Welcome to the latest installment of the chicken / egg debate...social media style. It is widely recognised that when it comes to social and digital media, original and compelling content is a pivotal ingredient.
And, in a perfect world, content should be created and shaped based on the preferences of the target audience. But guess what? We don't live in a perfect world. Due to the fragmentation of social media, and the desire of so many people to get involved, content is often created without any understanding about where it will live and breathe online.
An example scenario
Let me bring this to life with an example...
- Brand X briefs Agency Y to create some video content
- Agency Y creates a high quality 3-minute video
- Brand X loads it up on YouTube and waits for the views to roll in
- The views barely trickle over and Brand X is left scratching its head
Now, there are a few options available to Brand X here, and in most cases this involves briefing a viral seeding agency to place your content amongst established global networks (delivering one view for every $0.10 - $0.15 invested).
A better way?
There is a better way of doing this which involves a far more integrated approach, and most of it is good ol' common sense. Video content needs to be created with a true editorial mentality in place. By this I mean YouTube is NOT the channel you need to focus on - it is simply a hub. The focus needs to be on the vertical media who will embed and refer people to your video content. Ultimately, this is where PR-savvy professionals can play a vital role.
Content creators and facilitators need to be sitting in the same room at the concept stage. Specific questions need to be asked, including:
- Which specific communities / influencers do we want to reach?
- What are the characteristics of the content they'll support?
- Should you consider getting specific members of those communities to help develop the concept?
- What is the broader story for media?
- When in the news / current affairs calendar should you release your content?
Until the content creators (normally ad agencies) and content facilitators (normally PR agencies) start blending their skills together from the start, the best results aren't likely to be achieved.Or, a lot more money will be spent by brands trying to attract eyeballs to a finished product that can't be altered or shaped enough to succeed .
While many PR agencies will gladly take on a brief to 'publicise content' they are much more valuable if involved in an advisory capacity during conceptualisation too.
- Expect to see more and more 'content publicity' briefs
- Understand that editorial content optimization (aka making it truly shareable) is required from the beginning, not just the end of the process
- Content will continue to be created without the right people in the room at the start of the process - just adapt accordingly
- 'Traditional' seeding companies are worth using but only in collaboration with targeted influencer and community outreach
- Think beyond YouTube and video sharing communities and focus on who and where your content will sit to drive people to that video e.g. sector blogs, sections of news media etc
What do you think? Are you noticing more situations where content has been created and then seeding / publicity support is activated? How do you publicise / attract eyeballs to your content?
Adam Vincenzini is a mynewsdesk guest blogger. He is the lead social media consultant at London based agency Paratus Communications.
He is responsible for providing strategic advice to Paratus clients in this ever-evolving space, helping them make the most of both owned and earned social media channels. The clients he currently works with include Vodafone UK, Vodafone Foundation, Coca-Cola and AXA. Previously Adam worked with the Cricket Australia as part of its PR and Marketing team, managing team media and sponsorship leverage. Other brands and organisations he has worked with include adidas, B&Q, Ford, Procter & Gamble, Costa Coffee, Emirates and Mercedes-Benz.