20 December 2022
Connecting with consumers through meaningful content
It’s common for brands to rely on third-party channels to reach customers. Manufacturers have always gone through the available advertising platforms to market their products, as well as classic retailers as points of sales, and will likely keep doing so. But the transition to digital advertising without 3rd party cookies – and the loss of customer insights that it entails – means that many brands are looking for new ways to be in more direct contact with their consumers.
One way in which Samsung is doing this, is by creating more meaningful interactions with consumers, thanks to a solid direct-to-consumer content strategy.
In the latest session of Beyond Digital, Peter Vanden Bossche, Corporate Marketing Content Production Lead at Samsung walks us through the content strategy, sharing insights and lessons.
There’s always room for improvement
“3rd party cookies are disappearing soon, which is a major reason to re-evaluate our digital marketing strategy. But there is a wider context of big macro-economic changes happening: volatile financial markets, high inflation, and a dip in consumer confidence,” Peter notes. “These factors affect our consumers, which can impact how our brand performs. So we need to stay on top of improving our brand image. At Samsung we see that especially in the youngest generation, who represent an important target audience for us.”
"Even if we still have high awareness levels as a brand, we still wanted to be proactive and find out where there was room for improvement"
To respond to these challenges, the electronics multinational has reinvented its corporate content strategy. “Building loyalty with Generation Z consumers is a major part of our efforts, but the goal is really to update the brand image among all consumers,” Peter clarifies. Re-evaluating and refocusing your marketing efforts isn’t something that has to wait until your brand is in crisis. “Even if we still have high awareness levels as a brand, we still wanted to be proactive and find out where there was room for improvement. That’s how we defined on which specific product categories and target audiences to concentrate our campaigns.”
Meaningful connections through valuable content
While updating a brand’s image entails a broad effort, Peter tells us it’s still useful to pick a focal point: “We focused on a selection of products to build our campaigns around, most notably smartphones, for strategic reasons. Then we also identified the Gen Z demographic as a particularly important one, because they don’t have the same brand loyalty towards us as the older generations do. So we centered our campaigns around being where they are, which is, of course, on social media.”
Reaching young social media users isn’t as simple as cropping ads to an Instagram format and placing it there. “You need to speak their language,” Peter explains. “It means adapting to their ways of storytelling as well. For example, not putting the product front and center in an ad, but focusing more on how the consumer interacts with it, how it fits into their life. That’s very different from the ads we used to create.”
It's not only advertising on Samsung-owned channels, Peter adds: “Influencer marketing plays a large role as well. That's how we know this demographic builds trust with brands.”
Building connections with these audiences is about more than picking the right channels and influencers. Getting to know your audience and what you have in common with them is key, says Peter. “We identified a set of passion points that our audiences care about that match our brand values. Like music, gaming, video creation and well-being. Tying into these common points creates opportunities for meaningful interactions,” he explains. “We then created relevant content around these particular topics for different social platforms, including Snapchat, Tik-Tok and Instagram. But we also focus a great deal on our own CRM content.”
What about the other demographics? “We didn’t forget about the general audiences and how they perceive the brand,” Peter continues. “We made changes to our entire content strategy. By updating our way of storytelling. From focusing on the benefits of using our products more instead of the product features. Another part of the strategy is emphasizing on the ecosystem benefits and the fact that with more Samsung products, you’ll get an even better experience. Besides that, we promote our personalizable products as well. And lastly, we set out to reward loyalty, by offering special advantages when consumers to through our own channels. This also creates opportunities for cross-selling, and helps us to strengthen our CRM efforts as well.”
This shift in branded content strategy almost feels like a rebrand. Especially as it was also combined with a new visual identity, changed tone of voice, and even new photo guidelines. “It did entail a lot of the same elements as a rebranding,” Peter admits. “But this new strategy is limited to corporate branded content for local audiences. It’s not part of a global Samsung rebranding campaign.”
The key learnings from Samsung’s corporate content strategy
Data is everything.
Creating a content strategy that delivers, is all about data, Peter shares. “To create meaningful and relevant content, you need accurate customer data profiles. That way you can reach them not only with the right message, but also with the right timing. If your CRM tells you that someone bought their smartphone several years ago, you can know when they will be looking to upgrade.” And that’s an iterative process: “We use data to make compelling content. But analyzing how our audiences interact with the content is also key in getting to know them better.”
The medium is the message.
Even similar-looking platforms require the adapted content. “We found out very quickly that it’s important to tailor content to the specific social media channel. What works on Instagram may not work on tik-tok and vice versa.”
Conversation is key.
The beauty of social media is that you can create and join online communities. “And that requires a lot of community management,” says Peter. “A social media presence means going beyond sharing content, and also engaging with the audiences. It’s got to be a two-way conversation.”
Samsung performing better with consumers benefits other retailers as well. “As many customers are going to different major electronics stores to make a purchase, the investment in our overall brand image is key.”
A final important takeaway is that you don’t have to do it all alone. There’s definitely value in creating content in-house like Samsung did. “We invested in setting up our own content production team, completed with a photography studio,” Peter shares. “That helped us be quicker in our content production.” But it doesn’t mean that you have to go about the entire process alone. “We still see an important role for agencies and calling in external expertise. That's exactly what we did to build the content strategy.”
Want to join in on the discussion? Ariad’s digital professionals knowledge sharing club Beyond Digital brings together future-forward individuals working across industries in the largest brands in Belgium. No member fees, just a community of ambitious minds! Apply here for more information about this monthly event.