Digital 2020: The opportunities and bear traps
On Wednesday, we hosted a breakfast seminar on the opportunities and bear traps that digital brings to corporate communications.
Our panel featured experts from Channel 4, Telford Homes, Headland Consultancy and Bowen Craggs & Co. Each panel member us a real insight by sharing their experiences and opinions on maintaining effective online communications.
Opportunities and bear traps
The continuing importance of corporate websites was emphasised throughout the session. These are still viewed as the “authoritative home of corporate narrative” and as such, they need to be continually reviewed and polished.
We discussed four fundamentals of good digital practice. These include:
01. Ease of navigation and search
02. Attractive design
03. Relevant (multiform) content for key audiences
04. A multi-device approach
In part, the list reflects the Bowen Craggs & Co Index of Online Excellence 2018 which ranks the best online corporate communicators and was outlined during the seminar.
We agreed that upholding a strong reputation was crucial. There’s a need for companies to have a well-authored corporate website that reflects their purpose and personality for all stakeholders (investors, media, job seekers, NGOs etc).
Netflix, Amazon and GSK (current leader of the Bowen Craggs & Co Index of Online Excellence 2018) were mentioned as star examples. These firms combine traditional corporate content with engaging editorials and stories which humanise them.
Form and content
We discussed the best content formats for online consumption (e.g. short form, long form video), but the consensus was that content should be compelling and enticing before anything else.
It was observed how successful firms instil a spirit of pride and ownership of their online communications internally so that employees are keen and willing to contribute to developing content.
Goal-setting was also up for debate. We agreed that a realistic and manageable number of KPIs can act as a credible means of measuring effectiveness – but these must consider the needs of audiences, not just the company.
We talked about social media presence and engagement, and particularly the increase in paid corporate social campaigns. While it was noted that these aren’t for everyone, Smurfit Kappa, Lloyds and Just Eat were mentioned as noteworthy examples.
What could the future hold?
Personalisation and localisation of websites could become more prevalent as companies increase the sophistication and relevance of their online communications to more specific audiences.
Meanwhile, as the cost of VR and AR decreases, a similar trend could potentially occur with these technologies. However, we noted that adoption and interest to date has been rather mixed and faddish.
Crucially, the relevance and impact of these technologies must be assessed in detail before being used. There’s a fear that some companies will be too eager to follow a trend without proper thought.
The importance of measurement is expected to prevail, and perhaps become more crucial, with companies eager to fully understand engagement levels and ROI.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the topics mentioned above please contact Lloyd Nicely, Client Director at [email protected].