This Is The Secret To Thumb-Stopping Content Marketing



SMWNYC panelists shed light on the growing importance of leveraging creativity to overcome today’s most prevalent advertising challenges.

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Ad blockers, short attention spans, and small screens—these are but a few of today’s most common obstacles posed to content marketers, all leading to the overarching question: how do we build a relationship with people on a six-inch screen?

At SMWNYC, Steve Ellis, CEO and Founder of WHOSAY, set out to answer this question with the help of two creative experts, Matt Patrick, Creator and Narrator of the YouTube series, “Game Theory,” and Charlie Todd, Founder of Improv Everywhere.

Here are some key takeaways from the session:

Collaboration cuts the clutter

In an age inundated with information and platforms, it’s easy to feel as though targeting is the only way to drive audience engagement. In the panel, Ellis argued that while this may be the predominant sentiment, marketers have much more at their disposal to break through the noise.

Specifically, he pointed to collaboration as an important building block to premium creative content. When working with creators, Ellis advised marketers to vet talent for creativity, professionalism, and a deep understanding of your brand. Further, he reiterated that reach and scale simply cannot be the only things we focus on anymore. Why?

Because performance is impacted by how effectively talent connects with your brand’s target audience, and not just their own fanbase. Leveraging data from 300 WHOSAY campaigns, Ellis pointed out that the reach on social in particular is a fraction of the total reach of your audience (approximately two to ten percent).

Choosing among the ten percent

When choosing talent, ask yourself whether or not if the idea combined with the talent and the creative speaks to the audience you want to reach in the way you want to communicate with them. Taking the time and putting in the effort to ensure the answer to this question will pay dividends in the form of greater engagement and higher relevance (more than 2x the current industry averages), 1.5x the recall rate, and larger percentages of positive sentiment scores (>70 percent) according to WHOSAY data.

Fortunately, identifying those who are most likely to show up and actually add value to your creative can tangibly help you optimize your distribution is easier than one may think. As Ellis explained, only the top 10 percent of talent in each segment are “professional creators.”

The creative differentiation

As Matthew Patrick, Creator and Narrator of the YouTube Series, “Game Theory,” pointed out, the vast majority of brands today seem to be holding onto a one-creative-fits-all-platform approach. However, with constantly evolving algorithms and user behavior, paying attention to the minor details such as honing CTAs, creative cadence (for video), and the format of the message overall should make sense for the platform.

“Different social platforms have very different ecosystems and different content that works on them,” said Patrick. Enter the significance of a carefully thought-out and executed paid strategy.

“Generally the people who are engaging with me are not on the PR or distribution side of the brand, so I always push to have that conversation to discuss the plan because you can’t count on just throwing a video on an influencer’s platform and that being it. The algorithms of YouTube and particularly Facebook are rigged in a way now that you have to pay them,” said Charlie Todd, Founder of Improv Everywhere. The key, he continued, is being strategic about where you spend your money and why.

This theme was reinforced when speakers were asked if they had ever purchased bots in order to boost their social followings. While some brands may be swayed to attain a specific level of followers, large numbers don’t equate long-term success when it comes to the modern marketing landscape. Per the panelists, brands should aim for slower, steadier organic growth.

“The go-go growth years of acquiring users is over. Our opportunity together is to be the format creators for effective advertising on platforms,” Ellis said.

WHOSAY is an influencer marketing agency that powers influencer marketing campaigns for brands across every vertical, utilizing every level of celebrity and social influencer, delivering measurably superior results to other forms of mobile and social advertising. WHOSAY is a Viacom company.


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