81% of people now research products online before they buy them (PWC 2016) But – go on tell me truthfully when was the last time you researched your washing detergent, a shampoo, a tin of beans or your favorite drink online. Have you ever….do you follow those brands in social….probably not…do you still buy them. Mostly.
Whilst the majority of FMCG products are still bought offline FMCG content marketing needs marketers to think differently. FMCG brands need to refocus how they build their digital content strategy both in where the content is placed and how it engages.
In the last 12 months a number of fmcg businesses have come knocking at our door asking us to build a website to help them reach their brand objective of awareness and to acquire new customers. A FMCG website rarely can do this it may change peoples perceptions of a brand they already know about but it rarely engages new customers. Our research has shown consumers visit these websites because they are searching for something specific where to buy, ingredients etc often arriving through organic search often with a specific task in mind. Websites do play a role but in a different part of the story. The first step is to take content to where people are. Not social followers (who only see around 2% of a brands post anyway) but through pay to play distribution.
The more enlightened businesses were open to digital transformation and allowed us to take them on a journey – from destination to distribution marketing. By starting with business objectives we show the true power of content. Showing how you reach the right people at the right time through pay to play social, and how to engage people’s hearts and minds by focusing on stories relevant to them. For example in 2016 through finding that curious gin consumers were passionate about travel but hated their daily commute we formulated MOMST to grab their attention and bring the unusual world of Hendricks to them – using the brand to be a true antidote to the ordinary through entertaining content. On other brands we do micro targeted pay to play content to reach people who talk about competitors brands and to target specific moments of consumption rather than shopping. It also formulates how we think about media looking at measures like reach and frequency of specific target audiences. People rarely buy a new brand after seeing one piece of content and different elements needs to be tested and retargeted to tell the story. Ideally tis is a mix of emotive brand building, product and affinity where we connect with passion points.
Sometimes with our FMCG clients it may feel like we are playing in the old world of ATL advertising grabbing attention and building brands. To some extent we are and that thinking helps as it all about emotion and attention. But there is inherently something different – something more interesting and engaging about social- we can target, we can start a conversation, its on a small screen people carry with them everywhere…it can be turned off in a second so has to engage immediately. Also for FMCG brands the content needs to be memorable it needs to get into someone’s brain and make them think and feel at that 3-second moment of truth in aisle.