Patrícia Albuquerque is a partner and content director at MSLGROUP Espalhe in Sao Paulo, where she oversees content production and digital/social presences for brands like Trident, Halls, Cargill’s Pomarola, Mexico’s Tourism Council and Ambev – part of ABInbev. A journalist for over 20 years, she has worked in some of the most important newsrooms in Brazil.
Sharing – the currency of the internet
Since the changes in Facebook’s algorithm started to challenge branded content’s organic reach, we can see that the platform has become a media outlet on which results are dependent exclusively on the amount of money available to promote posts. In fact, more than ever, strategy needs to combine earned, owned and paid media efforts… though, in the context of share-ability, it’s worth remembering that paid media will deliver your content to more people, while not necessarily make them click, comment or share. So, what can guarantee that? In one word? Nothing.
Forget digital and think about our offline lives for a moment: in a conversation between two people, what guarantees that one will understand exactly what the other said – and more importantly, respond in the way in which the other wants them to? There’s no 100% certainty. If it doesn’t occur in a personal interaction, face-to-face, how can we expect it to be true through a computer or smartphone screen? To increase the chances of success, we can work on a combination of passion and process.
There are different ways to achieve this. Through monitoring and learning, we understand that it’s not about creating an idea and then working on a strategy to spread it. It’s about developing concepts that have in and of themselves the potential to be shared.
Let’s “read the classics”: the MacBook air launch, for example. If the story was about technological features and beautiful design, it wouldn’t have had half the appeal. In fact, the gadget was deprived of its hard drive – what may seem obvious today, but probably wasn’t during its development – in order to make it the ‘world’s thinnest notebook.’ It was not a product, it was a headline. PR intelligence was evident from the beginning. Apple relied on uniqueness, boldness and creativity as the subjects of conversation – instead of relying on forgettable press releases, tactic activations and paid media waves.
Creating stories that are share-worthy
We won’t always have big projects in our hands, but the question is equally relevant, to both million-dollar campaigns and social media posts: Would I tweet about it? Would I pass it forward? If we think specifically about timelines, some items stand out. Yes, identifying is easier than applying them. Execution will ask for commitment, attention and rituals.
Once the story is defined, it’s time to understand where and in which formats it’s going to be developed. How each social network is related (or not) to the brand’s goals? Is it really necessarily and feasible to establish a relevant presence in this platform at the moment? The landscape is fragmented and complex, but this is an opportunity, not a problem. It’s an opportunity to customize messages and, by doing that, increase relevance. Humor, a business model that helps to achieve consistency, agility and timing are also part of the equation, as we know.
Even when designing content to be shared, the goal remains the same: win people’s preference. Interruptions are not the way to get there anymore. The brand message will always be present, but, to leverage conversation, it’s important to understand that we need to focus less on what we want to say and more on what people want to hear. How can we identify this? Well, a good option is to start listening.
In the end, the question goes beyond just being share-worthy – there are more than enough cats and babies out there. Rather, it’s about transforming brands into subjects of conversation. So, make the conversation part of a story you would like to hear – or would be proud to tell.
Honoring the end of social network Orkut: Fim do Orkut by Halls XS/MSLGROUP Espalhe
Building buzz around the World Cup 2014 ball: brazuca babies by adidas/MSLGROUP Espalhe
This post is a part of our People’s Insights report The Future of Creativity, in which experts from MSLGROUP and some from Publicis Groupe identify 15 drivers for engaging creatively in 2015.