Word of Mouse
Word of Mouse
Consumer engagement relies on a brand’s digital storytelling abilities.
Today’s communications professionals know that barriers to the traditional media landscape have been breached by the Internet, and the information flood gates have been opened to the public. Nick Rabin, head of Weber Shandwick strategic services in the UK, stresses the importance of engagement in today’s media-driven world, which has become both crowded and noisy. He discusses the difficulties associated with competing for the consumer’s attention, as well as the benefits for brands that can successfully tell their story the right way.
While the opportunity to reach a large audience has never been easier thanks to technology, the ability to engage consumers still remains rather difficult. The Internet has created numerous distractions and there is an infinite amount of content available for viewing. In order to cut through the clutter, brands must have a clear understanding of the story they want to articulate. This means recognizing the audience they want to target and simplifying the message they want to convey.
As Rabin states, “At the heart of the greatest stories there is a fundamental truth, or moral, that represents the brand and the core of its communications strategy which will fuel campaigns and drive engagement.” A brand must live the story they are telling on a daily basis to maintain credibility with an increasingly cynical and suspicious audience. Yet the challenge of finding a one-size-fits-all solution to work across digital is a frustrating one. A brand only has so much control over each story they tell when the Internet is involved. According to Rabin, “brands are willingly giving up an unprecedented degree of control over how that message is disseminated and to whom.” As a story moves through social media and other online channels, it begins to take on a life of its own, and brands must direct their attention to the outcome. Only once a story has been shared, liked and commented on has the engagement truly begun.