23 March 2018

Why content is king

Author :

You've probably heard the saying "content is king" but exactly how royal it is, is usually overlooked. 
Let's put this in context. 

You’re lounging around one night, engrossed in the latest episode of your favourite TV series (think MKR or MAFS), and of course, the show breaks for the ads. Usually you'd whip out your phone and distract yourself with what's happening on Facebook (marketing people call this "double screening") but some ad catches your eye. Not because it's funny, but because it's a little weird. 

The screen goes completely black and all you hear is a 40 something year old voice-over guy putting on his best game-show host voice blasting a pre-written script trying to convince you to buy his latest product. 

Usually this ad would best for the radio… but weirdly, it's on TV.

Okay so this hasn't really happened, but I'm trying to demonstrate a point. 

You wouldn't put a radio ad on TV, it just wouldn't be right. So the same goes for your social media content. If something wasn't made for social media, why should it go on social media? 

I see this all the time - a video that was originally cut for a website, a brochure that was meant for a mailbox, a screenshot of a PDF.

The newsfeed is so competitive these days that this type of repurposed content will no longer achieve cut through. We all have hard KPI's that need to be met - usually it involves how many people the content reached and if you're working in a government like me, usually the powers that be would like to know an indication of sentiment. 

How can you track these metrics if you have no one engaging in your content!

Let me show you an example. Recently, we storyboarded and shot a bespoke three part video series to celebrate one of our assets, the 85th birthday of the Grafton Bridge. 

You can see the videos here: 

During a two day trip to Grafton, we developed this series heroing everyday "Graftonians". Nothing was scripted, my only brief to our talent *ahem* everyday people was to pretend we were at a BBQ and we were just having a conversation. 

Organically, we achieved 40,000 views and reached over 88,000 people. For a small regional town with a population of 18,668 people, this means that we reached new audiences and the content resonated with audiences wider than just the locals. We also achieved almost 100 per cent positive sentiment.  

To give you some perspective, before creating this bespoke content, we had only ever achieved views in the 10,000 mark and that's if we were lucky. By creating the piece specifically for social media, our content not only performed well, but allowed us to expand our audience. 

We did this by changing a few things: 

·         Language - we spoke in a casual tone, even though some of our message was quite technical
·         We featured unstaged, behind the scenes content
·         We kept our content short and sharp by making the audience feel like they were there
·         We knew who our main audience was and for each video, and we tailored our content towards that (for example the audiences for our third video skewed male because of some of the technical terms).

By making these small changes, we saw such an improvement in the performance of the content, and we have kept it up! Visit our page to see more. Facebook.com/nswroads

Written by: Debbie Hatumale-Uy 

Debbie Hatumale-Uy is the Social Media Manager at Roads and Maritime Services, a division of NSW Government. She has previously worked as the Social Media Manager at McCann Worldwide Group, as the Digital Communications Specialist at Canon Australia, and the Online Community Manager at McDonald's Australia. She is passionate about leading organisations into the wide world of social media, and spreading the importance of content in that journey. 

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