Get Ready To Go Social In 2014.

If one thing’s for certain in 2014, it’s that brands will continue to embrace social media as an integral part of all their content marketing needs.

Engagement is what it’s all about. And not just on one platform, but on a variety of complimentary ones to offer the consumer, customer, viewer a more delightful journey. The commitment by brands to delight and reward their followers will enable them to harness the invaluable interaction that followers.

Once users like, comment, vote and play on your social platforms then you have a ready and viable community to entertain and inform.

But it will take time to get there without a plan of action. Those that can, meanwhile, will look to divert resources – budgets and time – in to delivering key campaigns.

Social Campaigns That Soared.

Looking back we saw some great social campaigns to emulate in 2013.

Expedia got inspired by TV ads and launched a follow-up Twitter campaign in October that aimed at spicing up lacklustre tweets. The idea was to ‘Travel Yourself Interesting’, taking dull tweets and jazzed them up by creating videos of people reciting the words in exotic locations. Neat, simple and effective.

Meanwhile Unilever’s Why Bring a Child Into This World YouTube campaign really drew a global audience following real-life pregnant couples share their doubts, fears, and hopes about bringing a new baby into the world. It got more than 8 million views and shone a light on Project Sunlight, Unilever’s global sustainability platform.
Another impressive social media campaigns was Three Mobile UK’s dancing pony. A special little Shetland moon walking his way into social media marketing history. This one spread like crazy through Twitter and Facebook and was viewed by more than a million times in the first weekend.

Meanwhile Virgin Atlantic gave us virtual postcards and Ikea offered Us Live.

Knowing Your Demographic.

Obviously no campaign is worth it’s salt if it doesn’t return some kind of value. But they aren’t all about profit. They are more about the long game. Unfortunately the days of one-click purchases are behind us in reality with customers browsing online and in-store often before deciding what to buy. So it’s often hard to see the purchasing journey from start to finish. Did they buy as a result of your latest social campaign? Hard to say. But there are ways to see value.

And the need to analyse digital and social data, is key to getting value for money. What do our customers actually do over time on their way to purchase? What makes them loyal? Why do they come back? How many times will they come back before buying something? What incentivises them to want more from the brand and connect with it in the long term?

Making a judgement about what will work and what won’t next time is vital you will be in it for the long haul after all. Social campaigns will be thick and fast as a way of marketing in the future.

These are all questions for a content specialist, however. So if you don’t already have one, invest in one fast.

That’s An Idea.

What content specialists can offer is a clear strategy going forward. Something to build on. This will include conversations about user experience and design as well as the value of specialist content. Brands will need to map out real, and hopefully typical, paths to purchase and design their content marketing programmes to complement.

Like it or not, 2014 is going to be a social heaven or hell.

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