To be a truly conversational brand, content creation alone does not do the trick. Some brands or companies try to engage with heavily with followers and stimulate user generated content (just google GE and ugc), whilst others create internal content strategies or just let the faith do its thing.
From my experience gathered and discussions with other Marketing VPs, I have distilled the following 5 rules to create conversational marketing for brands.
The 5 core rules for consumer engaging conversational marketing:
1) Be authentic: define the core of your brand and stick to it. You don’t do much good by creating content which is far off your brand’s core values and or in misalignment with your brand’s voice. If you are a bunch of bike lovers creating your own custom bikes, communicate like a bunch a bike lovers to the most likely other bunch of bike lovers following you. Don’t try to emulate some corporate slang or a fastfood restaurant’s voice because you thought it was good, interesting or successful. Your followers or customers are interested in you and your product for a reason!
2) Be consistent: consistency and authenticity are closely related. To create conversational marketing, you need to have a communication strategy in place and stick to it. Don’t overkill it in month one, two and three and let your efforts fade during the reminder of the year. Followers, consumers and potential consumers value consistency not only in messaging but also in timing. Also, be consistent in your content’s message – find a voice and stick to it.
3) Be an expert: consumers are likely to engage with your brand for an expert opinion. Why is it that your brand is the leading brand, aspirational brand or upcoming brand for some product? Transpire this message in your brand’s voice to consumers. However, make sure you not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. Nothing hurts a brand more than the good old over-promise and under-deliver.
4) Be environmentally aligned: look at what GE is doing right now. User generated content can be a great means to hit the mark for followers and customers. However, be aware, don’t expect your followers to write what’s in your communicational plan. Be open to their voice and most importantly engage in a conversation. Airline facebook pages do usually serve as a great negative example, potential customers ask questions about flights or policies but often only to find that no airline representative answers them. If you engage in certain channels, think about the consequence, your branding strategy and fully commit to this channel.
5) Be a platform experience creator: think beyond one platform, think broadly and engage consumers in the chosen media with your content strategy. Create a brand footprint in the platform by capitalising your brand’s voice in each channel. Your website is likely to have
In the clip below, Deanna Brown talks with Brian Solis about brand publishing, social media teams running accounts and creating content. Whilst content creation as such does not seem to be the main issue however strategic alignment with company objectives and its environment. I recommend watching the clip, it takes about 18 minutes and is worth as some food for thought!
Deanna Brown: Why Brands Are Becoming Publishers