It doesn’t take long for predictions to become predictable: The rise and rise of Facebook; advancements in analytics; the normalisation of chatbots; personalisation, programmatic, automation, authenticity… The prediction that’s missing from these lists is that in 2017 we will witness a resurgence of values-based marketing.
Insurance brand, AAMI, claims its decision to up the content marketing ante with a real-time social media approach is already driving more positive digital engagement.
Speaking at the inaugural Ad:Tech Content Collective event in Sydney, AAMI Personal Insurance brand manager, Claire Whish-Wilson, and content agency partner, Edge Custom, shared how the Suncorp-owned brand has built out its social media strategy with a growing mix of planned, proactive and real-time content.
Whish-Wilson told attendees AAMI initially saw social as a customer service channel, before shifting the focus onto fan growth.
“However, we quickly realised engagement wasn’t following suit,” she said. “We were also running everything in-house and all content was campaign driven. This meant we were talking at customers, not to them.
“We had a content strategy but needed an editorial lens on it.”
Edge Custom group account director, Andie Tickner, said the content marketing plan is based on three pillars: The AAMI brand; its ‘lucky’ proposition and what that stood for; and relating content back to core product areas such as home, auto and travel. Content created is educational, inspirational or entertaining.
Having made initial inroads with this approach, AAMI moved to a real-time social engagement model three months ago. This was partly driven by changes to Facebook’s algorithm, but Tickner and Whish-Wilson suggested it was also inevitable given the dynamic nature of social exchanges.
Tickner explained the new social model revolves around a four-pronged content model: Planned, proactive, reactive and unplanned. Rather than always be interacting in real-time, AAMI’s content strategy is about having a mix of posts so engagement is consistent, she claimed.
Planned real-time content, for example, is used to leverage upcoming events AAMI is sponsoring, such as Derby Day. Unplanned content, meanwhile, is both about customer service, as well as discussing current events trends and breaking news that complements AAMI’s brand values and audience, Tickner said. Scheduled content might then tap into more product and campaign activity.
AAMI operates across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and is looking to launch on Vine. Each channel gets a different mix of content, Tickner continued. For instance, 45 per cent of the AAMI content posted on Facebook is “planned, real-time” posts, while the figure is upwards of 80 per cent on Twitter.
Tickner also outlined successful types of content for AAMI on certain social channels. For example, AAMI has moved to more image, text and external URL posts on Facebook, while activity on Instagram tends to be more “test and learn” and campaign driven, she said.
“Everyone realises that the goal posts are changing every six months in social media, so while we had already decided to invest in content, it’s a continual evolution in terms of where we’re headed,” Whish-Wilson commented.
To support AAMI’s social content strategy, Edge created a ‘brand newsroom’ with an analyst and editor providing written, video, PR and design-led content. The two work closely together, as well as with AAMI’s community manager on devising the daily and long-term content plan.
Vital to making the whole thing work was not only having a structured approach to social engagement, but also one sign-off point in the social team, Whish-Wilson said.
“We have spent a lot of time getting internal support and working with our stakeholders including legal teams and corporate affairs so they’re all on-board the journey and so that we can have one sign-off point,” she said.
“That has been critical. Working with the legal teams to understand the risks, we are then empowered and can flag anything that’s an issue. But it also means we can be very nimble. We have a set time in the day when we can provide feedback and we’re accountable for that.”Read more: Optus claims world-first with Facebook trending campaign launching pre-paid offer
Since its real-time content launch in July, AAMI has seen Facebook engagement rates lift 53 per cent, while new page likes have increased 191 per cent. On Twitter, the group has attracted 2500 new followers.
“We have been able to foster some positive conversations on the social pages,” Whish-Wilson said. “A lot of the channel conversations before were customer service, so there were many negative posts. This has given us the opportunity to create a more positive experience.”
Whish-Wilson said an ongoing challenge was staying true to the brand. Given its mass market audience base, it was important to identify trends and territories where AAMI had a legitimate voice and currency.
“We can’t be distracted by the shiny new post that comes in every day that might be fun but not right for our brand,” she said.
Whish-Wilson’s other piece of advice for brands investing in content marketing is to be patient. “This is a long-term game. Set your measures of success early, be realistic about those, and be patient about achieving them.”
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