Doug Simon, President & CEO of D S Simon, was joined by a panel of experts to speak to the topic of creating content in the digital and social world. What better way to begin than to discuss the differences between digital and social. Brenna Robinson, Director-Global Reputation, Digital, Content & Media Strategy for Pfizer, noted simply that digital means something is on a digital platform and social means there is a level of engagement involved. Beverly Yehuda, SVP, Operations and Digital Media, D S Simon, agrees and adds that often, digital and social work together in tandem. It is most important to know the differences and use them in the right way. “Digital can drive social content and vice versa,” Yehuda said; Dan Piech, Director of Product Management, Shareable notes that while digital content can be a specific point in time, social is evergreen; it’s constantly growing with the audience.
What should we take away?
Libbey: “Content, Content Content. It’s all about the Content.”
Robinson: “Develop your goals and strategies before anything else.”
Yehuda: “Determine a distribution plan and a target audience; this will help make content more effective.”
Piech: “Measurement is so important. Use qualitative data to help strategize.”
So what makes content effective?
Piech: Be observant. Know what your competitors, peers and brands you want to mirror are doing in terms of content, and then find out what’s most effective for your brand.
Robinson and Yehuda both agreed that determining your audience is extremely valuable. Find out what they are talking about, what kind of content they interact with and even the demographics they reach. It’s also important to discuss what you want your intended audience to be talking about and where you might fit into that conversation.
Getting Content Viewed
For a measurement point of view, Piech suggests researching and thinking hard about what time of day to post or what time of day is particularly important to your desired audience. Yehuda advised us to think about which channel is most appropriate and which channels your audience is using, whether it be YouTube, Twitter or another site.
Developing the right online persona
Robinson said it’s all about tone and voice along with determining how often you post and what you want to use your social voice for. Piech added that you could have different audiences for different platforms; therefore it’s important to use demographic measurements. Another interesting point Yehuda made is that when it comes to B to C communication, you can use niche social networking sites to reach specific audiences. There are so many different sites to reach different groups of people.
Most Common Mistakes
Robinson hit the nail of the head in breaking down the common mistakes made in running digital or social campaigns –lack of communication between the marketing and PR teams can cause a disconnect in the message. A cohesive strategy is key to a successful campaign. Libbey added that within those two groups it is also important to determine who owns which audiences and platforms and who is creating the overall content. Another key to a successful campaign, according to Robinson, is having your end goal decided before you begin – but this means keeping with it. Digital and social campaigns are long term, not just one good tweet but a steady cadence of good content that hits the right audience.
Measuring the Right Stuff
While it used to be all about how many followers or fans you have, Piech talked about what impressions mean today. Impressions are more effectively judged by engagement and shares, as opposed to likes or views. Libbey and Robinson noted that we are moving increasingly towards engagement and that share metrics and the qualitative aspects of the campaign are how you get higher executives excited about what you’re doing with the brand.
Final Thoughts & Takeaways
Piech: “There are many measurement tools to use, but it’s important to make sure you are using those tools to readjust strategy. Using data is important, too.”
Yehuda: “Define your audience. Keep it simple. Make it easy to understand.”
Robinson: “Determine what you want to do and how you want to do it before you do anything.”
Libbey: “Good content and recognizing what’s involved to keep feeding platforms. Be active in your voice; keep it simple.”