Off the charts
Ardern says one of the most important things is to set expectations at the start of any content-led campaign. Typically, content is about demand generation, rather than fulfillment; the softer, more irrational end of the marketing continuum. And in this case, the KPIs were brand love for ANZ and brand connection to home design.
While marketers may not have the same content creation skills as publishers, they are much more accustomed to tracking the results of their activities. This has traditionally been a weakness of publishers who were accustomed to creating content, sending it into the wild and moving on to the next project. But the rise of digital has meant they are getting better at it and, in Bauer’s case, it tracked everything along the way and its insights team also conducted pre-campaign and post-campaign surveys with its research panel to see how it had affected brand perception.
“It’s a new beast and everyone is unsure on how to measure that, so we really wanted to put that into the mix,” says Ardern.
Build it and only some will come
In the past, mass media owned the audiences, tried to keep them in their walled gardens and rarely, if ever, created content that could be used in competing media. But in an age of content overload, creating the content is just one part of the job. So, in what could be an update to the classic ‘if a tree falls in the woods’ conundrum, if nobody sees it, is it still content?
Ardern says media fragmentation doesn’t need to mean message fragmentation. A strong story, produced by quality editorial teams, and tailored to audience and platform, will deliver for clients. For example, content produced for NZME’s Canvas was produced by Bauer for a weekend reader audience.
This can mean that clients and publishers need to look outside their own assets to get the reach numbers they desire. Previously, Bauer worked with digital partners like Yahoo to do that and while she says its digital audience is growing rapidly after a big investment last year, with ANZ’s Designs for Living campaign Spark PHD increased the audience significantly by pushing content out through third party discovery platforms like Outbrain, YouTube and programmatic networks, with everything leading back to the hub on homestolove.co.nz.
Bauer’s social media for ANZ’s campaign reached more than 315,000 people, ANZ used its own social channels to extend this reach and more than 55,000 people saw the content hosted at its hub homestolove.co.nz.
“But it didn’t just happen naturally,” Ardern says. “It’s definitely all about the schedule you put behind these things. Planning is a massive part of it. Up front it’s all about what are we going to create. But getting [the audience] to the content is almost more important.”