How to create Content Pillars that don’t suck

How to create Content Pillars that don’t suck

Or, how to engage your audience through authentic, organic social media posts

Content pillars, also known as buckets, are key themes you weave into your brand to provide consistency and highlight your brand’s purpose, advantages, aesthetics and tone. Useful in every area of marketing, content pillars are especially relevant on social media where you only get a split second to showcase your brand and the corresponding value you hope to demonstrate to your audience.

Not all industries will have the same content pillars, and not all professionals within any given industry will have buckets that look alike, either. You want your tone to reflect your brand’s personality, and if that brand is you- give the audience a dose of what your life looks like! Authenticity is key, and if organized appropriately, content pillars should make your planning easier rather than more complicated. 

Content Pillars should prioritize at least 3 out of the following 5 buckets:

  1. Promotional
  2. Educational
  3. Community
  4. Entertainment
  5. Engagement

Whether you organize your communications calendar around these specific buckets, or just keep them in mind generally when posting, it’s important to personalize the bucket so the content is organic and authentic to your brand. 

If you’re a retail brand, Educate on your differentiators. Is your product made to order? Do you have lower costs due to a DTC production model? If you’re a realtor- put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Do you want to Engage using polls on Instagram Stories? Maybe this vs that in home trends. Do you Entertain by walking people through listings? Realtors have a never ending opportunity to Educate their audience. Interest rates and preferred lenders are always going to be relevant, so share what you know and keep your audience plugged in. 

Audit, analyze, improve

As you post and begin to have a backlog of content to reference, you can glean insights from your traffic as to which content pillars are performing well and which need tweaking. A social media audit is necessary from time to time to evaluate your audience’s response, especially as your brand grows, it’s important to wrap new followers into the fold and not alienate your original customers. It’s also important to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. Adopting best practices and latching on to current trends (Reels, anyone?) communicates to your audience that you are up to speed with your industry and instills trust in your brand. 

Curious how to authentically market your brand using best practices and create organic content pillars that effectively communicate your product/service? We can design a communications strategy for you that takes the guesswork out of marketing your brand and turns on and utilizes the channels your business needs, just ask

The Big Reveal: Fall 2020 OTC Newsletter

The Big Reveal: Fall 2020 OTC Newsletter

Hello!

It’s been a long… um, year. We hope this finds you and yours well. Like many of you we’ve had our head down helping our clients, becoming homeschool teachers, working on ourselves – you may have noticed we’ve had some work done.

Your Market Watch

You know you can count on us to be watching everything that’s going on out there and give you the deets. Here’s what’s up:

  • The Social Dilemma: Those outside the tech industry are catching wind of the power of social media and the potentially negative effects on our democracy and children. Why is this important? Brands need to be more aware of how they’re talking to their audience, why they’re talking, and messaging that is both socially aware in addition to benefiting the bottom line. Thoughtful marketing is more important now than ever.
  • Rethinking Retail: With the ability to shop in person made more difficult due to the pandemic, many brands are opting for pop-up options for the holidays. Risk is lower with a higher reward. Have you thought about your holiday strategy while in the midst of COVID? Even if physical retail isn’t in the cards this year, there are other ways to break through to your audience.
  • Influencer Backlash: Influencers have been catching some negative attention since COVID hit both from partner brands and their audience. Consumers are fully aware of “pay to play” strategies and weary of becoming clickbait associated with social issues. Strategic partnerships are vital for brands but must be carefully selected with authentic and true partners who value your product and can build a long term relationship.

What We’ve Been Up To:

BigStar: BigStar is an award-winning motion design and graphics studio that is experiencing growth in both talent and project recognition. OTC came on to amplify and define the agency’s brand identity along with expand their reach to new and prospective clients and talent.

  • Brand Identity, Internal and External Messaging
  • Social performance: Organic 20% increase in IG followers, 15K impressions, 7% growth on Twitter and 5% growth on LinkedIn in 5 months
  • Client pitch wins: 2
  • Website Refresh

Lindsay Neuren Group: OTC partnered with leading Austin realtor Lindsay Neuren to amplify the Lindsay Neuren Group brand through a bespoke strategy that focuses on growing their social following on Instagram, developing a robust advertising strategy with print ads and evergreen video content, and strategically crafting brand partnerships with local Austin brands to distinguish and elevate the Lindsay Neuren Group within the crowded realtor space.

