The opportunities offered by the new social and digital landscape have led to a content revolution, and the rules of the game have fundamentally changed, shows a new WFA & The Upside research.
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It’s estimated that the amount of information available on the internet will grow by 500% by 2020. Surviving in today’s content-rich environment requires relentless focus, an audience-first approach and organisational agility.
To help marketers navigate the changing landscape, WFA and The Upside, a London-based strategy and innovation consultancy, have published a report* highlighting the different approaches brands can adopt to address this content revolution. The report identifies three areas brands need to invest in to remain relevant and a number of strategies and tactics for each of these.
1) Relentless focus
With content consumption becoming more frequent, faster and fluid, many brands feel they need to produce more to keep up. But the answer is not more content but relentless focus.
How do global brands introduce relentless focus?
- They align on priority content themes that sit at the intersection of audience and business needs
- They develop a more considered content calendar and role of channels, moving away from an ‘always on’ approach. Fewer, bigger, better content pieces that are fit for the platform
- They use quality briefs as a governance tool - ensuring strategic fit, audience fit and channel focus - while investing in dedicated training and monitoring of the briefing process
2) Audience-first approach
Despite audiences consuming more and more content, a majority of branded content remains invisible. If brands wish to truly engage their audiences, they need to adopt an audience-first approach, with a focus on content that addresses real needs.
How do global brands adopt an audience-first approach?
- They build a holistic understanding of their audiences, by fusing the many data inputs at their fingertips
- In order to deliver content that resonates, they are developing more dynamic and rich audience segments and more customised content
- They systematically bring together different parts of the organisation in order to develop solid insights
3) Organisational agility
Siloed ways of working, rigid processes and outdated tools means many brands are stuck in slow motion while the content landscape evolves at an ever-increasing rate. Getting content efficiently through the system requires more organisational agility.
How do global brands adopt organisational agility?
- They adopt an agile way to share information and ideas between teams in order to quickly capitalise on content opportunities. Finding compelling hooks for stories requires a collaborative approach and dedicated effort
- They dynamically allocate budget. Having unallocated budget retainers in place allows for flexible amplification of well-performing content
- They invest in specialist skills. Content success requires a strong team of specialists with the right skills to see things through. Having too many generalist skills can lead to inefficiencies, with responsibilities getting blurred and extra reviews required
More insights about how to achieve content excellence are available in the full report that WFA members can access here.
*The findings were informed by a series of in-depth interviews with WFA members and other global companies, as well as The Upside’s own client experience and extensive desktop research.
This blog post was co-written by Matt Green alongside Tom Himpe, Founding Partner, The Upside.