My delegate view of the CharityComms Conference – Content Marketing: planning, creating and distributing content that adds value.
I arrived with sloth like punctuality to the conference due to the usual train trouble (this time it was ‘derailment’ followed by overcrowding sardine tin style) – so I missed a precious 15 minutes of content! The conference really did have the Ronseal touch and delivered it’s title and then some. The jam packed day was rich with inspiring speakers and great nuggets of information to trigger re-evaluation of content strategy and value. The themes covered ‘what’, ‘why’, how’ ‘where’ and ‘when’. Deep experts from social media strategy and charities alike shared their knowledge insight and case studies.
My main concern of the repeated ‘viral request’ for a ‘viral’ campaign as the main objective was thankfully quashed early on and in fact the entire room tittered when the word ‘viral’ comes up. It sends a shiver down everyone’s spine as well as mine it seems.
The main strand of the conference was that ‘people want meaningful content’. Nicole Parkinson from the Good Agency kicked off with exactly that statement.
“People want meaningful content. It’s not broadcast, it doesn’t preach and it’s not boring but instead tugs on heart strings, blows minds and weaves organisations into everyday human interactions.”
Rob Blackie, director of social (UK) from OgilvyOne Worldwide spoke about the psychology of sharing. The tribe mentality. By sharing content you are showing you are part of the tribe and showing your peers that you are a loyal member of the tribe. We are honest to strangers as we are expected to be treated with honesty in return, and this is also tribe behaviour. Our supporters therefore will cluster in the same way. He mentioned that we respond well to social content as there is a sense of urgency and we respond better to short deadlines than to long deadlines (something we all relate to!).
He did warn that we always need to look for new ways to communicate. Anything you do today won’t necessarily work as well tomorrow (for example – online petitions aren’t as successful as they were 5 years ago). There is a need to constantly innovate as the return on investment is diminishing as the sharing and content sharing increases. Audiences build up more and more filters as they see more and more and similar content or ways of communicating eg. automated thank you/notifications etc.
Measurement was also a regular question that popped up throughout the day. It’s obviously infuriating to most organisations as it changes all of the time and will continue to do so. Rob’s recommendation was to concentrate on the things that really matter and align your measuring with what you’re trying to achieve. Dark Social was also mentioned as a main factor that hinders measurement and that two thirds of activity happens outside of social where people cut and paste from it and don’t interact directly.
The National Trust and British Heart Foundation gave great insight into their approach and principles for content and how they balance between serious health messages and the fun stuff. The emphasis again being on recognising audience need and creating the framework around that.
Joanna Rose from Tesco spoke about their paradigm shift in engaging with their audience. I think everyone was a little unsure about how a retail giant’s insights could be transferable but there were some tangible pointers that everyone should be aware of – mainly the points that:
“There are other voices more powerful than yours.” and “Listen and your customers will feel heard.”
She shared that on social media platforms it’s imperative to be of the moment, listen and be agile and be very aware of your customer mind set and be obsessive about it. This is a shift that all organisations should have at the top of their agenda in order to deliver content successfully.
The many platforms have the ability to amplify research, message and create engaging conversations, but it’s the compelling content that needs to be at the heart of everything and being aware of the right channels to deliver that. Content provides the fuel & social is the platform.
The whole day had been about ‘meaningful content’ – making it compelling and shareable.
Chris Cox, Digital Communications Manager at Mind summed the day up nicely.
“Authenticity is the fastest rising currency.”