By Kathy McEwan, Published November 12, 2014
Our marketing assistant Kathy McEwan is 17 years old, but she writes with a style beyond her years. And as this agency’s token representative of the youth of today (sorry Kathy, you just are), she asks what relevance the world of digital marketing might have to a teenager checking their status updates.
“What great digital marketing,” said no teenager, ever. Honestly, it’s just not something that would cross my mind unless someone pointed it out. But since I started working for a content marketing agency, I notice it everywhere. I spend a lot of time on social media, especially Twitter. Right now, I have this insatiable urge to check my Twitter feed. ‘So much could have happened in the last 10 minutes,’ I think, while reassuring myself my obsession is totally normal. Working for a digital marketing agency means I get the pleasure of using Twitter in my job. Yes, teenagers everywhere, such jobs exist!
But all is not as it seems. Twitter isn’t just about light-hearted fun between friends; it’s a major business platform. So much so, in fact, that rumour has it Twitter’s thinking about launching a ‘buy now’ button. But that’s another topic for another day.
Right now, I want to use my blog to talk about digital marketing, and to ask on behalf of teenagers everywhere…
What has digital marketing got to do with me?
The real question is what has digital marketing NOT got to do with you. IT’S EVERYWHERE. In a world thriving on technology this is probably no shock at the rate that we’re evolving. As long as you have an electronic device you are being marketed to. Why is digital marketing so current? Well, because people consume more and more digital content on a daily basis. So, I wouldn’t just label digital marketing as current, it’s the future too. I mean, in a world where people would rather read a book online rather than a good ol’ paperback you know there’s no going back.
So what if you use social media marketing?
The thing is, and I’m trying to speak on behalf of most people my age here, as long as my Twitter experience isn’t comprised for the sake of advertising, it really doesn’t bother me. Say for example, if while I’m scrolling through my Twitter feed a disruptive ad pops out of nowhere, THEN I’d have a problem. For example, why does an ad have to come before most online videos? I just skip it. But it’s a different thing altogether with content marketing. And I have a couple of examples I wanted to compare: content that I come across every day that actually resonates with me.
Battle of the brands
I love The Body Shop! It is my go-to store for everything beauty-related. I love it so much that I even followed The Body Shop on Twitter because, you know, discounts and stuff. But after beginning this blog mission, I delved a little deeper into their marketing and here’s what I found… Across all of their channels they have developed their own style and tone. The Body Shop uses colours that represent their brand’s image: greens and neutral tones like whites and creams, colours that foreshow the kind of products they are selling. I think it’s really important that a brand’s activity on social media matches up with its message and The Body Shop does just that – it’s instantly recognizable.
Its content creators adopt a more professional tone and although they don’t really encourage interaction, they focus on the quality of the content they send out, such as informative tweets about their products and also how-to videos. The Body Shop is a brand that cares about its customers, even though it doesn’t promote social interaction it’s very good at answering your enquires publicly. It makes me feel like I can trust the brand.
Now, on to a brand I love just as much – LUSH! Whilst it’s a similar company, LUSH! has a totally different approach to The Body Shop. The tone is very much ‘let’s just be friends’ and the style of communication is really effective – it plainly showcases the personality of the brand, and a great deal of strong customer interaction on social media is generated as a result of this. The voice adopted by The Body Shop certainly works for the brand and makes the brand seem reliable and trustworthy, and given the amount of good causes The Body Shop contributes to this reliability really shows through. Meanwhile, LUSH! showcases itself as human, a human I imagine to be someone who is fun and outgoing. This marketing technique really resonates with me because it shows me the effort being made to hear what customers think by encouraging social interaction.
So, CAN digital marketing be down with the kids?
It doesn’t have to. Ultimately, you’re trying sell your product or service. As a teenager I know this, and I don’t mind as long as I feel like some thought has gone into its value to me, not the company. For me, good content marketing needs to have a tone of the voice that actually matches the key messages you’re trying to sell. If you market at me in a tone that doesn’t resonate with me it suggests that you probably didn’t put much time into the product either. So what’s the message? Prove that you care about me through your marketing strategy and then I’m a lot more likely to be interested, or even better, impressed.