The online ecosystem today has witnessed a massive spike in content creation, following the emergence of multiple new outlets and channels, including social media communities, websites, over-the-top platforms, to name a few. Consumers too, are overexposed to a barrage of content and information, which they swipe through and sometimes consume, in a matter of seconds.
This huge influx of data on fingertips has made it almost critical for brands to not only focus on the creation of content, but also its tailored curation, to engage with their target audience at the right time. With hundreds and thousands of new platforms and profiles emerging every day, it is also important for brands to know where their consumer is and what category of content they engage with. This process not only helps them strategise the most effective digital interventions, but also assists in finding the right mix of platforms/outlets, formats and influencers, which are an optimum fit for their brand.
Innovation in thinking
Breaking through the chaos with innovative interventions is key to getting consumers to engage with your brand. This innovation can take many forms, from a disruptive product launch to even new communication narratives and messaging; the idea is to find ways to engage with the consumers, in formats that they resonate with the most.
As part of leading the marketing division at Allied Blenders & Distillers (ABD), I have observed that irrespective of the quantum of content available, consumers are quite eager to receive product information online. They enjoy the choice and the ability to make active decisions on what they want to view and when. At ABD, we keep experimenting with varying frequencies and flighting of campaigns. This allows to build more learnings around when a consumer is most receptive to a brand’s messaging and target them accordingly.
With the strategic move to reinvigorate the OC Blue brand, we have worked on creatively garnering consumer attention by leveraging consistent interaction on the digital medium. During IPL 2020, OC Blue was the most active brand in the segment, converting its Facebook page into a hub for cricket fans from across the country to revel in high points of the tournament. Not only did this campaign garner strong engagement from the online community, but it also went on to win several accolades from both within and across industries.
Experimenting with and using digital platforms as a reach medium to build strong product stories for brands, proves to be very promising. Besides having a large active user base, digital platforms allow for a variety of formats of content to be showcased as well as deeper avenues for engagement through likes, shares and comments.
The era of influencers
Brands are not only leveraging digital mediums by orchestrating compelling social media marketing campaigns but are strategically engaging with influencers to be their advocates and build brand awareness. Influencers have demonstrated to be an intelligent tool for engagement as they bring with them a significant degree of authenticity and credibility. Marketers ought to identify the right influencers— be it micro or macro and engage further with the consumer through these relatable opinion leaders. Creating unconventional, immersive moments with these voices that coincides with the core brand attributes, will undoubtedly create a unique position in the minds of consumers.
For instance, earlier this year we launched a special-edition Gaming Pack for Sterling Receive Blend 7 which allowed consumers to indulge in a unique, multi-player board game experience. We had relevant micro-influencers challenge each other to IG Live playoffs of the board games printed on the inside of the mono-carton. This allowed followers to interact with the brand, interact with the pack, and their favourite influencers all at once!
Many companies and brands have understood the benefits of tweaking their models by implementing digital transformation and influencer strategies to strengthen brand affinity and stay connected with users.
To summarise, digital first thinking is definitely the most promising approach for brands today! Marketers should be bold and willing to experiment with creative mediums to reach consumers and create interesting conversations that are impact-worthy in today’s digital age.
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