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The Influencers

Why Creative Wizardry and Engagement Will Always Win

INFLUENCER: How does a brand navigate information overload? The Escape Pod's Blagica Bottigliero explores

Why Creative Wizardry and Engagement Will Always Win

We live in a society of being connected at all times of the day. We are also experiencing information overload - from all angles.  

At Facebook's SxSW session back in March, they shared some interesting insights. Here are a few…

- The average person has less of an attention span than a goldfish. That’s right. A goldfish.

- 3 billion more people will gain access to smartphones by 2020 (that’s two short years away).

- Conversation on Facebook around information overload grew 2.4 times between 2015 and 2016.

Add in Facebook’s algorithm change favouring content from personal connections and brands are left with needing to connect in a quick and meaningful way. Sponsored content appearances in news feeds will decrease. The content that does make it through the algorithm gauntlet needs to entertain, educate or elevate. 

So how does a brand navigate this? How does a brand keep up with the ever-changing world of Facebook algorithm updates?  

It takes two things: solid storytelling followed up by meaningful engagement.

Content people care about 

No matter what size the screen - whether cinema, TV, laptop, phone - compelling narrative content has always been at the root of the most successful campaigns. A good majority of the Brand & Marketing sessions at SxSW stemmed around content and storytelling on social. From two minute movies to episodic how-tos, the way to breakthrough is through a brand’s ability to visually tell a story, adhering to the limited screen size of today’s tablets and phones. According to Facebook, 41% of people in the United States and Canada watch videos on their mobile devices because it makes them feel connected to friends and family. By 2020, 3/4 of Facebook traffic will be coming from mobile devices. 

How is your brand going to connect to the audience? 

At The Escape Pod, we have been doing this for a decade - telling stories to audiences of various sizes. Today, we are layering in the ability to hyper target our storytelling to ensure that the right people are seeing our stories at the right time and that those stories are relevant to those audiences. 

Great creative is terrific, but you can’t stop there. Brands need to take the important extra step to close the communication loop and actually talk to their audience. 

Talk to your customers (or the customers you’d like to get to know)

Why do brands/companies expect consumers to engage, talk back, share content or like an image or video yet the brand doesn’t give that same respect back to the consumer?

Taking the time to ‘heart’ a consumer comment, answer a question or direct an inquiry to a relevant customer support desk speaks VOLUMES for consumers. Two-way engagement should be an element of every creative execution, yet it seems brands continue to struggle with this end of social media.

It does take time.

It does take training.

It does take investment.

If brands expect consumers to spend their valuable time engaging with and sharing the brands’ content, then brands need to be equipped with the right teams and tools to build direct  relationships with their consumers. 

The new RFP

In the last year, we’ve seen more RFPs calling for big creative ideas to drive mass awareness, married with social storytelling to connect with the consumer on a 1:1 basis through engagement and social listening. 

The new normal will require brands and agencies to have a tight relationship between the grand brand plan and the day-to-day grind of producing volumes of compelling content for multiple audiences, while making sure those audiences are heard and fostered.

Blagica Bottigliero is Director of Social Strategy at The Escape Pod

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Genre: Strategy/Insight