Content Strategy Report – BCG and Google

Google’s latest report with BCG (Boston Consulting) on Decoding ​Digital Impact in India has some amazing data and insights covering Content Strategy for Digital Marketers in India.

Though the report focuses on FMCG, most of the insights are applicable to other industries and especially to your content creation and marketing strategy.

There were 3 specific insights from the report covering content creation, which caught my attention:

  1. What content should you create
  2. What content gains maximum consumer trust? (This highlights a key weakness in most brand led content marketing strategy)
  3. What content is working now, especially in the Indian context.

Content Strategy: What content should you create?

Higher searches for “problem solutions” vs “products”.

Content Strategy: Higher Searches for Problem Solutions Google BCG Report

Most consumers are searching for answers to questions they have, seems obvious.

However, most corporates fail to create this kind of content.

Most corporate content is corporate speak, or it focuses heavily on the product offering.

Consumers are searching significantly more for solutions compared to convetional products.

For example, “hair style” receives more searches than “hair oil” or “shampoo”.

So if you want to influence consumers it makes sense to create content, which offers solutions to common problems, rather than the products and brands.

Action Item: How to create content which consumers want?

Pour through customer calls, find out the questions posted by consumers on forums and in communities.

Create content which answers the above questions.

Be transparent and open, and share the solutions you are offering.

However, there is one challenge… it has to do with what content consumers trust and that brings me to the 2nd point outlined below.

Content Strategy: How to create content that consumers trust?

Brand content is probably the least trusted.

People trust people and especially advocates and influencers.

Consumers turn to digital to look for view of advocates Google BCG Report: Content Strategy

I feel this neds to be highligted a bit more.

Content created by advocates is generally more trusted as they are actual users of the product and service and share their viewpoints. It’s not just brand speak.

This provides a perspective to the content, a more human validated point of content which increases trust much more.

Action Item: How to create content which consumers trust?

Co-create and encourage your brand advocates to create content.

Leveraging brand advocates provides much more than trust, it provides insight into what your most passionate customers like and want.

Brand Advocacy is a critical part of any digital marketing strategy

(Read more on Brand Advocacy and Content Creation

VideoHow to build a brand advocacy program

BookBrand Advocacy Quick Start Guide )

Content Strategy: What content is working now?

88% of Indian-language internet users are more likely to respond to a digital advertisement in their local language than they are to one in English.

Indian language users have increased and overtaken English language users.

In certain cases local language content is generating significantly more views than English content on popular YouTube channels.

Local Language Content Google and BCG Report - Content Strategy

Much more gold in the report…

There is much more gold in this report. For instance the rise of video content, how online behaviour is best predicted by digital age, not demographics.  How rural consumers are increasing rapidly in India.

The report is freely downloadable from https://apac.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en/articles/decoding-digital-impact-india-45-billion-opportunity-fast-moving-consumer-goods-2020.html

 

How to build your brand advocacy program?

Can you imagine constructing a 20 storey building without a blueprint?

Who needs a blueprint

Obviously not! However, most people go off building a brand advocacy program which might involve thousands of brand advocates just like that!

What is a framework?

The basic structure of something : a set of ideas or facts that provide support for something

The RIDE Framework

The RIDE framework helps you define a brand advocacy program that is unique to your organization. It contains a set of ideas which will help provide the necessary support for your brand advocacy initiative.

It provides a systematic approach to to creating a brand advocacy program.

Why use the RIDE framework?

Most organizations have their own ways of doing things and culture. The RIDE framework provides a  system that you can use and is flexible allowing you you to prioritize based on your situation and company.

What are the Components of the R.I.D.E framework?

It helps you think about the essential pieces which are needed for any successful brand advocacy program.

  • Rewards and Recognition – What’s in it for the brand advocates how are you going to provide them recognition
  • Impact Measurement – What’s the program doing for you, is it helping the organization
  • Discovery – Where and how do you find and discover your brand advocates
  • The 3 E’s – How to Evangelize, Empower and Engage your brand advocates

The hidden step 1 – Define your business objective?

There is a first step in creating your brand advocacy program. It’s about determining why you need it, how it’s going to help the organization. This is often the most critical part. Having a clear business objective ensures long term success of the advocacy program.

RIDE - The Brand Advocacy Framework

Is there a step 0?

Yes. Listening. Often the best way to think about your program, is to start by first listening to the conversations, and examining the content put out by your brand advocates.

More often that not this will help you to get important nuggets proving the necessity of the program. It gives great insight into the needs and issues faced by your customer and helps you see how your brand advocates are filling in gaps which you might not be addressing correctly.

