Have you ever been in a situation where you were a little fish in a big pond? Consider Anthony Bifolchi, a fan at a Foo Fighters show, attempting to snatch the attention of frontman Dave Grohl while surrounded by thousands of other fans. Let’s be honest: his chances are slim. Anthony’s situation is comparable to that of many brands – both want their target’s attention and both want to prove their worth. However, with expert positioning and a bold message, the 18-year-old got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of playing the drums on stage with his idol. More brands should take a page out of Anthony’s book.
A critical difference between many brands and Anthony is that our drummer boy spoke directly to his Rock God audience whereas, often times, brands seem to speak to the lowest common denominator, which at a Foo Fighters show would come in the form of cheers, hand gestures, signs proclaiming “#1 fan,” and so on. A lack of targeted communication can easily alienate the intended audience and, ultimately, no one gets the message. Everyone has seen this poor communicative practice, and you’re probably tired of being spoken to like you’re a number or, worse, a credit card number. Ever think to yourself, “I’m a human being! Why can’t [insert brand name] speak to me like I speak to my friends?” You’re not alone.
One place that brands fall short is in how they communicate their message. For instance, have you ever received a telemarketer’s phone call right as you sit down to dinner? Their pre-prescribed content, and the tone-deaf voice it’s delivered it in, would lull you to sleep if you hadn’t just prepared a delicious dinner. Point is: everyone appreciates, and engages better with, a personalized and timely message (like Anthony’s sign from the Foo Fighters show). The result is staying power.
This staying power can easily be created through original, data-driven content dressed with a distinct personality. With that last bit in mind, let’s dive into some examples of how to create staying power.
First, original content is a must. Without originality, brands become the telemarketer or just another face in the crowd. One example of a brand creating royally effective content is GoPro. One look at their website tells the story. Not only is their content original, but it’s also aspirational.
As a result of watching, you too will want to ride sharks, surf a skyscraper-sized wave, and outrun an avalanche in the French Alps because that perspective is unique and desirable. As a result, those with the resources will gladly drop $400 in order to create captivating video and photo content from their own point of view. Then they can share the experience and their perspective, which inspires a brand’s target audience to buy, or at least pine for, the ability to create this unique content.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. No need to start creating content without a plan of attack. Brands need data to determine what their audience engages with, among so many other things, because numbers don’t lie. Without the support of data, content becomes unfocused and all over the place. No one wants that. Brands that use their data properly will create insights that make their content more focused and relevant to their fans.
In the case of GoPro, they have created aspirational fans through their content, which has helped make their brand royally effective. This effectiveness is visible every time a new GoPro Hero camera drops. Hoards of brand loyalists stand in pre-order lines to get the latest and greatest before their friends.
The brand’s target is a consumer who enjoys the outdoors, is physically active, and has an interest in POV content. Armed with this valuable knowledge extracted through data, GoPro, through their all-star team of ambassadors, is able to create content they know their target audience will enjoy and, moreover, be inspired to create themselves. Hence the long lines to get the latest camera.
Then, through plenty of avenues – social platforms, the ambassadors themselves, and the events GoPro sponsors – the brand is able to inject personality and voice into their content. Personality and a distinct brand voice are irreplaceable, because when a consumer finds something they relate to, or they feel relates to them, a relationship is far easier to build. Once this relationship is established, continued content efforts keep this new customer engaged and, ultimately, converts customers into brand loyalists.
By connecting with consumers through truly compelling content, brands differentiate themselves from the competition, mold their reputation, and add avenues to connect with their target in an intimate and personalized way. They go from puking up bland, generic messaging to painting unique and inspiring narratives you want to be a part of. Who knows – maybe you’ll take up surfing or cliff jumping as a result of engaging with their content! Successful brands know it really is that easy – and they’ll continue to be at least one step ahead. To brands who don’t get it: follow Anthony Bifolchi’s lead, hop on the bandwagon, and ride that thing all the way to your throne, for content is king.