Value and The Value Exchange .

31302  Nick FB

So over the past month we have been running a Facebook Ads (PPC based) campaign to promote a new UK product launch for a multi-national client. The campaign was divided into two specific strategies, firstly, promote the brand and connect with the key audience and secondly, encourage Facebookers to take up a pre-sales promotional offer and share it with their friends. Each of these strategies then led to a number of targeted ad groups and variant messages.

Facebook, as a channel, was selected as we felt the community structure aligned perfectly with the brand community we were starting to build. Using Facebooks Ad platform we were able to target female v male, age brackets which are more likely to yield target audience and interests which align with the product. Ad wording and creative were then created in keeping with the different demographics. So far, so facebook ads. So why is this blog worthy?

Well, really, because of the response. This was a pilot with a fairly tight daily budget and a one off management/set-up fee which was only to run for three weeks in June. What was achieved exceeded all expectations by me, someone who uses Facebook Ads a lot, and by the client.

In marketing speak, we achieved a Cost Per Acquisition of Brand Followers of less than 50p and the take up of the pre-sales offer has more than paid for the campaign from the net profit margin in the products ordered. The pre-sales offer is important but the Followers acquisition is the bit that excited me the most.

In this digital age, we’re inundated with messages encouraging us to ‘Sign Up for our Newsletter’, ‘Like our Facebook Page’ or ‘Follow Us on Twitter’ and what is often overlooked in these situations is The Value and, more importantly, ‘The Value Exchange’.

If you go into a shop and take something, it’s theft. Obvious right and that’s because we appreciate that we can’t take things from shops that we haven’t paid for. We have to earn the cash to buy the things we need and desire. To brands and marketers, user data, loyalty and advocacy are like currency – something that we need and want but have to earn. Consequently, the best user programs are the ones that recognise that in every user data exchange there must be value for both parties - you want my email and that’s fine but I need to know that I will get something back – this is the essence of The Value Exchange.

Coming back to our Facebook triumph, we know that this was built on a simple value exchange – if we wanted something we had to give something to get it. The Cost Per Acquisition in this example was the price of facilitating that exchange and this is easily quantified. The result of this approach is a happy client who has spent relatively little and now has 150% more Facebook followers then they did 3 weeks ago – and in my opinion, you can’t put a value on a happy client.

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.


Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

Nick Towers
Nick Towers
Co-Founder & Joint CEO
Co-Founder, CEO and self-confessed massive geek, Nick has been in digital since graduating from law and moving into technology many years ago. Through a combination of building awesome client relationships, crafting a formidable team of digital experts and consistently delivering results for our clients Nick has taken Sagittarius from being a successful small agency to the global digital customer experience consultancy and Sitecore powerhouse that it is today.
Nick Towers

Nick Towers

23 Jun 2014 - 5 minute read
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