In the traditional advertising mindset, brands are unwanted interrupters of ongoing conversations. Because of this tradition brands can still be very humble and cautious when it comes to creating deliberate value and meaning. Believing that they are unwanted, not valuable, in the minds of citizens. This attitude belongs to the past.
Brands are meaningful, they help people identify themselves and say something about who they area by letting them participate. But this commands a new and different mindset and different strategies for communication and participation. Where the goal is to help people connect, share and ignite.
In this new mindset the dogma is:
“People don’t just want read or watch stuff, they want to be a part of it”.
Let’s brake it down into three parts:
Brands should find, create and make accessible content worth engaging with. This is the core structure of the strategy, this is the stuff people want to belong to.
Content is not enough, on it’s own it just sits there, it needs to create conversation. Many online forums have great content, but haven’t built good enough mechanics or lubricated any social dynamics for stimulating conversations. Helping people converse is just as important as giving them something of value.
We need to create conversations, not interrupt them. This is much easier than brands imagine as most online conversations are about content (MSN Research), and brands represent valuable content. But content is not only for sharing; just making something “viral” isn’t enough. It needs to ignite conversation, not just a solitude laughter from behind each individual laptop. So helping people share your content is important, but make sure this content gets people talking, not only sharing.
These are our initial thoughts on a part of this new mindset, something we call “Context”:
- Context is all about creating a combiant :o) strategy of content/ideas and shareability. First, trying to identify valuable stuff people want to connect to. Then finding the stuff inside these ideas that are important and interesting enough to become social objects, and finally how we can, through a set of collaborative platforms, ignite conversations to help people connect.