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What Every Panel Is Preaching During SXSW Sessions

3 MINUTE READ | March 15, 2017

What Every Panel Is Preaching During SXSW Sessions

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Ashley McMahan

Ashley McMahan has written this article. More details coming soon.

As a first timer at SXSW, I was excited to attend a variety of sessions to strengthen my knowledge on an array of topics that I could bring learnings back to my team and clients. However, while each session has had a different topic, panel, and structure, the universal message remains the same:

No platform or creative content messaging are to be created equal and data is your best friend.

In the fragmented world that we live in today, it is imperative that advertisers have good creative content, are relevant to the audience they are serving to, and have a unique voice on each platform in which the content is meant to be consumed. Sounds like common sense, right?

Wrong. There are many limitations on a brand’s end that can hinder the ability to create custom content to each platform it is meant to be served. In the digital space, we often receive creative that was originally purposed for something else. If it actually created for display, it tends to be the exact same creative, just in different sizes. Very rarely does a digital agency have a say in the creative they receive. More times than not, the images are repurposed from a print campaign or the videos are cut down and were originally intended for TV. Even banner ads usually have the exact same creative and are just resized, but are intended to run on an app, mobile web, and Desktop. It’s few and far between we receive assets that were created for the sole intent of running on Instagram vs. Facebook vs. Native Display vs. PreRoll, etc.

Consumers interact with mobile apps differently than they do when browsing on mobile web and vastly different than consuming content on a desktop device. So why are we serving them the same thing on each platform?

The fix: Leverage your data and cultivate a strong partnership with the brand you work with to create authentic messaging relevant to the platform in which you are reaching out to your consumer.

“Always be a welcomed guest in someone’s living world.” 

^^ Preach it. Everyone has had the experience of being served an ad that wasn’t relevant to them or was cut off because of the screen size they are on. That leads to a poor user experience and wasted impressions (and money) for the advertiser.

Data is your best friend. Data insights can be leveraged in a multitude of ways. Understanding consumer behavior and where your top target of consumers are engaging with your content is the first step in the right direction.

No platform or creative content messaging are to be created equal. Once the insights are formed, next steps seem easy and natural. Create content that is meant to be served on each platform in which your consumer engages with your brand. Someone on Instagram will probably want a more visual message than someone on Mobile is smaller real estate than desktop so keep mobile messaging quick, easy-to-get, and visual while Desktop can be slightly longer copy. Different platforms may require different call-to-actions. Most people research on their mobile devices, so a “Learn More” CTA may be stronger whereas a “Shop Now” on Desktop may be more applicable.

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All this to say, if you work hard to cultivate relationships with your clients, you are already setting yourself up for success in a multitude of ways. It’s easy to call these creative recommendations out to a client and set out the particular orientation and copy requirements you will need prior to a shoot if your clients trust you. Campaign performance, user experience, and creative engagement will be better from it.

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