Content Marketing and Visual Storytelling: An Interview with Tim Bahr, CEO of NextWorks
The evolution of social media from something “your teenagers did” to something that brands use to connect with key stakeholders has been nothing short of amazing. As evidence of that evolution, take a look at the audience figures for the last couple of months for some of the most popular social networks
- Facebook has over one billion users worldwide
- Twitter has over 115 million active users every single month
- YouTube has over one billion unique users every month, and 100 hours of video uploaded to the site every minute
- Instagram has about 150 million active users every month.
- Pinterest grabs more than 41% of e-commerce traffic, which is compared to Facebook’s 37%
It is those latter two statistics that have brands buzzing these days. Regardless of what conference room we are in, or what client we are talking to, the conversation inevitably leads back to content marketing and the importance of visual content therein. Why do brands care? Sites like Instagram and YouTube are still seeing tremendous growth, while Facebook and Twitter have stagnated. Millenials, a key target for many brands are flocking to these sites in droves instead of Facebook or Twitter. Most importantly, sites like Pinterest are proving successful in driving people to websites where customers can ultimately make a purchase. ROI…ROI…ROI. Bob Pearson, W2O Group President is fond of asking, “If we were to take away all of the written text about your brand online would the visual content still tell the story you want told?” In case you were wondering, the answer to this question is most often ‘no.’
So how do brands start to answer ‘yes’ to the question that Bob is posing, aside from using channels like Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube? One of the ways brands can leverage multiple visual assets within unit is a Content Capsule. The Content Capsule is the brain child of Tim Bahr, CEO of NextWorks, a strategic partner of W2O Group. The content capsule is a unique platform for content delivery across the PESO model of media (paid, earned, shared and owned). Tim and I sat down to talk about the content capsule, and how it fits into broader content marketing program.
Why do you think marketers are showing such strong interest in Content Marketing?
Smart marketers realize that consumers are not interested in ads and promotional material; especially when they are online or on mobile devices. A .01% click through rate on display ads pretty much tells that story. Online and mobile consumers, who are in a buying mode, are most often seeking information to help them make a buying decision. Marketers now recognize this as a huge opportunity to provide valuable and relevant information on their products and services that can help people buy their products. That’s exactly why content marketing is the top priority for most marketers today, and why many believe it will be the most important area of marketing in the future.
What do you think of the trend toward content marketing?
I think the move toward content marketing is a very significant advance in marketing and the entire business/customer relationship. We are finally starting to recognize the intelligence of our audiences. We can’t just talk at them anymore with promotional messages that they have not requested and have no interest in. They can just simply turn those messages off.
To successfully deliver a message to an audience in the digital world, where the user controls the receipt of messages, the message must be informative, relevant and provide value. That outcome of this new means of communicating will be greater engagement and stronger customer relationships.
What do you think is key to successfully delivering content to an audience?
First you should know what the audience wants. Today’s social media analytics can give you those insights. Then you need a distribution platform that can deliver content to the audience wherever and whenever that want to receive it in an engaging and interactive manner. Finally, you must be able to monitor all interactions with the content so you have metrics that can help you continually update and alter content to meet the specific needs of your audience and ensure you remain timely and relevant.
How does the Content Capsule platform deliver this type of audience engagement and measurement?
The capsule platform is an interactive canvas that allows marketers to tell complete stories with videos, images, presentations, links and transactions in one self-contained, branded and highly sharable unit. An audience can be taken on a journey from assessment through engagement to conversion without ever leaving a company’s content. Capsules allow marketers to easily launch content campaigns across owned, earned, shared and paid media on all devices. And, because every piece of content within a capsule is monitored and measured, a marketer can respond in real time to audience interactions and update content while a capsule is in distribution. When content is updated, capsules embedded and shared across the digital ecosystem all update. This creates an opportunity for ongoing programming of relevant content to multiple audiences across all platforms. Here are some examples of content capsule platforms we have built for other clients.
During this week’s Content Marketing World in Cleveland, Ohio Tim and the NextWorks team will be demonstrating the capsule platform for attendees. Make sure you stop by and check it out.