Sarah Malcolm is the founder of Quiet Valor, an ad agency servicing companies within the tech, biotech and healthcare innovation space.
Social media has made everyone their own media source. While anyone can be a publisher, this doesn’t mean everyone is good at creating content. Scroll your feed and you’ll see a definite range in quality and customization.
Some people and agencies have excelled as digital creators. In recent years, companies have recognized the impact that exceptional content creation can have on building brands. As a result, they have turned to these creators to promote themselves or their products. According to one source, the global influencer market value reached $13.8 billion by 2021.
What’s happening in the digital landscape right now?
Saturation is the name of the game. The amount of content published every day is staggering. One report says there are 46,470 posts on Instagram every minute. All brands are challenged to impact the individual when we are exposed to mind-boggling amounts of information every time we log on.
Another point I recently read that bears merit is that many children who grew up in our digital content era are adults now. They are so used to digital saturation that it’s even harder to reach them with your message. That struggle will increase in the years ahead as this generation keeps maturing.
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I believe video marketing will be critical. It works because we have a “scroll culture.” Our thumbs flip through apps and news feeds, looking for something to capture our attention. How do you get people to stop scrolling and spend time on you? Video has more audience engagement than photo and text alone. For example, Twitter is experiencing a 34% year-over-year increase in video watch time.
What does it mean to be a digital creator?
The contemporary digital creator does more than just make a piece of online content. They create authentic, timely and integrated stories that impact their audience.
As a note, a digital content creator isn’t necessarily an influencer, although they do have a lot in common. The best influencers do create excellent online digital content. They also happen to have an audience that enjoys what they make and values their opinion. However, marketing companies and agencies can also be exceptional digital creators.
What makes digital creators necessary?
You need to create content that stops the scroll. In many cases, this will be some kind of engaging video that targets that audience. You need a person or agency with the skills to understand the audience and produce interesting digital content that appeals to them.
These videos are needed to drive more conversions for your business. One source found that purchasing decisions increased up to 81% when a promotion was made with a digital creator.
What makes for a good digital creator?
Like I said initially, anyone can create a piece of content, but that does not make them a good digital creator. The mission of creating digital content should be to enhance the conversation around a particular topic. To be an exceptional content creator, you need to:
1. Be a storyteller. To captivate and engage an individual, we need to use storytelling. Humans are hardwired to learn and make connections through stories. Excellent digital creators can find a story in everything — from a commercial building to a new beauty product to a convention.
2. Tap into authenticity. Integrity in social media marketing has become more critical. Our crap detectors are getting stronger. The best digital creators find ways to genuinely relate to their audience. We see this in the increasing inclusion of diverse voices in campaigns; in the embrace of live streaming, which is raw and less polished; and the increasing transparency from brands on how they operate.
3. Consider integration. The digital content creator looks at all the amazing tools now at their disposal to better engage their audiences. They use the online world to build offline connections and vice versa. They consider how a social media engagement can translate seamlessly into the website, an online seminar or a product.
4. Have experience with video production. Video is critical in today’s digital landscape. Video viewing across all platforms continues to be on the rise. One media group forecasted that people would watch 100 minutes of video a day by 2021. It’s just the reality of the times we live in; people are more likely to watch something than read something. The contemporary digital creator knows how to use video to grow the brand effectively.
5. Have audience awareness. Look for someone who will keep the audience and the purpose of the content in mind. The best digital content is structured in such a way that it appeals to a target audience. Look, TikTok is fun, and I enjoy it, but that doesn’t always mean I’m going to use it for my business. It’s not appropriate if I’m trying to tell a story for, say, a retirement conference.
Embracing The Digital Creator Age
When you’re looking for someone to generate digital content, look for a solid grasp of storytelling and an ability to use today’s digital tools to enhance that story. There’s a real need to reach our consumers in a new way that is both authentic and relationship-building.
I think we’re at the precipice of seeing more engaging digital marketing across every industry. Digital creators are simply creatives who are thoughtful and purposeful in how they structure messages.
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Author: Sarah Malcolm, Forbes Councils Member