Creativity is the key to successful content production: Dafydd Rhys Woodward

Woodward, Global Managing Director, INCA delivered the keynote address at e4m’s Influencer Marketing Conference

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Sep 20, 2021 9:09 AM
e4m Influencer Marketing Conference

At the inaugural edition of e4m’s Influencer Marketing Conference, a stellar line-up of industry experts came together to discuss the landscape of influencer marketing in India. Dafydd Rhys Woodward, Global Managing Director, INCA delivered the keynote address at the virtual event. He spoke on the topic - “Next Generation Influencer and Content Marketing: The Convergence of Content Creation, Addressable Distribution and Creator Commerce”.

“If we look back just five years, I think the influencer marketing world would be unrecognizable from where it is today. And with the pace of change, I expect the landscape to evolve even more in the next five years,” stated Woodward.

Woodward explained the guiding principle of trustworthy voices and high quality content for marketers while adding that effective marketing strategies start with high quality authentic content that reflect the brand. “Now, much changes in this industry but certain principles stay consistent. Key leaders will be part of the marketing mix for 100 years because marketers have long understood that the endorsement from authentic voices leads to an increase in trust, attention, and audience engagement, and this remains a guiding principle in everything that I'll talk about today. An effective influencer or well marketing strategies start with high quality authentic content that reflect the brand, and provide a strong brand message vehicle to consumers. And moving more into recent history, the rapid rise of connectivity and social platforms powered by technology, of course, has really poured rocket fuel onto this industry. First of all it's reframed the definition of fame, and by extension influence, and it's also democratized the ability to become influential, and the ability to create a high volume of high quality content.”

Speaking about the growth of influencer marketing and the increased interest of marketers in it, Woodward shared, “Today, each one of us creates or consumes 16 times more content data than we did just 10 years ago. And where attention goes, advertising dollars surely follow, And as an effective way to reach and engage audiences on social platforms, it's no surprise to see the increased interest from marketers and the increased budgets that we're seeing dedicated to influencer marketing. As social platforms were originally formed so that people can stay connected, or create new connections online, these social platforms quickly developed a monetization model around this as global audience flots consume that free services. This gave birth to the era of paid social advertising, laying the foundations to reach targeted audiences at scale in social environments, and of course this rapidly became a multi billion dollar industry that virtually every brand invests into today.”

Elaborating on the trends in influencer marketing, Woodward said, “Now a recent trend that we've seen in influencer marketing is the adoption of paid media tactics into influencer campaign delivery. Addressing audiences at scale on social platforms with engaging content through the authentic voice of the Creator is now a common tactic in influencer campaign delivery. This has led to really strong results for clients, and delivery of greater range of outcome, more mid funnel campaign metrics. So this is a key trend that is likely to gather pace. I will see budgets for influencer activity continuing to grow as planners consolidate budgets of content creation and distribution across social worlds. But where else do we see evidence of this as a growing trend, well we need to look no further than the social platform giants themselves. For the first time we're seeing these platforms recognized content creators are strategically important for them for the future of their platforms, returning users are their lifeblood. And there is now a recognition that quality content that influencers create, provides the incentive for audiences to continue to open up social apps on their smartphones, day after day, time and time again every day.”

Woodward stated that boosting of content is increasingly important and social platforms are leaning into their creative community like never before. “Creators are now being rewarded for the content that they produce, and not only for brands that they endorsed but across the board. And for me this is way overdue, and it provides the creators with the incentive and the reward for the audience's that they attract and the content they create. They are independent mini publishers after all and we will see this trend continue to grow. So clearly boosting of content is increasingly important, and social platforms are leaning into their creative community like never before. But why stop a distribution across social channels, logically, especially a market the size and say India's, why not utilize creative content outside of the Wardogs of  social platforms, securing usage rights to content opens up a host of possibilities for marketers to reach audiences in new and engaging ways across media channels. And this also paves the way for us to deliver addressable influence of contact,” he said.

Adding further about addressable influencer content, he explained, “What do I mean by addressable influencer content? For example, by delivering creative content programmatically via a DSP, we can recreate social posts across digital properties, be it static images, story formats, or videos. And this in turn allows us to deliver greater scale, and greater targeting capabilities by ingesting first, second, and for the time being anyway third party data. With third party cookie degradation, being ever nearer, utilizing influencer content in this way can be a really strong tactic, as we learn and adapt what types of audiences engage, and what types of content they engage with. So to bring this to life a little bit, we can do this by leveraging dynamic, creative optimization and dynamic messaging.”

Woodward highlighted that there's also potential to utilize content from one market to target relevant audiences in another. “This is hugely exciting for me and imagine the value of utilizing content created in India to target the Indian audience base here in the UK. The possibilities are vast and for me, being able to utilize our global network to create and deliver campaigns for our international clients is a hugely exciting prospect and can really drive business growth for our clients which is ultimately the end of the game. What's also very exciting is the functionality that addressable distribution provides. Here we have greater control over where and how we drive audiences to deliver broader actions and deeper outcomes,” he shared

Highlighting about the delivery of creative commerce and making more creative content shoppable, Woodward stated,”There's been a sprint towards delivering e-commerce and social commerce outcomes in recent times, across the media landscape. Here, we’ll be talking about delivering creative commerce, which is where we aim to make more creative content shoppable wherever possible. The APAC region is absolutely on fire in this sector and leading the way in this respect. Integrations with shopping platforms such as Shopify, Woo commerce, etc alongside the social platform shops themselves will be a growing trend over the next 18 months. And I predict that we will see many more brands in industries that we never would have imagined become direct to consumer brands. By leveraging these types of features, we can help them make that a reality. Alongside this, there's an era within an era where everything is on demand. We're seeing an uptick in live streaming, podcasts, audio, and the emergence of KOS - key opinion sellers, very interesting sort of developments to come over the next 18 months.”

Concluding the session, he remarked, “Creativity is the key to successful content production. And we firmly believe that creativity and diversity go hand in hand. It's a huge focus area for us, not just within the group but across the industry at large, and working with diverse sets of creators who reflect the society that we work in is a cornerstone of how we continue to deliver successful campaigns for our clients and we champion the use of diverse creators across the industry. Building Communities of INCA creators will improve our ability to remain agile and bring even more creativity to bear for our client base locally and internationally as well.”  

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