One of the great challenges for companies investing in digital communications is content. As we’ve said before on Spot On’s blog, we are all publishers now. However, if your company is not currently structured to create great online content there are good reasons to take care.
Whilst there is room for both editorial and advertising in the new world of social communications, be careful your brand is not caught out trying to pass advertising content off as editorial. It is all too easy to do, particularly when many brands rely so heavily on their agencies to create new content.
We’re all quite used to seeing actors in TV commercials tell us how their brand makes them smarter, more successful, more attractive or in some way a better person. We know this is an exaggeration made to make a point about the brand’s unique selling point and most of the time, we don’t really mind. It’s often amusing and we’ve been exposed to so many years of advertising that exaggeration is pretty much expected.
Now let’s look at our expectations for personal communications. How much truth do we expect when we hear from a company executive? How believable is a deodorant brand product manager who says he’s become more popular since he switched to his company’s brand of deodorant? How likeable would a car company executive be if he said that he loved his car more than his wife and children? Would a business executive who claimed her company never, ever made mistakes keep her credibility? If they wouldn’t say it to you face-to-face, it’s best not to have them say it in a video or on a blog post either.
Next time you publish something in the name of one of your executives, ask yourself this question: does it sound believable? Or will their words be dismissed as pointless marketing speak or, even worse, held up as examples of clear disingenuousness?
While maintaining the persona of a brand may be one way to use social networks, this can’t be the case with communications attributed to a real person – here the imperative is clear – be genuine.
If you would like help with your content strategy contact us now.
Read more about content
Flipboard and the future of content (April 2013)
Why retiring Google Reader is anti-social (March 2013)
We are all publishers (March 2012)
The Freedom Meme (September 2011)
Facebook bigger than newspapers? So what? (May 2010)
Losing the battle for control (January 2011)
Disintermediation and the media (November 2009)