  • 15% Social Growth in followers over four months. Ideate content and saw efforts to tailor content to generate sales leads via social saw 1000%+ increase
  • Messaging and tagline creation for Website, Social and Advertising copy
  • Coordinated and creative directed advertisement creation, sourcing agencies for print and video advertising

One Two Collective: Like many clients we work with, 2020 has pushed us to re-evaluate our offerings and ensure that our own marketing strategy makes sense and aligns with the consumer climate we’ve seen shift over the course of the year. We’re still your reliable marketers in residence, we’ve just edited our focus to be what we feel is most relevant to clients today: 

  • Brand Building
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Social Strategy
  • Experiential & Retail Optimization

These core services can easily bloom into neighboring areas, but focusing on these four areas maximizes marketing spend and gives the highest ROI to our customers. Browse our new site and get acquainted. 

OK! Enough about us. How are you? No, for real, you’re being a stranger. Say hello and give us a follow.
Your friends,
OTC

We help companies of all sizes scale their marketing capabilities to expand brand reach and engage consumers across all touchpoints. We generate results by customizing consumer experiences through creating 360° marketing strategies from scratch or crafting targeted strategies to supplement an existing plan.

We’re not an agency,
We’re a part of your team.

Reach out to us at hello@onetwocollective.com to learn more.

Strengthening Your Brand to Thrive in a Flooded Market

Strengthening Your Brand to Thrive in a Flooded Market

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

Navigating Uncharted Waters

The events of recent weeks have left brands in a tailspin and future challenges will continue to make themselves apparent. As marketers in residence, we’re tasked with helping our clients create and implement strategies that drive demand and loyalty and in trying times like these, we feel it’s important to drop the curtain and help as many people as we can. Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing tips for how to strengthen your brand and stand out in a flooded market place.

 

Top Level Overview

  • Now that you’ve had a moment to pause and reassess the framework of the situation, it’s time to reallocate your ad spend and strategically focus on the right customers.
  • Rebalance your budget. Focus on growth and efficiency in marketing and R&D. Cut back on non essentials like fixed asset expenses or nice to have functions.
  • Over invest in your current customers and new ways to reach them. Ask them what they need from you and make customer service your top priority. Deploy new ways to reach them outside of social media.
  • Share positive stories and information- tell people where you’re at, show your teams that work tirelessly and get no credit. Give a face to the people in your company so that consumers are more likely to support you.

Next, focus on the brand:

  • Think long term. This is an event that will change the way people think moving forward. You’re focusing on digital/social now but, what is your long term strategy for connecting on a human (or in-person) level?
  • Be creative. Content is critical right now. To cut through the clutter, be empathetic to the situation, but find interesting ways to engage with consumers. Advertising prices drop during times of recession (and hopefully the economy will bounce back quickly) so this gives you a unique opportunity to increase your market share. So now might be the time to invest in a new creative strategy. 
  • This is the perfect time to work on your brand messaging and mission. Spend time focusing on your core offerings. Tragedy and the unknown makes consumers more aware of who they invest in, make sure your messaging is authentic and resonates with your audience.
South by Now What

South by Now What

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

by One Two Collective staff

 

So your event’s been canceled. 

The rising panic around the COVID-19 virus and the uncertainties that come with its level of transferability and mortality have stuck a stake in several marquee spring events. Some, like ShopTalk, have smoothly managed the hiccup, promptly rescheduling for a future date (made possible by taking over the dates for Groceryshop, a sister conference with a smaller audience that is being pushed out to 2021). Others, like SXSW, have publicly floundered with their cancellation plans while weighing how to mitigate both the risks of spreading the virus against the slew of speaker and sponsor cancellations that would adversely affect the experience for attendees who might choose to attend despite a virus scare. After a week of waffling, SXSW ultimately did cancel the 2020 event with the city forcing its hand, and the blowback for both Austin and conference will undoubtedly be felt for months and years to come.