Just like you can’t go about constructing a 20 storey building without a blueprint, the RIDE framework helps you to think through the essential elements necessary for a successful brand advocacy program.

Get started now

Video: How to build a brand advocacy program – Video covers the RIDE framework
Book: Brand Advocacy Book

How to reduce customer support costs the easy way: Brand Advocates

How to leverage brand advocates to reduce your customer support costs?

Customer Support

Within 48 hours of the Windows 10 launch, he provided about 712 answers regarding the launch and adoption of Windows 10 – he was not an employee of Microsoft, he was a passionate brand advocate part of Microsoft’s Brand Advocacy program. (Source).

It’s mind boggling when you think in terms of the customer support cost savings due to just one of these passionate brand advocates. Microsoft currently has approximately 3000 such brand advocates in just one of their advocacy programs. They have many such brand advocacy programs.

Customer Support

Traditionally it used to be the call center where people dial-in and ask their questions, that’s how customer support was provided. It is still the same way many organizations operate.

To reduce the cost of customer support one needs to really embrace the self-service era.

The Self-Service Era

In the Internet/Digital era, people access online support forums, read blogs, attend webcasts, chat with experts maybe over Twitter, raise questions on community sites or via Q&A sites like Quora etc.

Content to Support Customers

In order to meet the needs of this digital era audience one would need to do some or all of the below items:

  • Create tons of content in a variety of formats (Blogs, Presentations, Podcasts, Webcasts…)
  • Establish Support Forums, User Groups/ Communities
  • Enable interactions with Experts

The hard way

The difficult way of going about creating these interactions is by creating all the content yourself.

The easy way

The easy way is to leverage the power of already existing passionate brand advocates in addition to your corporate initiatives. In fact creating a brand advocacy program which fuels these brand advocates should be a corporate initiative.

Examples

When Microsoft was planning it’s Windows 10 product, it took the path of involving it’s most passionate customers. It publicly launched an advocacy program inviting thousands of it’s customers to participate –

With the Insider program, we’re inviting our most enthusiastic Windows customers to shape Windows 10 with us. We know they’re a vocal bunch – and we’re looking forward to hearing from them.

– Source blogs.windows.com

They were looking for people who’re vocal in terms of providing feedback to the company. In exchange they provided them early access, this ensured that they got a bunch of motivated experts on the product much before the actual product launch.

What would these experts do? (Besides providing feedback to Microsoft) They would share their expertise with others.

What were the steps they took:

  • Invited people to get early access
  • Took their feedback (Improved their product in the bargain)
  • Got a bunch of motivated experts who naturally evolved to helping solve customer queries

That’s exactly what happened with the person who provided about 712 answers regarding the launch and adoption of Windows 10. He was a passionate brand advocate who was involved with the program, partly due to his passion and interest and because Microsoft created a program and platform enabling him and others like him to participate.

Create a platform for brand advocates to engage with you and your customers

As an organization they provided a platform for brand advocates to actively engage and support other customers. http://answers.microsoft.com/

Here you will find that customer queries are answered by a whole host of enthused brand advocates.

The platform enables Microsoft to highlight the top brand advocates as well, based on other customer feedback.

(Badges are awarded for being an active contributor and awesome community member. Over time, good contributors earn a variety of badges.)

But…Will a third party individual know more about my products than my employed customer support personnel?

Surprisingly yes. More often than not I’ve seen brand advocates who’re passionate about a product sticking around to using that product for a much longer time than the employee sticking around in the company. Their passion and sticking around help them often gain far more mastery of the product than the typical customer support executive.

However, there is an easy fix to this problem, where the community itself helps in regulating inefficient responses which are a reality.

What if these brand advocates provide faulty or incorrect information?

One simple fix to this problem is to allow the customers to rate the responses.

For instance on the Microsoft Community Support site users can rate if they found a response helpful.

Community Indicates Usefulness

Start Small

If you’ve not yet started down this path i.e. you don’t have an advocacy program in place, start small.

Pick one activity which will help you go down the path to providing support to other customers.

Whether it’s inviting your brand advocates to contribute content(blogs, presentations etc.), or inviting them to test a product, or establish a support forum or a group on social media, and enable interactions with brand advocates. (Simultaneously work on creating your own brand advocacy program.)

The small wins will help you get the necessary corporate support to evolve a larger program resulting in much larger cost savings in customer support.

I would love to hear from you if you have stories on how Brand Advocates have helped other customers. Do share in the comments below.