There are three key tenets to content creation: the timing at which the content is shared, the intent of why you create said content, and the platform that you use to share it.
Traditionally, the approach to content marketing used to be straightforward: you create content for people to drive conversions. However, as consumers play a more active role in content creation and digital platforms become more sophisticated, businesses need to realise that conversions aren’t the only measure of success.
How that content performs over time, whether it has fulfilled whatever purpose you created that content for, and what value it brings to your audience, are all “big picture” aspects to consider when it comes to evaluating their content.
Hajar Yusoff, the head of digital experience at Naga DDB Tribal, says just as much. The Cult sits down with Yusoff on what it means to create valuable content to get your audiences looking. Read on to find out.
Does today’s consumer want more than just a product? And what does that mean anyway?
Hajar: In today’s rapidly saturating landscape, the fight for attention has never been more challenging. The consumer today does demand more than just a product, and so they should! The world we live in now is obsessed with cookies that track user behaviours whenever they visit websites, data mining and hyper-targeting, brands should prioritise creating experiences catered to their audience’s interests. That way, you can earn their trust in your brand and gain their loyalty.
What are some examples that illustrate the above?
H: There are some great examples in the Web3 space that have created experiences that transcend passive content consumption. Yuga Labs, the parent company of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT project, is a brilliant case study of a Web3 brand that has excelled in creating a multiverse of experiences. Their ape IP has spanned different touchpoints, from online communities, the F&B industry, and creative content, to education even. The list goes on!
You mentioned an increasingly saturated market, so what are the golden rules to create stand-out content?
H: It’s a combination of intent, understanding the language of your audience and then applying that to how they consumed content based on the platform you’re observing. These three factors are a must. Because platform features and functions change every few years, your content strategies need to move at the same pace. You need to keep up, or risk getting left behind.
And what are some aspects you look out for when it comes to stellar content?
H: When it comes to content, I’m inclined to follow and engage with brands that synergise education and entertainment—edutainment if you will. Creating engaging content is not an easy issue to crack, hence, I gravitate towards those who do it well.
What are the pitfalls you see content creators and content platforms falling into?
Commercialisation should not be your end goal. It’s bringing value to your desired audience. ‘Bringing value' doesn’t mean being present on as many platforms as possible, while mirroring the same content across all these platforms. That’s a huge faux pas, yet it’s shockingly common.
I work with many brands, and most of them fall into this trap. The truth is most consumers are app-stacking, and following brands on multiple platforms, like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. So, while the idea of cross-posting may be a cost-and-timesaver in the short term, it’s highly ineffective in the long term. Brands and creators should tailor their content to the behaviours of the platform to reap the benefits of cross-pollination for attention and eyeballs.
What does “value” mean when creating content?
H: In this case, value can be defined as some form of knowledge exchange between you and your audience. It’s not a transactional relationship, but a mutually beneficial two-way street. Which is why we are seeing a shift in power between creators and brands.
Traditionally, brands sell, while creators provide value, be it through entertainment or educational content. A few examples of successful creators are Chris Do and The Woke Salaryman, who are both based in Singapore. Over time, they have amassed a following based on the foundation of shared knowledge exchange. Good content gets likes, but great content builds communities.
So, how should people best strategise and create content based on the many platforms available? How do you and your team manage to utilise these platforms to your advantage?
H: Building upon my previous answer on creating valuable content, it starts with mapping out a sound content strategy that outlines your objective for each platform your brand intends to use. When deciding on the goals of your content, it’s important to be clear on how you can create that valuable exchange of information and sustain your content’s engagement with your audience.
Ask yourselves questions like: “what is my brand’s tone?”, “what is my point of difference, and advantages versus my competitors on this platform?”, “am I utilizing the unique functions of the platform I’m using to elevate my storytelling?”.
For newer platforms, you can adopt the test-and-learn approach by testing certain formats and storytelling mechanics against measurement goals to see what works for your brand and decide whether or not your target audience is even on your chosen platform.
As head of digital experience, what are some of the tools that you and your team use to create content?
H: There are a lot of useful AI tools out there, and I don’t see them as a threat as it has allowed us to speed up certain processes. Robots will never be able to replace the human mind. So here’s what we use:
ChatGPT: Great for brainstorming headline ideas and content outlines.
DALLE 2: Developing visual concepts and ideas.
Coolors: Create colour palettes within seconds.
Film AI: An expansive image depository to find any kind of image via specific search terms.
Trendpop: TikTok-related data and trends to inform content planning.
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