On the 17th of April, I attended the CMA Summit on the Future of B2B Content Marketing in London as Halston Marketing Founder, Georgia Halston, was invited to share her thoughts on Collaborative Storytelling, you can view her slides here. Speakers of varying backgrounds, from established brands to start-ups were dissecting some of the challenges B2B marketers face. Throughout the day there were numerous topics covered, from creating stand out B2B content, through to how to use technology to distribute that content. It was a great day full of fascinating speakers and delicious food.
Below I highlight two presentations which were particularly interesting to me:
Dark Social Sharing - Keven Gibbons, CEO, BlueGlass
Despite the existence of some fantastic analytical tools for engagement tracking, we simply cannot record it all. Kevin defined ‘dark social’ as privately shared content, for example, content which is shared via private messages on Facebook and Twitter. It is impossible to track this using these social tools.
“Dark social sharing means that you aren’t tracking 87% of content shares"
Kevin made a really good point, that often marketers get obsessed by the number of social shares a piece of content receives. However, the problem is, that people often judge the success of content by social vanity metrics, and not by real impact.
Copy-Paste Case Study:
Blueglass decided to run a simple experiment which involved tracking the number of times people copied and pasted the URLs of an article. Kevin used the BlueGlass blog for his experiment and worked alongside experts at Amingo to test the shareability of the content.
- During the 3-month test, they found that 87% of shares were coming from the address bar URL copy & paste
- The next most popular sharing channel was Twitter, with almost all other referral visits coming from Twitter shares
Takeaway – despite many social platforms having easy to use share buttons, most people circulate content with friends, family and staff by pasting links into emails or messenger platforms, rather than sharing content across social media. It is clear that marketers need to shift their ideas of content tracking! If we don’t track URLs, we will have no idea how popular a piece of content is.
Future Proofing your content with inspiration from David Bowie - Rowan Morrison, Group Managing Director at Editions Financial
Rowan’s talk was all about how David Bowie can inspire better content marketing. The first thing she said was, the content we created needs to cut through the clutter and stand out! She said that all content produced should be meaningful and specific to the target audience.
“People have attentions spans of five seconds & as much depth as a glass of water”.
Be a Storyteller
Today, users scroll through loads of content; the marketplace is saturated. So how do you stand out? Rowan believes it’s about well-structured narrative storytelling. Bowie utilised this throughout his career, he always had ultimate control over his personal narrative.
Viewers are sympathetic to experimentation and will seek out and share creativity. They want to be surprised and delighted. When bombarded with messages, customers will look for those which stand out. The use of innovative formats and stories that engage people as individuals, is becoming more important to achieve differentiation.
Be at the cutting edge of innovation
Rowan’s all-time favourite Bowie album is Heroes. Bowie used a specialist approach to lyric writing – the ‘cut up technique’. He would write poetry, then cut it up and place the stanzas in a random order. The ‘verbasizer’ was the software he created to do this. This tool combined the pure happiness and creativity, the ‘unconscious intelligence’, of doing something completely random, with a methodology.
As marketers we need to test the water, see what works well and learn from it! We need to get ahead of our audiences by creating something new.
Takeaway – always aim to drive trust with your audiences through storytelling. Create differentiated content which stands out and emotionally connects with your audience.