The call to action of our time, why brands need to seriously consider using an ‘always on’ strategy to drive their content into the future of digital marketing.
- ‘Always on’ is a new marketing method that has been developed for the digital era, where brands promise to tell great, engaging stories so that a two-way conversation of value is built between brand and audience.
- In a world where audiences are more selective about the content they consume, with no time for interruptive advertising, ‘always on’ will provide continuous rapport, increased engagement and other benefits outlined in this article.
Why has the advertising industry changed?
Our industry has experienced a shift due to heavy disruption and displacement. This is because of the following factors:
1.Evolution of technology and platforms.
Technology and platforms are advancing at an astronomical rate. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google are set to monopolise the advertising industry, and with digital spend increasing, attention is moving away from print and TV.
2.Changes in consumer behaviour.
The habits of consumers are continuously evolving. The current market names Instagram as the number one social channel for many western millennials and sees mobile as the device of choice. In addition, consumer awareness of data privacy is resonating more throughout the industry, with more social channels taking an active interest in enforcing this for their users.
3.Legacy business models.
When a business considers the ever-changing consumer habits, coupled with evolving technology, an issue is presented with a business’ ability to innovate and adapt in line with these changes - each advertising business has its legacy of how they do things, and the age of the business will affect how they make these tactical changes in order to stay in line with current and future changes.
Why you need an ‘always on’ approach:
1.Higher value and return on investment.
‘Always on’ will eliminate the siloed campaign mentality. As a result, this will promote further reach across a variety of channels and can influence an audience at different stages of the customer purchase cycle. While providing the ‘right message at the right time’ to target audiences is crucial, brands will in turn, receive higher value and return on investment with ‘always on’ driven content.
2.Continuous rapport and dialogue with target consumers.
Additionally, through using ‘always on’ brands will achieve a continuous rapport with their audience, which builds a valuable two-way conversation. This type of content is not an intrusive ad which is forgotten about as quickly as it appears, it resonates and makes an impression.
Brands will be able to develop a sustainable content programme over an extended period, which leads the way for economies of scale in planning, production, and media distribution. To be in a continual conversation with an audience requires commitment, which demands that the creative, production and distribution departments are always being innovative. When this is compared to the more sales-oriented advertising, the ‘always on’ conversation focused approach is the clear winner.
The best marketers will understand that the content they share is about both the quantity and the quality, this will ensure that it is portrayed in a way which engages their audience to comment and engage.
5.Uplift and awareness increase.
With an increase in engagement comes an audience who will always be in conversation with the brand, which will promote uplift and brand awareness. Many businesses make the mistake that interruptive brand logos or product reinforcement is effective, but an audience know what they want and through using an ‘always on’ approach, marketers will be able to add value, not interrupt their audience’s brand experience.
6.The next step.
Brands do not just want an audience to consume their content and then their journey ends there. They want the valuable next step, for an audience to take the time and effort to find out more. Data has shown that when people are taken on a journey through storytelling, they are provided with value whether it’s educational or entertaining, they still want to find out more. Just think how many people go to IMDB or YouTube after watching a good Netflix documentary - this is what brand campaigns are noticing more. Read more in our article, ‘To Make An Impact, You Have To Think Long Form’, where we discuss the effect of long-form content on a consumer’s desire to find out more about the brand.
One last thing…
Content marketing campaigns and ‘always on’ should work together.
Is a marketing strategy something that needs to always be ticking away in the background, consistently bringing in leads, or should all of a company’s budget and energy be invested into shorter campaigns?
The use of campaigns results in valuable traffic spikes, engagement, and conversions. However, brands must be able to maintain audience engagement outside of the campaigns that initially hooked them so the long-term value is not lost. Once a campaign has run its course, the excitement and relevance will generally fade. But, through incorporating ‘always on’, to support this strategy, brands have more opportunity to create consistent awareness to drive traffic and engagement.
Brands are finally beginning to understand that, for their message to be heard, they need to focus on creating content that is engaging, relevant, and valuable. This recognition is driving the shift from purely campaign thinking to thinking about real-time content and content that is ‘always on’.