Bassem El Hady is founder and CEO of Cairo-based digital agency Kijamii
The digital age we live in today forces us to stay connected to our devices at all times. Regardless of location, occupation, social status or education, the internet has become an essential part of everyone’s life. It has become undeniably crowded yet laser focused. Whether they are targeting audiences, localising messages or penetrating specific platforms, digital media agencies have successfully implanted themselves in society.
Some tactical campaigns unite the public towards a common interest, drive up market sales, bring in revenue and even start community movements. To others, they are pure noise pollution that is becoming less and less tolerated every day.
Digital media agencies need to slide through the negatives and continue to create content that can retain a loyal fan base among a public that never stops sharing.
The challenge lies in creating content targeted at the mass public, the kind of work that we see crowding our usual social media platforms. Agencies’ work is then used to generate hundreds of WhatsApp conversations, Facebook shares, re-tweets and even user-created gifs. Sometimes the content creator doesn’t really get credit, but gets the satisfaction of knowing that he/she is the flavour of the week.
Creating content is now perfected as a science: how agencies send out the message, the relevance, the platforms used, the tone, even the emotional connection to the audience are all inserted into an invisible blender to produce a successful campaign. People either hate it or love it, and in the end creativity has become a lot more complicated than it was in the past, and is judged much more harshly.
Making sure content is relevant looks easy to the everyday consumer. You just have to follow a few simple steps: research major events around the time you want to launch a new campaign, hope that there is something interesting to piggy-back on, start adding your magic and send your material out into the world. Simple.
Except it’s not.
Local markets are now becoming more and more complicated and hard to unravel. This is the reason digital agencies rely on data to help guide their targeted campaigns. The research is usually nit-picked to understand the behavioural trends of the targeted segment of society. Where they spend their money, how much media they consume, what topics dominate their social media platforms and much, much more.
The creative digital agency has redirected its focus to analyse not only social trends, but the psychological aspects of society to create a successful campaign and gain the highest reach calculated through shares and likes. This is all time spent behind the scenes and unaccounted for during a budget estimate, but is essential and crucial to the success of the campaigns.
FOMO, fear of missing out, is the reason audiences usually reach for their smart devices in the morning and before going to bed. And the reason people need to stay in the loop is usually what drives digital agencies to squeeze their creative brains and produce the necessary juice for a resonant campaign.
This fear usually stays in the back of agencies’ minds while researching and planning a new campaign. However, no scientific formula or tangible measuring unit can predict the success or failure of a creative campaign. Trends are ever-changing, news is constantly shared and there is no real measure for popularity based on topic or area of focus.
Sometimes, agencies even need to shut themselves off from social media in order to properly formulate a campaign without having to rely on the trends of the day. This allows them to indulge in the cliché of “thinking outside of the box” and can be the best approach to formulating new ideas. Going back to basics and using real talent, to place oneself in the audiences’ shoes and identify topics that are relatable and intriguing.
Nowadays, agencies seem to rely more on the emotional side of their audiences to relay messages. The message becomes humorous, emotional, and relatable. Campaigns with emotional ties usually stick with the audience and have the highest amounts of shares and likes. Some can even get recognition from the media and become a national phenomenon if you’re lucky.
Creativity is a talent. Data, research, hard work and dedication are man-made tools used to elevate that talent. Use yours to create something relatable, but most importantly unforgettable for years to come. That’s when you will feel truly satisfied with your work. Work to become a #TBT.