Copy, Content & Creative


Passion Panel – Copy, Content & Creative

  • Hosted by:
    • Emily – Social Media Manager – Passion Digital


    Our July 2019 Passion Panel breakfast event focused on content, copy and creative from a social media perspective.

How involved are you with informing blog content?

Harry – Every member of our organisation is expected to write a blog and these are sent to us so you can imagine we have quite an eclectic mix which means it’s hard to stay on trend sometimes. I think the best way to shape these blogs are to be as descriptive as possible when providing a brief.

Emily – We always try to get involved with the content team to ensure blogs aren’t only written for SEO purpose, but also that they’re considering the audiences we want to reach using both organic and paid social.

Jessica – Our social and SEO team brainstorm together and we come up with blog ideas which are both SEO-friendly and social-focused, such as monthly recipes posts which are usually our best-performing social content in terms of engagement.

Joe – Ours is slightly different as our website and blogs have been born from our social pages, for example, Student Problems is one of the biggest student hubs in the UK, so our content is usually social-first.

Vicki – Our blog is a real Cancer Research science blog because as a big charity, we have so many messages and so it had to be a refined place for one thing – and we’ve also got a really engaged research community. Recently the blog moved into the social team and where the blog was always blog-first, now it’s informing more social content and we’ve worked a lot to find ways to drive more traffic to the blog, so it’s become a lot more inter-changeable. Interestingly, we saw a huge spike in traffic to our blog after the recent Sky Atlantic series, Chernobyl, about radiation and Chernobyl, so we’ll get a huge amount of traffic to a blog from years ago. We try to constantly review things like this and reassess the keyword from older blogs to ensure they’re always up to date and relevant. We now try to repackage the blog content for the social audience and use the blog as somewhere where you can find out more information, but we try to engage the audience with content on social.

How much of your content is reactive and how does this compare to more generic and pre-planned content?

Alex – What’s great for sport is we can use players’ birthdays and lots of national awareness days because there’s always relevant events on and we can resurface some of our top-performing content.

Harry – We do an annual sexual harassment survey and an annual mental health awareness survey which we can tie into Mental Health Awareness Week. We tend to do annual reactive content and work with charities, such as Mind, and we work with them to create a week’s worth of content.

Jessica – We’re a dog food brand so we get to have a lot of fun. We’re attending an event for Pride where we’ve changed our logo and produced a load of rainbow bandanas for the dogs at Brewhouse which is a safe place for those who are celebrating Pride with their dogs but want a bit of a time out. Obviously we get to be a lot more reactive with national awareness days and even with the weather that’s when our blogs come in handy as so many dog-owners are looking for advice on how to keep their dogs cool in the heat.

What’s your experience with live-stream videos?

Joe – We actually put on a puppy fashion show for one of our fashion brands which we live-streamed where we just dressed puppies in the clothes and they walked up and down a catwalk for 2 hours and it was one of the most engaged live streams of all time. It was also a logistical nightmare!

Alex – With Festival of Speed we’re going to be streaming the weekend and we find that as long as you do a bit of community engagement beforehand it’s successful. It’s kind of similar to YouTube where you premier a video and almost encourage a watch party in advance of the live-stream.

Vicki – Our Stand up to Cancer campaign, in partnership with Channel4, includes a bi-annual live show so it makes sense for us to use live-stream alongside the main show. We also think that the audience who is likely to tune into a live-stream on YouTube or Facebook might not be the same audience to watch on television, so it’s a good way to reach multiple audiences with the same content.

Emily – I think it often works well when you’re waiting for something or if something could go wrong. The Superbowl did a great live-stream with a ball in a block of ice where users were encouraged to guess the time the ball would drop due to the ice melting.

Joe – We’ve done some really fun stuff with live-streams such as blowing up balloons until they pop and having someone dressed as a turkey hovering over a pool of gravy where users had to comment for him to be dropped.

Emily – It’s the gamification of live-stream that I think works really well and encourages the audience to participate.

Vicki – We use SEO to inform some of our content which includes live-streams with nurses about cervical screening as this is something we get a lot of searches for. I think it’s important for us to plan enough behind it so we’re not relying on the audience’s questions, but we have some questions and answers prepared.

Do you have tone of voice guidelines and how useful do you find them?

Laura – We’ve been updating the Nivea tone of voice guidelines which has been really useful for us to work with the client to develop these, for both copy and creative.

Vicki – I think it’s important to consider that social is the opportunity to ‘be a human’ and not always stick to templated responses because they’re not always appropriate. We have a set brand TOV but the difference with social is we try to be more conversational and less formal.

Harry – We experienced what happens when a client suffered a lot of negative press and they didn’t want to drop their brand’s colloquial tone when dealing with disgruntled customers which we advised against.

How much do you test copy and what framework do you use to implement these tests?

Vicki – We run A/B tests on the website to see which CTA resonates the most, for example, sign up or join, and then implement these findings across social.

Harry – Our copy tests change depending on the day of the week as often our audience don’t want to hear a cheery message on a Monday as much as it resonates on a Friday, for example.

Vicki – We’ve been pushing the boundaries with how we speak to our retargeting audiences as previously it hasn’t been too different. This has paid off as our conversion rate for retargeting has been much higher than last year on paid.

How much do you use copy in creative?

Danielle – We’ve found that using some copy in 2-3 video has been quite effective, as well as making sure that branding is upfront.

Have you tested copy length?

Vicki – We’re a story-telling brand so for organic longer makes sense, but for paid I think shorter is better with a clear CTA at the beginning of the post rather than the end.

Emily – I think you’re right, it completely depends on the context of your brand and what’s your trying to achieve. For example, Humans of New York on Facebook works exceptionally well using long copy as their objective is story-telling.

Ben – I saw an out-of-home ad for a ski resort the other day where they were highlighting 1-star reviews of their resort which was quite funny and caught my attention.

What creative have you found performing well?

Emily – We’re trying to make more use of jarring animation on still images to try and capture attention which is a relatively low-cost alternative to creating full videos.

Vicki – That’s interesting because we find that short videos aren’t performing as well on Facebook since they started down-publishing short-form video.

Alex – They’re obsessed with getting their watch times up because they want users to watch a video for 3 minutes.

Vicki – We work with MediaCom who recommend for ads it’s 10 seconds or shorter and they won’t accept anything over 30-seconds. I think it’s important to consider that what works well organically won’t necessarily perform on paid; we had this happen to us with a montage video which didn’t perform at all organically but was a clear winner for our paid sign up campaigns.

What brands do you think have great creative?

Emily – I think Huel had a great brand with a really neutral colour palette which is really recognisable and appealing to many markets. Additionally, Habito have a really jarring out-of-home tube ad at the moment which I don’t think resonates very well with their target market of first-time-buyers as the make mortgages seem really playful whereas I would prefer a more trustworthy message for mortgages.

Jessica – I really like Glossier and their brand and creative. They rely a lot on user-generated content to keep their content flowing and they do a good job of telling you why their products are great and what they can do for you while showing you how great you can look while using them.

Laura – Glossier started as a blog didn’t it so I think it still has that personable feel and doesn’t feel so much like a brand because it was started by someone ‘like you’.

Jessica – Even for their product development, they rely a lot on Instagram polls, they do a great job.

Harry – Asos’ retargeting also does a great job; they also turn their staff into their brand ambassadors and have short videos and minute-fixes with the latest trainer releases which you can’t help but watch. Just really simplistic clothing content does well for them.

Joe – Puma do really good football boot releases with really integrated campaigns where their player ambassadors tweet and post, as well as drive users to their playlists on Spotify and as football fans, it’s great to see what your heroes are listening to.