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Five ways that brands can be more successful broadcasters

Published Jun 29, 2017 – By Matt Goodenday and Eila Madden


The CMA recently brought three broadcasting experts together to share their top tips. Here are our top five takeaways:

1. Think like a broadcaster

Simon Shelley, Head of Industry News at ITN, urges brands that really want their content to have an impact to “think like broadcasters”. That means producing content with high production values that is completely driven by the story and its characters and tells people about the wider world. “You’re no longer thinking of people as customers; you’re only thinking of them as viewers,” he says. Modern, successful broadcasters also think beyond the viewing figures. “It’s about the conversation that happens beyond the broadcast,” Shelley adds.

2. Broadcasting is not really about being Broad at all

Although we talk about it as broadcasting, a brand will very rarely want to distribute its content to every person on the planet. They will want to target their content to specific audiences and in doing so, we all fall into what Shelley termed as ‘narrowcasting’. He also highlighted the importance of the three “R’s”. A video needs to be Relevant to its audience in its messaging and content. It needs to Reach the right people (these could be a small number of key decision-makers or a certain demographic group). And finally, the video needs to Resonate with its target audience, which is always going to require far more of a subjective quality.

3. Measuring speed can be more useful than quantity

During Shelley’s talk, we were also introduced to a new metric for evaluating the success of a video… Viral Lift! (Apparently coined by Buzzfeed, but don’t quote us on that). It is always tempting to look at the total amount of views that a video has received overall to judge its success and although this can be very useful, it may also be useful to look at how many views the video gets in a certain amount of time. Again, it’s important to consider here what the objectives are and depending on the frequency of content published, getting 50,000 views in the first four hours of the video going up could be a better measure of success than getting 200,000 views over a week!

4. Social media is effective but only with the right channels

Most content marketers wouldn’t disagree with you if you said that social media is an important part of any content marketing strategy. The best of them wouldn’t disagree with you either if you said that a brand shouldn’t use every single channel available to it. Chayyal Syal, Broadcast Journalist for the BBC and blogger, spoke about how every brand should have clearly defined objectives and identify which channels are best suited to achieve them. Is there really much value in an asset management firm being on Instagram? Is a consumer brand going to get much out of posting lots of content on LinkedIn? These are all important questions, and all need to be considered.

5. Look at the smaller parts

A large content programme or campaign will also comprise many different parts that, together, will deliver an experience to the customer (and hopefully a great one!). Some of those parts will get very little engagement (if none at all), others will get some, some will get good engagement and then are those that will really stand out. This might be a video, an animation, an infographic or even just a listicle! Rob Molloy, Director of Global TV Content and Sales at Guinness World Records, suggested this can then lead to some interesting questions: if that small part was so successful, then does it deserve more share of voice? Can an entire campaign be made from that subject and generate even more engagement? Can it be recreated into different formats and shattered in different ways? It takes a brave brand to truly think and act like a broadcaster but if you’re going to do it, you may as well do it the way the experts would.

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