[The Speakers] How to create an engaging communication campaign

The #ReplyXchange18 is over: London, Munich and Milan have been on fire with 4 days of tech and innovation!🔥

The Xchange is our annual event where we present the state-of-the-art tech, while trying to imagine the future of Automation, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, Digital Experience, Intelligent Products & Services and Internet of Things… in other words, 4 days (in 3 different countries) all dedicated to innovation with more than 4,000+ participants and 140+ speeches by 250+ speakers!

But how does it feel to be a speaker at the Xchange and how can you become one? In the last days we listened to the experiences of different speakers:

Today we have a chat with Julie (Bitmama Reply), another speaker at the Xchange in Milan. Let’s hear from her Xperience!

Hi Julie! Tell us something about you. What’s your role and how long have you worked at Reply?

I joined Bitmama, one of Reply’s creative agencies, in 2015. I am a Senior Copywriter and Creative Strategist, that means I create digital strategies and content for social media and integrated communication platforms, from corporate storytelling to product campaigns.

What was your speech about, at the Xchange?

I presented, together with my colleague Valeria, the case history of a social campaign that we created for Le Conserve della Nonna, called “S.O.S. Nonna” (S.O.S. Grandma).

You can find all the contents (in Italian) on Le Conserve della Nonna Facebook page and on the brand magazine.

It’s a branded content telling the story of an Italian traditional grandma 👵 from Emilia and her Millennial grandson 👦, with a series of mini-videos and posts. The goal was to turn the brand values into a storytelling project, and that’s one of our skills, as an agency:

To create communication campaigns from the concept to the production and the media strategy, with a comprehensive view on the process that helps us to make the most of it.

Why did you say “branded content” instead of “advertising campaign”? What’s the difference?

Branded content is a different approach to communication: it’s not about selling something, it’s about creating a relationship with your audience. You start with finding an insight, an interest that is relevant to your target and consistent with your brand values. Then, you turn into a story, into a content your audience is willing to watch or to interact with. I love this approach because it allows you to create useful and entertaining content that speaks a contemporary language and exploits the potential of digital platforms, instead of, for example, producing tons of banner campaigns that people find intrusive and will try to avoid.

How did you prepare for your speech at the Xchange?

Our business and topics are quite unusual for the majority of Replyers, since it’s not focused on digital engineering, so we tried to figure out how to make our project case history understandable for everyone. It’s been challenging to create a presentation and a 20 min speech (it may not seem so, but 20 min is a very short time, believe me!), meant to be relevant and focused, but also able to engage professionals with very different backgrounds (clients, marketers, other creative agencies, media strategists, engineers…). Luckily, we had the support of Reply Social Network Team and they gave us useful feedbacks during our dry-run, so we could fine tune the presentation and feel prepared to go on stage!

How does Reply supports your research and professional growth?

Every year, since I entered Bitmama Reply, I’ve had the opportunity to attend to international events and training courses: last may for example I went to the Engage event in Prague, organized by Social Bakers, which is all about social communication and trends. I think these events are very inspiring and useful to keep innovating and growing, meeting the best professionals from all over the world, exploring new paths and disciplines. Then of course there’s the Xchange, which is another amazing opportunity to expand your horizon, learn and share ideas with other Replyers and come back to work with new interests and ideas.

5 rules to create a good branded content?

1️⃣ Be native: consider the language, topics, formats and trends of the social platform you will use, and make them yours, let users habits and preferences inspire you!

2️⃣ Know all the technical resources available on the platform, keep yourself updated about new tools and settings.

3️⃣ Build your audience. Social media allow you to be very specific and to define your target not just by using socio-demographics, but also — and this is much more important — by creating lists based on interests and past interactions with your content (re-targeting).

4️⃣ Take care of the details, in every phase of the project, consider the advices coming from media strategists, videomakers, social media managers, actors…

5️⃣ And last (but not least), plan everything in advance. Consider creativity, production and distribution as part of a unique strategy.

What’s the future of ads for you?

Advertising is dead, long live the advertising!

Branded content and, in general, editorial projects based on engaging the audience with entertaining and useful content (especially on social media) are the present and the future of communication. They will evolve fast, as they have done through the last decade, so format, players and technologies will change, and big data will have a significant role in the process, but the trend is clear: people get engaged with brands when brands speak their language and give them not just products and promotions, but also valuable (useful and/or entertaining) content. Think about where Amazon is headed: the biggest e-commerce company investing in original tv series and a whole video content platform which is already challenging Netflix 📺. This must mean something.

What would you recommend a student to do, to jump into this world?

👁️👁️ Look around you, in every direction. On social media, of course: follow brands, influencers, other creative professionals. But then, let every other experience inspire you: videogames, tv series, books, art exhibitions, music. The best ideas come from mixing different fields. Be curious. That’s definitely the best advice I can give.

Last one: why a student should join Reply? 😉

It’s a challenging workplace, with a lot of opportunity to meet smart professionals from every field (close to yours or very different, it doesn’t matter: it’s always inspiring and useful to share knowledge, ideas, projects with talented people). It’s a fast growing and evolving context, where proactivity and curiosity are rewarded:

If you want to test your potential, you should apply now.

Want to know more about Reply and our opened positions? ✉️➡ ️SEND YOUR CV

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