Three things I noticed this week on content innovation

by Jo Crellin |

As #deletefacebook continues to trend in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica news, brands are regrouping on their social media strategies to work out their plan B during this blip. Or – if they’ve been working with a great agency – they won’t be worrying at all because they won’t have all their eggs in one blue Facebook basket.

The reality is that no brand should rely on only one digital channel and the key to social media success isn’t based on a social media channel’s popularity but on ensuring you use the one where your audience is talking. And if this is still Facebook, then don’t worry, there’s no need to jump ship.

However as one content distribution client is struggling, I noticed three other exciting content innovations pop up centre stage last week. That’s what I love about digital marketing; that it’s always changing and it’s our job as marketers to spot technology trends and make the most of any new opportunities to try and reach new audiences. So, here’s what I found interesting.

1. iPhone 7 Hollywood debut

Critically acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh has created Unsane, a hollywood movie shot entirely on an iPhone 7. Released on the 23rd March, purists have critiqued the quality and focus of the indoor shots, but personally, I am very excited that a talented director has chosen to take on this challenge in his production. It’s not a completely original idea as some filmmakers have tried it before, but the high-profile nature of this film proves that iPhone footage is strong enough to lead a narrative.

It’s clear that the right camera kit and post production is imperative for a brand video, however marketers have been making the most of their iPhones for the last three years, much to a creative’s despair. However, I think that the smartphone has definitely earnt its place (have you seen the Google Pixel camera?) and Unsane shows us that perhaps an iPhone is perfect if your message is right.

2. Instagram shopping

Instagram is at a peak right now, and people are joining it as fast as they are leaving Facebook. Last week, they announced that you can now shop on Instagram. The platform has succeeded recently, especially for consumer brands (though it has its place for B2B too), because its Insta Stories are more spontaneous and authentic than the more considered YouTube video.

Whether you like those lifestyle flatlays or not, there’s no doubt that Instagram leaves its disciples lusting after what they’re seeing and wanting to know more about their gurus. The introduction of Instagram shopping to such an impulsive network is so simple that it’s a genius ecommerce content addition to a platform of spontaneous shoppers.

3. Shopper experiences

The last piece of content relates to offline content. The Economist recently highlighted the challenge of the fading high street and identified that it’s not only brands like Debenhams and Maplin that are announcing closures but a saturation of pubs and restaurants are, too, from brands like Prezzo and Byron Burgers.

It’s not all doom and gloom though because savvy retailers and restaurateurs are trying out new ‘experiential’ content to make your high street an entertaining destination. Examples include branches of Waitrose hosting yoga classes, while Selfridges presented ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. This is content innovation that puts smiles on people faces when they can’t find an item in their size and I can see how the high street can become a destination again.

These three examples show exactly how the impact of digital transformation has led to content innovation and in each case it is the need to be entertained or inspired by a story that has prompted the innovation.

At spottydog communications everything starts with a story and I can see how these three examples could easily be used in future content marketing campaigns no matter what your budget.

As long we remember these principles, it doesn’t matter whether you’re on Facebook, Ello or meeting customers face to face, we all want to be inspired and we all love a great story; it doesn’t matter where we heard it.