Brands ‘jumping on bandwagon’ with real-time content marketing, says social agency boss

Too many brands in Singapore are “jumping on the bandwagon” with posts that try to ride trending news events but only add to the noise at a time when content marketing is testing the patience of consumers, a social media expert has said.

Matt Collette presenting at a Bolt Media event in Singapore last night

Matt Collette presenting at a Bolt Media event in Singapore last night

“The 50th brand that talks about Joseph Schooling in the same way that other brands were talking about it six hours ago won’t achieve much ROI,” Matt Collette, the newly appointed MD of Zeno Singapore, said at an event hosted by content marketing platform Bolt Media on Tuesday evening.

He had fielded a question from a mainly young audience at the Bash startup hub about how to strike the right balance between producing timely topical content, and coming across as following the herd or exploitative.

“I understand the motivation, that brands want to be patriotic and tap into a great moment for Singapore,” Collette said of the overwhelming response from brands in social media to Singapore’s gold medal winning Olympian Joseph Schooling.

“But too many brands produced content that was just like every other brand’s and did not add to the conversation. They were jumping on the bandwagon. I don’t think anyone would have noticed who created it,” said Collette.

Earlier in his presentation, Collette referred to the phenomenon of “content shock,” the vast volume of content that technology has enabled consumers to be exposed to.

“This is where real-time content has gone… Whenever there’s haze in Singapore, everybody is publishing content about haze. In those cases is there any value in engaging with consumers based on stuff that everyone has been publishing anyway? Probably not.”

Brands need to start producing more content that is of genuine use rather than serves as a distraction, said Collette, who presented a slide that showed social utility as one of the key motivations for consumers to share content.

Social motivation to share content

Collette’s slide on motivations to share content shows social utility among the top drivers

“We’re not saying don’t create content about Chinese New Year. We’re saying don’t create content that is of no use,” he said.

“Not every brand needs to say, ‘Happy Chinese New Year’. If a millennial consumer is going to see that from 100 other brands, why would that stop them from scrolling through their news feed?”

“People’s attention spans are now eight seconds or less,” said Collette, inviting his audience to take notice of a millennial scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed the next time they’re on a bus.

“You need to identify that one piece of content that will stop them scrolling,” he said.

Collette began his presentation with a series of statics that showed the impact that “content shock” is having on the rate at which consumers share content.

Slide on content marketing effectiveness shared during Zeno's presentation

Slide on content marketing effectiveness shared during Zeno’s presentation


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