Content Strategy: 3 key questions you need to ask
More and more brands are developing content to engage with their audiences. In this article, we share our top recommendations on how to use content to maximise brand engagement and reach.
A substantial number of kids and family brands are embracing the concept of developing content as a tool to foster a long-term relationship with their audience. Strong and engaging content can contribute to franchise building and convert sales in the long-term.
Developing new content is a complex operation that doesn’t always offer a clear and linear route to market.
Because of our content development and distribution capabilities, our clients and prospects are often asking us three key questions.
What is the optimum volume of content we should develop to engage meaningfully with the audience and How much will it cost?
What content distribution strategy should be considered to maximise reach and engagement?
What is the best creative format to facilitate product sell-through?
The answers to these questions will of course depend on the client wider communication objectives. However, these are our 3 top findings to bring engaging content to your audience.
Q: What is the optimum volume of content that a toy brand should produce to support product sell-in and how much will it cost to produce it?
A: When it comes to content, quality, releasing frequency and a strong narrative are paramount criteria to consider. By quality we do not mean a Hollywood Studio budget, we have seen some cost-effective creative solutions that enable clients to produce content with a reasonable budget, such as User Generated Content and toy play. Broadly speaking, frequency is important, regardless of the platform that will carry the content. Whether the content will be placed on TV or posted on social media, a regular editorial schedule of posts and episodes, will keep your audience interested in and loyal to your brand.
Q: What does a strong distribution strategy look like?
A: A lot has changed in the past 12 months in the media world: from cinemas shutting down, to SVOD dominance and the acceleration of digital media consumption in general.
What, on the other hand, remains unchanged for the kids and family demographic, is the huge appetite for content, consumed in a variety of formats and made available on platforms that are constantly proliferating.
In our view a solid distribution strategy should consider a multi-platform approach because brands should be everywhere your audience is. Once content is produced it can be distributed, in different formats, on TV, across social media and digitally. Audiences are loyal to content, not platforms and they will follow their passion points and favourite characters across different mediums and platforms.
The latest Giraffe Insights study shows that content is the “ultimate motivation” for kids when it comes to viewing and choosing the platform where to enjoy it.
With such a proliferation of platforms, viewing is now driven by the needs of both kids and parents. The top three key motivations to view for kids are: it features their favourite content 44%, it allows them to spend time with their family 23% and it forms part of daily routine 20%.
When it comes to parents, they choose content that keeps their kids entertained 48%, it’s safe and age appropriate 45%, and it’s good quality 38%.
However, the vast number of platforms and services are making it difficult for content providers to make their offering visible, discoverable and window it in a coherent and strategic way. As we know, this is especially crucial if the objective is to create a long-term franchise with a successful licensing programme.
Whilst each content distribution initiative will differ, brands new to content development often consider YouTube as a pillar for their content distribution strategy: it’s free, accessible, and content can also be supported by amplification campaigns. This puts clients in control of promoting their content, in alignment with their wider communication objectives and it’s a very cost-effective way of testing new content.
Q: What is the best creative format to facilitate both brand building and product sell-through?
A: The answer to this question will depend on the actual product and brand.
However, our experience shows that engaging content makes a dynamic use of sound and visuals, combining a narrative structure with a clear value proposition.
Engaging content must grab the audience’s attention in the critical first 5 seconds, during which the audience decides whether they like what they see or want to switch to different content.
It also uses trending themes and formats to showcase products and speaks directly to fans to foster User Generated Content and geographically targeted initiatives.
The inclusion of influencers should be considered especially if product showcases are required. Our recommendation on this point is to select an emerging talent, preferably a fan, who will embrace storytelling around the product in an authentic way.
In summary, we think that content is key to delivering brand engagement and to create a strong narrative around products and services.
Volume, costs and distribution footprint will all have to be tailored according to specific needs and objectives. But when it comes to all things content, a real “must” is always to maintain an audience-centric approach that is data-led and creatively meaningful.
Here at Generation Entertainment, we work with our clients on successful content solutions that are designed around the audience’s passion points.