In June 2020, one of US President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies got thwarted by some ‘TikTok teens’ as they pretended to reserve tickets to the rally. This resulted in large numbers of empty seats due to overbooking of ‘fake’ tickets. The TikTok trend spread quickly across various platforms and has resulted in a bit of a TikTok-Trump tussle.
Going Viral has become a buzzword, and something brands, influencers, and campaigns often aspire to. And although going viral can generate tremendous interest around your brand or campaign, it can also be for the wrong reasons, as we have seen ample times recently both locally and internationally. Shifting the focus slightly away from going viral and more towards creating what resonates, allows us a less myopic view and moves us more towards long-lasting impact as opposed to a ‘get-rich-quick’ approach.
Consider in your own life, what you choose to ‘spread’. What stories do you re-tell, which experiences do you share with which groups of people? To your best friend you might relay stories about your partner or kids, or you might pass on advice that you found helpful in your own life. To a colleague, you might instead talk about what you found exciting watching or reading lately. Finding connection and using storytelling to deepen that connection, is often how things spread. Consider how the TikTok teens identified a common concern based on political views. They then used visual storytelling on the TikTok platform intending to connect with a broader like-minded community.
For brands, the temptation can be to revolve all focus around creating stories that will spread but without truly understanding what really resonates within that story. Similarly, we can easily fall into the trap of creating our own versions of messaging that we have already seen spread. Jumping onto existing communication bandwagons is not necessarily a bad strategy; however, it can quickly become part of the noise without really making a lasting impact. This Youtube videoshows how many brands have used nearly indistinguishable messaging around the pandemic, and have inadvertently become part of a sea of carbon-copy voices.
Accenture Interactive published a report stating that “91% of customers are more likely to shop with brands who acknowledge them, remember who they are, and provide offers that are relevant to them. The same report also noted that 83% of customers are willing to share their personal information to receive personalised offers”. This data demonstrates the need for brands to resonate with their customers on a deeper level, and that consumers are far more likely to invite brands into their lives that provide a personal journey.
The personalisation trend has steadily gained traction for several years with hyper-personalisation seen to the point where you can now order completely personalised products based on your unique DNA or skin and hair samples.
Identifying and understanding the finer nuances of what resonates with your consumer community will help you direct the right conversations to the right platforms and channels. Our discussions and needs have shifted drastically over the last couple of months. Are you aware of how your consumer communities’ conversations have changed? Do the same things still resonate or has that changed, and if so – how? Are there issues that no longer resonate, and if so, what other matters have replaced these?
Strategist Clint Griffin talks about the context economy and highlights the importance of using customer profiling data to establish what resonates with consumers at different times. Griffin also encourages designing consumer journeys around these touchpoints and letting that become part of your customer eco-systems. Read more about building eco-systems that resonate in one of our earlier blog posts.
Consider also what idea spreading formats look like for your customer and their eco-systems. Identifying what speaks to your community only takes you halfway. You then have to get that messaging out to meet your consumer. Consistency and reliability cultivate trust, and messaging built on trust, is more likely to spread.
Using gaming mindsets can also be an effective way to get your message to spread. Our human nature drives us to want to play with others, and if your messaging can provide an easy and fun way to enable this, it might just replicate effortlessly. Consider how Coca Cola’s Sharing Can or Nando’s #rightmyname campaigns replicated with great success. Both these campaigns touched on personalisation that connected people.
Jeremy Gutsche states that anything that connects will likely spread faster. In which ways does your consumer want to connect and to whom? How can you create communication, products, services and campaigns that connect you to your customer, and then links your customer to what resonates with them? Is your messaging simple enough so when the story gets re-told, it’s easy, clear and direct?
We all want our messaging to reverberate to larger audiences, but making sure that our messaging resonates with our immediate audiences, might just be more effective than well, going viral.
(3 August 2020). How personalised content influences customer growth. www.businesslive.co.za.https://www.businesslive.co.za/redzone/news-insights/2020-08-03-native-how-personalised-content-influences-customer-growth/?fbclid=IwAR2BlN21-bQvO0mOUYIpKvYllXV9KZ_nn1UePLjHu5N3LwKgYFc9ixzsPaQ
What is the context economy and how to use it. Myron’s World. Podcast. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=637&v=l1gX5IJg8AQ&feature=emb_logo [July 31, 2020]
What is the millennial mindset? PART II with Vumi Msweli. Myron’s World. Podcast. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=637&v=l1gX5IJg8AQ&feature=emb_logo [Aug 12, 2020]
Infectious Marketing. TrendHunter. Webinar. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1755&v=kmd4Mbh7BRY&feature=emb_logo [Jul 15, 2020]
Taylor Lorenz, Kellen Browning and Sheera Frenkel. (June 21, 2020). TikTok Teens and K-Pop Stans Say They Sank Trump Rally. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/21/style/tiktok-trump-rally-tulsa.html
Microsoft Sam. Every Covid-19 Commercial is Exactly the Same. Video. Apr 15, 2020. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM3J9jDoaTA&feature=emb_logo