By Jeremy Corenbloom, Advertising & Sponsorship Manager, Brand & Communications, T-Mobile (UK) Limited.
Over the past 12 months at T-Mobile we’ve enjoyed considerable success in creating engaging content that consumers have been keen to pass on and talk about with friends.
When developing new content with our brand activation agency, Freud Communications, we keep in mind five guiding principles which we believe will create the best conditions for success.
1. Our first principle is that it isn’t necessary to shock the audience. Whilst great work has been produced by brands in the past featuring violent or sexual themes, it isn’t a pre-requisite to creating engaging content.
Earlier this year we proved, with our Dance activity at Liverpool Street station, that creating a feel good film in January when consumers needed a little pick me up, was as compelling as some of the more racy content created by other brands in previous years. It isn’t necessary to shock consumers to be memorable, sharing a little piece of good news can be just as powerful.
2. Importantly we never set out to make content viral. Instead we aim to create content that our audiences will want to play a part in. This was best seen in the Spring of this year, when we shared the news of our forthcoming event taking place in Trafalgar Square and witnessed as 13,500 people turned up to join in with us.
But the participation doesn’t need to be this in depth, creating content that an audience will enjoy and that they feel able to comment on is the level we aim for. Applying this should lead to the sharing and positive word of mouth that we set out to achieve.
3. Our third principle challenges the traditional notion that viral marketing is purely about consumer pull. Whilst there are consumers who actively seek out branded content to pass on, we believe it’s good practice to give the content a helpful push at the outset of the campaign and ensure that influential groups get to see it first.
This helps the content to gather momentum and makes it simpler for those searching for your content to find it.
To support our karaoke activity in Trafalgar Square we invited members of the blogging community to come and join us, as well as creating exclusives with media partners and additional footage that stimulated awareness and buzz.
4. Perhaps the hardest principle to adopt is the fourth, which challenges us to strip back out corporate branding. The reason for doing this is the insight that consumers don’t feel comfortable passing on content they perceive to be a blatant sales tool.
Pairing back on branding means you naturally whisper rather than shout about your involvement, and put at ease consumers who become empowered to forward your content on.
There are additional benefits to applying this principle too, as it creates greater access to celebrity talent and media opportunities, something we discovered in February when Peter Crouch joined us to update his robot dance and Sky Sports’ SoccerAM featured the content on their show.
5. The final, and perhaps most crucial principle, is to be prepared to keep talking. Before setting off on engaging an audience it’s important to know what you want to say and to be prepared to carry on the conversation once you’ve started.
This should be simple for brands, but actually the campaign by campaign nature of traditional marketing activity means you might go for weeks, even months without saying anything to consumers.
We’ve approached this by using a mixture of assets, such as unseen footage, to stimulate dialogue and through simple conversation on social media sites to ensure there’s always regular conversation taking place.
It’s a straightforward approach and one we believe will ensure we continue to deliver engaging content to eager consumers for some time to come.
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