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Social Media Week London

The Secrets Of Compelling Content In The Digital Age

It’s a typical day in Mumbai. Kids are playing in the street. Baskets of jasmine, carnations, and orchids fill the flower market. A mother cooks Bhindi for her son.

It’s nothing too unusual except for the fact that the mother’s dish will be flown all the way to New York to her son Ratnesh. A film crew huddles in her kitchen, as she cooks and speaks with tear-filled longing about her son, from whom she’s been separated for 15 years. She thinks that British Airways is flying her dish to him as part of special promotion.


As she continues cooking, a messenger arrives to transport the dish. She looks up from her stove. It’s her son. The earlier tears give way to a giant smile as she is overwhelmed with both the shock and joy of seeing her son in the flesh. It’s a lovely moment to watch.

When the video is posted online, the end frame neatly encapsulates the emotion, “It’s never been about the flying.”. And the world agreed. This heartwarming campaign, #visitmum connected British Airways with its target audience – Indian expats living in the States – on an emotional level, while increasing ticket sales by 65 percent.

It also contains three secrets to creating compelling content.

Secret 1: Make storytelling a key marketing priority

Ok, I’ve cheated, as this really should not be a secret. Storytelling is a nuclear hot topic. But storytelling makes real business sense. Why? It creates a bond between brands and consumers like no other.

Research show that stories stimulate emotions, which may be the key to better learning, and decision making. Or simply put: when we listen to stories, more of the brain lights up. In a world where attention is fleeting, that’s real marketing value.

Storytelling is also a way to create memorable content. In fact, stories are more than 22 times more memorable than facts alone.

Finally, emotion is a powerful tool and a way to cut through digital clutter. As I recently learned from Tariq Slim, Twitter’s Tech and Telco Lead at London Social Media Week, the most used ‘word’ on Twitter is the heart emoji.


Secret 2: Produce content that creates two-way dialogue

Tariq also shared at Social Media Week great examples of content that encourages dialogue on Twitter. BT Sport, for example, adopts a ‘fan’ tone of voice and creates content that reflects its involvement in sports.

JM_article_3BT also provides followers with updates and neatly summarise must-know news happening before, during, and after key events.

JM_article_4Secret 3: Use social data to pinpoint your content ‘sweet spot’

Social data tell us what people like, dislike, are sharing, and thinking. It’s all quite valuable—when filtered through a brand’s purpose and objectives.

There were interesting case studies from Social Media Week, of brands using real-time social data to better understand what content and trends their prospect crave.

The example I liked the most was TopShop’s #LiveTrends (direct from London Fashion Week) campaign. During London Fashion Week, they analysed social data for key fashion trends and created content that reflected not only their appreciation but also their products that were on trend. They had 3.5 million customer engagements during London Fashion Week and saw a 75% uplift in sales.


So don’t forget these three secrets to creating compelling content. Your competitors won’t!

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