Zero Moment of Truth – It is Still Your message.This is the age of instant gratification, with attention spans of human beings even lesser than a goldfish! This is also the age of information overload – in this digital age just on social media, an average user is bombarded with 285 messages a day. See the dichotomy?The challenge for marketers globally is to capture the attention span of this fickle consumer by making their message stand out from the noise. And as clichéd as that sounds, it is not an easy job.With digital technologies taking over, how we communicate with our audience has changed. According to an eMarketer survey, in 2013, time spent with digital media among US adults surpassed time spent with TV for the first time. It’s no secret that digital media has taken over traditional media as a preferred channel of content consumption. Quite obviously, everyone is going digital – SEO, Adwords, PPC campaigns, social media, mobile ads are the current buzz words.However, in the race to go digital – chasing after likes, shares, opens and pins – marketers are forgetting a key thing – Digital is the preferred channel of content consumption. The differentiator is still content.My intent here is to emphasize that while the medium has changed it’s your message that’s still of prime importance. In fact, several polls have shown that content marketing will be the most commercially important digital marketing trend for 2015.Ergo, it follows that your digital strategy must focus on how you are going to maximize the synergy between message and medium, content and channel, and quality and quantity. Here are 3 things I believe will help you do exactly that:
- Consistency – Across myriad channels, your message must be consistent. Decide on a few key messages that your organization wants to associate with and stick to them. In my view, anything more than 3-4 different messages will simply confuse your audience. On the other hand, the right message can ultimately translate into your brand promise. Coca Cola (Happiness), Apple (Different), and Accenture (High Performance) are great examples of consistency in messaging.
- Customization – Once you’ve defined your message, customize it to the channel. This will be the phase where your digital strategy merges with content. Identifying the right channels for your message and the target audience, using the right cues and keywords, customizing formats for channels – crisp on twitter, visual on Pinterest, and engaging on blogs – are the elements to be decided in this step.
- Curation – It doesn’t do to just pipe your own tune all the time. People want information that tells them something new, entertains them and doesn’t try to sell. Get interesting content – consistent with your message – even if it’s not from your own sources and put it out there. Even better, get your customers to create content for you. Coca Cola does this brilliantly for their Open Happiness campaigns and for Coca Cola Conversations.
“Of course, getting content right is an iterative process. Most often, based on customer feedback, engagement and response to campaigns, marketers need to make incremental changes that will over a period of time result in a powerful engagement tool for your brand.