September saw Social Media Week come to London. Like its fashion equivalent, that meant back to back shows, interspersed with panel discussions and sales pitches all heavy with buzzword bingo opportunities. Through the onslaught of stats and proclamations about the death and rebirth of social media, there were a number of interesting things to come out. Below is a selection of highlights.
Content is dead – Like banner adverts before them, content marketing is reaching the tipping point of hype and is about to become deeply unpopular, according to Dazed and Confused. They had an interesting stat to back up their claim – only 20% of consumers exposed to branded content expressed any emotional reaction. I don’t believe content is dead but I do believe brands will have to be smarter with what the assets they have.
Ad blocking – The rise of ad blocking software (93% of people surveyed would consider using it) to curtail the amount of ads users see was discussed feverishly with overtones of it heralding the death of the internet as we know it. Without consumers consuming adverts, advertisers have little reason to advertise and therefore fund websites. Website owners have to find money from somewhere and this leads to more paywalls and less blogs meaning less outlets for our content. If consumers are blocking adverts, brands will need to find new digital channels to reach the end consumer meaning an increased push into earned media channels.
Sequential storytelling – The average consumer has six social accounts. They spend 67% of their online time within apps. That gives rise to second screening and only 17% of adults say they don’t second screen. This means that customer journeys are increasingly fragmented as they piece together opinions of brands from multiple sources. With that backdrop sequential storytelling is 36% more effective at driving conversations than sustaining the same message. What does this mean for our clients? Tell the same message in different ways to different audiences in different places. You need to take that one piece of video content, repurpose it and retarget it to get the most from it.
In conclusion, content is still as important as ever but it has to be done in the right way, to the right people, at the right time and via the right medium. Easy, right?