Jonathan Wallace

How to create content that resonates in a post-'like' world

 I can’t be the only one who thinks ‘like’ is one of the most insipid words in the universe.  Along with ’nice’, ‘ok’ and ‘fine’ it could be grouped into a thesaurus entry under ‘meh’.

I like you, but just not like that

Many brands still persist in obsessively counting Facebook likes as a method of engagement, disregarding the fact that to click the blue button requires little thought or effort. Liking something is more often a measure of the poster’s popularity than true resonance with the content being produced.

Yet in an age of where a GIF of a knitting gnome is viewed by 340 million people, brands persist with an outdated approach to engagement. Today, with continually declining publisher revenues and an increasingly fragmented media landscape, it’s clear that the power publishers of the future will be brands with the resources and the will power to produce original content, determined to build meaningful engagement.

But content marketing needs better storytellers if it is to succeed in creating real relationships with the new prosumer. Most campaigns fail as stories, and subsequently fail as campaigns. We all know a great story when we see it; we run after it, we go out of our way to find out what happens next – in short, we’re hooked. Netflix and other data-driven producers are a great example of how brands can create amazing stories and characters that capture our attention.

Spinning a good yarn

Building an emotional connection with your audience is the backbone of good storytelling. Netflix has built a relentless data collection machine that reports on every aspect of our viewing behaviour and feeds that intelligence into the next binge-worthy production. They combine data and creativity to ensure their offerings capture an emotional relationship with the viewer.

To connect with your audience on an emotional level, you need to have a picture of who they are. If that picture is going to be accurate, you need to know more than what content they’re liking, you need to understand why they’ve liked it. Does it really resonate with who they are? Does it represent them as a whole? Or has it just been shared by the person they fancy, and are keen to impress? It is not enough to trigger any old emotional responses from your audience and manipulate them into viewing your content, you have to craft a story that transcends the moment with genuine emotional resonance.

The challenge to brands is to harness new technology to build better content that isn’t just likeable, but shareable and unforgettable. To be great storytellers, brands need to transcend content marketing and be part of the cultural conversation.

The new technology

The advent of AI and machine learning in this space presents a great opportunity for brands to combine the rationality of data with the emotionality of context.

The start-up Echobox claims that it can tell a brand how audiences react to different articles at different times of the day, and by doing so can advise what and when to post. It claims an average 71% gain in referral traffic through Facebook and 142% through Twitter. This innovative approach innovative will be the hallmark of modern brand leaders.

Codec uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to interpret signals from social media, contextualise them and better understand an audience’s emotional DNA. This enables brands and publishers to produce more engaging content that not only resonates with consumers, but triggers action, engagement and connection. We have had some impressive results:
a one month campaign with Eve mattresses doubled their sales, tripled brand awareness and delivered an uplift of 148% on monthly transactions. Let us help you with your next story – whatever you want that to be.


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