just got three views,” Cohen said. “I think you have to realize that the way algorithms are built, you can’t be naive enough to think it’s going to work.”
At Weber Shandwick, Cohen runs a team of more than 100 people, a team that includes producers, storytellers, editors, camera operators, animators and distribution specialists. Before his content creators shoot a video frame, they must first meet with the media relations team and paid distribution specialists to discuss how the content will reach the audience.
In some cases, the delivery strategy will even dictate the details of the ad. For one campaign, Weber’s strategist and former mothering blogger explained that letting a little girl perform a specific action within the first 30 seconds of a video would get that video 100,000 more views. to increase blogger coverage.
In an ideal world, Weber Shandwick’s paid and media distribution strategy would work well in front of a large group of targeted consumers who would then be attracted by the quality of the content. to share it with their friends. In fact, Cohen mentioned a situation in which his company’s distribution partner returned half of Weber’s 200,000 distribution budget because it was able to achieve its rapid-access goal. than expected.
“The immediate goal will be paid out,” Cohen said. “And then hopefully you won’t have to spend your entire paid budget because it works and then all the sharing starts happening.”
Even if you don’t have a big paying budget, it’s still important to think about where and how people will find your content. Luke Sherwin, co-founder and creative director of mattress startup Casper, which publishes a website about a sleep-focused culture Van Winkle’s , using a small paid media budget primarily to gauge what content is working. If a story on its own starts to do well, he doubles it by putting a small amount of paid advertising behind it.
Van Winkle’s distribution strategy often tends to have its stories syndicated by mainstream sites such as The New York Times Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal , with about 80 percent of impressions coming from off-site engagements. As a result, Van Winkle works to create in-depth articles that will catch the eye of editors at established publications.
“We want credibility and thoughtfulness to be demonstrated, and it’s liberating because you can focus on getting things done. features on PTSD can cost several thousand dollars to make,” Sherwin said. “Yes, you worry about eyeballs, but the real hope is that by doing the right things, we will eventually get there. ”
All three board members agreed that no matter where your content ends up, everything you produce should reflect your company’s core principles, which Xerox’s Josh Golden calls ” Northern Star”. He suggests that even before a content or distribution strategy can be created, brands need to be based on a unique value that everyone who works for the company and its agents can relate to. gather around.
Indeed, even if you have great content and a great distribution plan, the resulting eyeballs and social shares won’t do you much good if no one knows the exact brand. What should yours represent.
“At Xerox, we worked together with six different agencies to get them all on the same page,” said Golden. “And once we had the North Star, we kept aiming for that North Star. So when we put our work on the wall, whether it’s an advertisement, a social media post or a piece of content, it all reflects our unique brand platform promise. . ”