Let’s talk about content for a hot minute, and why it’s so much more than just a few posts and a few filters.

When I started marketing more than 20 years ago there was print media, PR, direct mail, radio, TV, out-of-home and your customer service strategy.

Ours was a world where we spoke at the customer instead of to them. We broadcasted. In the past ten years, I’ve seen marketing turned on its head and customers rightfully in control. The internet made information more widely available has made brands more accountable.

In the early 2000s, I started to hear people use the word “content.” This was not really new, as everything we delivered (ie print, TV, radio) was content. But, it was the new buzzword and with the rise of digital we could control how, when, and where we said them.

We started to plan content using a pretty unsophisticated content calendar. But it worked as adoption by brands of social was relatively low.

Back then, I didn’t know the term “customer journey” — I just knew that people took several steps before they decided to buy something and we needed to say something different at each stage based on the information the customer needed and how we needed to make them feel.

With mobile starting to get mass adoption we needed this customer journey as how we buy or are influenced was fragmented across devices, platforms and channels. We needed to make sure our content and experiences were delivered at the right time and on the right channel.

That’s why our content strategy is more than a content calendar, more than a Facebook update, the videos we shoot and the clever captions we post on Instagram.

Content is central to all we do at Firefly360 because we need to tell customers different stories at different points along their path to purchase. And the stories have to convey not only what your product does, but how it makes them feel.

Here's a big misconception: Social fans and your database are your most important segment

The truth about the real impact of fans or your database has always been assumed to be the most important segment of a brand’s entire customer base.

Byron Sharp, (The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science) says in his book “How Brands Grow” that the notion of just targeting Facebook fans or your most loyal buyers, is flawed.

It turns out that fans actually contribute the least to a brand’s growth and sales effects.

It turns out that fans actually contribute the least to a brand’s growth and sales effects. This doesn’t mean that fans are irrelevant of course, but that brands who seek growth shouldn’t just target loyal customers or fans on Facebook but should also include non-buyers and light buyers.

Source: How Brands Grow, Byron Sharp

Data is the Key to Content

As everyone is different we need to understand more about an individual’s buying behaviours and preferences to communicate effectively. We now have access to deep data that quantifies an individual consumer’s attitudes and behaviours, interests and perceptions, allowing us to go far beyond demographics.

Smart brands will use deep insights to identify their audiences’ shared interests and attitudes, while pinpointing the differences that make them unique.

Demographic data that groups people according to age, gender, household income, location and ethnicity no longer provides enough intelligence to connect with consumers.

With AI and machine learning forming a key part of how users are targeted these days, this has helped to enable a deeper level of targeting.

Enter micro-targeting.

Micro-audiences came on the scene as a means of segmenting small groups of like-minded individuals to target and influence their thoughts or actions.

It relies on understanding the target audience so well that marketers will also have a very good idea as to how these people will respond.

From first-party insights into what a consumer has searched for on your site to third-party insights that reveal behaviours and perceptions, we can now drill down in as much detail as possible to reach very specific audiences in a microscopic way.

This gives us the tools to deliver content that truly resonates.

Meaningful data ties your brand to the consumers in moments that matter

Using this to tailor their marketing to their audience, this means improving the individual customer experience, increasing engagement, and ultimately, driving ROI.

We now live in a world of Customer Data Platforms, custom 1-1 brand experiences (the experience you have with a brand will be different to others), deep analytics than can predict your new best purchase and machine learning than influences our marketing decisions.

Still think mass marketing is king?