Michael Brito is a group director at WCG, a W2O Group company. He's responsible for helping clients transform their brands into media companies. Previously, he worked as a senior vice-president for Edelman Digital; he has also worked for Hewlett Packard, Yahoo, and Intel, where he was responsible for consumer social media marketing and community management.
I invited Michael to Marketing Smarts to talk about his book, Your Brand, The Next Media Company: How a Social Business Strategy Enables Better Content, Smarter Marketing, and Deeper Customer Relationships.
Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:
Create relevant content based on your audiences needs right now (04:46): "What's relevant to me right this second may not be relevant to me an hour from now, and so that relevancy changes [and] the way I consume that content based on device or whether I'm at work or not. And so, when it comes down to content, brands need to think like storytellers.... We as consumers spend 70% of our time telling ourselves stories in our minds. Through daydreaming, through thinking about what we're going to make for dinner tonight, thinking about the date we had the previous night, thinking about the movie that we want to watch next week, and reliving scenarios from the past—that is all a form of storytelling. If brands really do want to break through the clutter and reach consumers with game-changing content, they need to tell stories."
Marketing strategy requires viewing content through different filters (07:08): "The way that I look at it (and the way that I counsel clients) is looking at content through three different filters. The first filter is where the brand is the hero of the story. So, this is the product promotion, the events, the releases, the announcements the product launches, and things like that, where the brand is the story. The second lens is where the brand is a character in a story, and that is third-party articles from the New York Times or a trade publication, written about an industry and that mentions my brand. So, the brand isn't the main character in the story, it's a participant in the story. And the third lens, which I think [is where] we have the most flexibility as marketers, is where the brand comments on a story. So, this is where you can be flexible. This is where lifestyle content is important. This is where curated, third-party content is important.... You need to provide value to your customers and to your followers."
Cultivate brand advocates among your customers and employees (11:02): "When an advocate shares a piece of content, whether it's about a product or service, that conversation, that sharable piece of content, is much more trusted than if I were to do it from a marketing standpoint.... When I talk about advocacy, I mention two different areas: I mention customers as advocates, and I also mention employees as advocates, and they're both equally as trusted externally when somebody is looking for information about a product or service. There are multiple studies...that highlight the fact that people trust other people. People trust employees of a company. They trust people like themselves. They trust subject matter experts. They trust academia and things like that. So, when you can mobilize and empower a base of employees and customers to help tell the brand's story, all of a sudden the burden is lightened, because you're not required to stress out about all this content, from a brand standpoint, that you need to create.... And by the way, that content is more transparent; it's more trustworthy; and it's probably even better—more valuable—to other people."
Michael and I talked about much more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!
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Music credit: Noam Weinstein.
MIchael Brito, author of Your Brand, The Next Media Company: How a Social Business Strategy Enables Better Content, Smarter Marketing, and Deeper Customer Relationships. Brito is group director at WCG, a W2O Group company.