While the reason for canceling these spring 2020 events is due to an unforeseen pandemic, it’s hard not to step back and look at the overall landscape of events and see a crossroads. Face to face is always going to be the gold standard for networking, but the strength of virtual platforms has rapidly expanded, thereby opening the possibilities of interaction around live events. The rise of thought leaders sharing content via TikTok, podcasts and Instagram has lessened the exclusivity offered by industry and entertainment events by increasing access. This digital evolution would continue to peck away at live events regardless of a virus scare, so how can savvy event producers embrace the duality rather than reject it at the expense of their event’s livelihood?

A look at NYFW

In its heyday, nothing was more glam than scoring a seat at a New York Fashion Week show in the Bryant Park Tents. The shift to Lincoln Center came with a loss of designers interested in showing and a more obvious deference to the whims of our corporate sponsor overlords. Socialites in the front row gave way to first wave (Tavi, Garance, et al) bloggers, eventually giving way to the cohort of influencers filling seats at venues that could only be referred to as tents in the most metaphorical sense. New York Fashion Week is not the only event that has suffered in magnitude as consumer interest has changed, but it is one of the most obvious.

The shift in events like NYFW popularity can be attributed to several factors: notably, a shift in industry requirements and changed consumer behaviors. Big designers no longer need to show on the runway for their collection to be seen, and as such the more interesting story has become what designers are doing to reinforce their presence on the scene without physically participating in the shows. Tanya Taylor has been showing her collection off-runway for a few years, but for Fall 2020 stretched her creative wings by showcasing her collection via a collaboration with four women comedians. The 2-5 minute videos allow the collection to be the main centerpiece to the storyline each comedian is central to, creating a zippy overview of this season’s prints and designs and cementing her status in the fashion scene even apart from the once requisite runway.

Inclusion over Exclusivity

If fashion brands are able to maintain their entire presence via digital engagement while simultaneously expanding their fan base, we feel festivals and conferences should at least have a significant enough digital component that an unforeseen circumstance like COVID-19 doesn’t completely derail the event from occurring. While there is no question that the preferred level of participation at an event like SXSW or ShopTalk is in-person, a baked in way to partner and share content and reactions could expand the reach of the festival even when there isn’t a wave of forced seclusion. Driving external participation also brings in an element of inclusion when people can’t afford or have physical limitations in regard to traveling. While some could argue this diminishes event exclusivity, we believe that it in fact creates an opportunity for tiered participation levels that incentivize more attendees and additionally expand monetization opportunities.

The cancellation and potential rescheduling of these two major industry events is going to have countless negative financial implications for many people involved. The independent film community is notably reeling from the loss of SXSW and the very real threat it has to the perpetuation of the event as a whole. An established digital component here would be particularly valuable as film is one of few areas where home access now rivals theater releases in compensation, if not quite prestige. As brands and event producers begin to pick up the pieces from the wave of coronavirus cancellations happening now, these takeaways around utilizing new digital trends and embracing a model that supports platform diversification will define in part how the conference and events industry rebuilds.

*Until we reach that euphoric hybrid digital/event state, here is a compilation of ways to help artists and event producers in Austin working to offset the financial losses of SXSW


One Two Collective helps brands enhance their consumer experience. Send us a note at hello@onetwocollective.com to learn more.

 

June Newsletter

June Newsletter

The June One Two Newsletter

Photo by Raphaël Biscaldi on Unsplash

by One Two Collective staff

 

Oh hey summer 

We’ve got thoughts, oh yes we do. Sure this newsletter is typically quarterly and we’re a little early, but we’ve missed you and who doesn’t enjoy a little light reading on a summer Wednesday? Diving right in…

Keeping it well rounded

This month, we’ve been musing on two completely different topics both related to summer: seasonal pop-ups and Pride Month. While obviously on opposite ends of the social responsibility spectrum, both have bright, colorful connotations and signal the start of the summer season. Read our two blogs below for more on our thoughts related to best in class pop-ups and being respectful of the historical context of Pride while still celebrating the community through brand marketing. 

What else?

Of course, these aren’t the only things we’re thinking about. We’re always looking for unique takes on brand-guided experiences and what is motivating consumers. Fit is it in this breakdown on the rise of in-home styling services & Mary Meeker’s annual internet trends report confirms your suspicion that images are increasingly relevant in internet based communications (time to up your meme game). Airbnb is expanding their experiences division to offer 3-7 day trips catering to nomadic millennials but really all we want is to experience the inside of Augusta National.   

