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A Brand’s Key Take Away from Reality TV: Likes & Shares Aren’t Enough, According to DEFINITION 6

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During #SMWNYC, Dawn Dubinka, VP of Strategy and Content Producer, Jasmine Ginyard, at DEFINITION 6 identify the reality TV model and discuss how brands can adapt it to work for creating their own meaningful conversations.

At DEFINITION 6, a content and technology agency based in Atlanta and New York, they produce over 2,500 pieces of content per month and, from reality television, understand that simply likes and shares aren’t enough. Consumers and fans crave interaction all the time, in real time.

There are a handful of ways a brand can deliver and maintain this type of content in a similar way to these well-known shows. During #SMWNYC, Dawn Dubinka, VP of Strategy and Content Producer, Jasmine Ginyard identified the reality TV model and explored how brands can adapt it to work for creating their own meaningful conversations.

Be prepared.

Reality television film in advance so they always have content available. Keeping up with consumer demands can be stressful and time-consuming. Reality television has B roll’s, their star’s separate social media profiles, BTS and footage from media press tours as well as their pillar content.

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The former supports the main product – in this case episode. Ginyard recommends using the derivative content concept and breaking down the core content into lots of different micro-stories. “It’s the best way to maintain the relevance of your story and you can use them for a long time to maintain engagement,” she explains.

Provide 24-hour interaction and conversation and understand your most performative platform.

Community engagement is important as people are already engaged and therefore always engaged. Content doesn’t always switch off at 5pm. Will Smith once said “if you stay ready, you don’t have to always get ready,” and this is true of socials. Dubinka underlines that it is important to know that not every channel is right for your brand but to remain confident that this is okay and that you can still have true engagement with people. Knowing your most interactive platform helps you create more of a sustainable content plan. Dive deep in to listening to your audience’s conversation and be a part of it. Enable the conversations to take place within your community, too.

Be authentic and always true to what you represent as a brand.

For example, Love &  Hip Hop’s Cardi B  has always been open and honest about her stripper past and where she comes from and has an incredible, loyal fanbase and engagement rate as a result. She takes ownership of herself. Audiences adore private details and BTS, however, knowing what not to share can also be just as important when maintaining creative control.

Don’t forget the data.

KPIs are important. Determine yours and stick to them. Get obsessed then you can use the results to your analytics model to inform your new content. Social analytics isn’t a one size fits all thing. Reality TV has built a good base to collect the data so they know what their viewers want to see so they can create it and give it to them. Brand watch isn’t enough if you’re not using the data effectively.

What does this all boil down to? Brands will excel when they stop thinking of consumers as just another target audience. Instead, the top-of-mind priority should be incorporating their communities into their brand narratives. In addition, they must find a balance between entertainment and social media. This intersection will continue to represent a marketer’s “sweet spot” and where true leverage will reside.

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