We’ll be seeing you & thanks for reading!
The One Two Team.

 


One Two Collective helps brands enhance their consumer experience. Send us a note at hello@onetwocollective.com to learn more.

 

Taking Pride in your Cause Marketing

Taking Pride in your Cause Marketing

How to partake in cause marketing effectively without alienating your customers


Photo by ROBIN WORRALL on Unsplash

by One Two Collective staff

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, and the energy around Pride Month is at a fever pitch. Corporate marketers love to let their inclusion banner wave and paint everything from their Twitter logos to limited edition t-shirts rainbow in June. We love seeing all the creative usage of rainbows, but cause marketing can be tricky and how you navigate these waters can be the difference between swimming or sinking your reputation. Anytime you publicly align your brand with politics you’re going to see some type of backlash because of the nature of the internet and online trolls. Despite this, it is still important to push cause marketing and stay true to your beliefs because consumers want to work with brands who are willing to put themselves out there to support causes they believe in and exemplify.

This year in particular the LGBTQ+ community has made it clear that they expect brands to be year-round allies and pandering to fit in will no longer cut it. Vocal LGBTQ spokespeople have used their platform to offer guidance by reminding brands that catering to your LGBTQ demo is no longer exceptional, it’s the standard and with the political climate in this country there just isn’t room for inauthenticity in this space.

As you know, we’re big fans of piggybacking on cultural moments to gain a boost for your brand, so how do you participate and support an event without being accused of co-opting it? Time to tap into a core value of ours, authenticity and get busy aligning your brand values with the community you want to engage with. While we’re specifically discussing Pride Month and the connected LGBTQ community to inform the content of this specific blog, these tips will come in handy regardless of the cultural moment you’re interested in tapping into.  

There are more recognizable faces than anytime in LGBTQ history and yet the demographic is still underrepresented in many areas. The first openly gay governor has only been in office for a year and as of 2018 only 6.4% of primetime television characters can be described as LGBTQ. This is why it’s important to incorporate LGBTQ voices into the marketing efforts you wrap around your brand and embody the cause you’re taking on. When reflecting on what we know about creating a consumer experience, there are two relevant takeaways here. First, partnering with influencers who convey authenticity are more successful than those who fake engagement or overdo sponsored content. Additionally, we also know Gen Z loves to put their stamp on things and participate in the actual crafting of campaigns and the development of products and services to reflect their ideologies.

Weighing both of these considerations, utilizing an influential voice to support your brand is the surface level answer, but engaging your partners to design and contribute to your overall look and feel creates a more authentic campaign tone. Engaging with leaders in specific communities to create your tone, message, and supporting overall causes in addition to showing support during specific “celebration” times shows that you are actually invested in the community and not leveraging them for sales. Keep in mind that doing this component well takes time and effort so prepare to start partnership talks early to craft a message that works for both of you. The benefit of working with community voices is twofold: not only are you avoiding the clueless trope of executives making decisions about communities they don’t represent, but you’re creating authentic content that is discoverable and can be repurposed by your brand.

Speaking of creating content, one overarching goal of Pride is to elevate the voices of the LGBTQ community. You don’t have to work for a media organization to create opportunities for your brand to participate in or even host conversations around Pride, especially as it pertains to your industry. Who are the LGBTQ representatives and vocal allies in your organization and industry? What are they contributing to your brand and the community they represent as a whole? Work with your PR team to develop the best methodology to distribute their insights whether that’s the local news or a Facebook Live conversation and strive to own even a small space of the thought leadership angle of the cause you’re focused on.

The world is evolving quickly, and cause marketing is going to continue to look different every year, too. We’re not here to discourage your brand from participating in a cause you believe in, but instead push you to create a campaign and deliver a message rooted in thoughtfulness and authenticity. One of the great things about social media is that there is no shortage of new voices waiting to be discovered on Instagram, new artists waiting to showcase their talents, and new ways to show how your brand embraces the community you’re supporting. Embrace your diverse audiences and bring them into the conversation, we can all learn from each other.

Additionally, if you’re looking for a place to start to support the LGBTQ community, please consider these organizations that support LGBTQ youth:

The Trevor Project

It Gets Better

 

One Two Collective helps brands enhance their consumer experience. Send us a note at hello@onetwocollective.com to learn more.