Fluid Content for Fluid Experiences

A few days ago, my col­league, the always very sharp and inter­est­ing Vijayan­ta Gup­ta, pub­lished an arti­cle on the need to cre­ate flu­id expe­ri­ences in online retail­ing.

In this arti­cle, Vijayan­ta explains that we are now in the gold­en age of the con­sumer, a gold­en age dom­i­nat­ed by what the con­sumer wants. To win, brands must offer flu­id expe­ri­ences that are adapt­ed to con­sump­tion behav­iours, com­bin­ing mul­ti­ple touch­points and facil­i­tat­ing the pas­sage from one chan­nel to anoth­er.

Interactions: The end of fixed sequences

This arti­cle reminds me of a dis­cus­sion I had recent­ly with the cre­ative direc­tor of a major com­mu­ni­ca­tions agency, when he explained to me the trans­for­ma­tion of his job and talked about cre­at­ing “flu­id con­tent.”

What did he mean by that?

He meant that it is no longer pos­si­ble for a brand to see the inter­ac­tions with its audi­ence as fixed sequences, with a begin­ning, a mid­dle, and an end.

Brands can no longer build a mar­ket­ing or com­mu­ni­ca­tion oper­a­tion based sole­ly on media buy­ing, as some still do. Rather, they need to rely on a brand con­tent approach: the con­tent needs to be inter­est­ing and stir curios­i­ty first. The brand must then posi­tion itself, by tak­ing advan­tage of the inter­est gen­er­at­ed, on this return on atten­tion.

The notion of fluid content

What does it mean to rely on flu­id con­tent? And, first, what is flu­id con­tent?

Flu­id con­tent means that it is no longer about pro­duc­ing long videos or writ­ing arti­cles that should be con­sumed one after the oth­er, in an order defined by the agency and the brand. Rather, it is more a ques­tion of pro­duc­ing mul­ti­ple short pieces of con­tent, rather fun­ny (to engage and cre­ate prox­im­i­ty), that will be pub­lished both on pro­pri­etary plat­forms (brand­ed sites) and on social net­works, where the audi­ences are.

This con­tent is said to be flu­id because it’s con­sum­able with­out a spe­cif­ic order, depend­ing on users’ wish­es. They will obvi­ous­ly be pushed dur­ing spe­cif­ic moments, but users won’t need to see them in a spe­cif­ic order or see them all to under­stand the mes­sage. In fact, it is a delin­eari­sa­tion of the mar­ket­ing cam­paign, where the sequence is less impor­tant than the pres­ence.

By con­sum­ing part of this con­tent on social net­works, part on media sites, and anoth­er part on brand­ed sites, users will be immersed in a vari­ety of con­tent, which will gen­er­ate inter­ac­tions among Inter­net users first (such as shares and com­ments), then with the brand. The lat­ter won’t arrive until long after, rely­ing on the con­nivance cre­at­ed around the con­tent.

This where we find the flu­id­i­ty: in the capac­i­ty to push con­tent on mul­ti­ple plat­forms, in allow­ing every­one to appro­pri­ate it, in a mul­ti­chan­nel approach that does not cut con­tent accord­ing to the media but instead accord­ing to users’ inter­ests.

Two essential elements for fluid contents

This flu­id­i­ty also comes from two com­ple­men­tary and essen­tial ele­ments:

  • The data: One must be able to mea­sure the per­for­mance of each piece of con­tent, the con­sump­tion spaces, and the inter­ac­tions gen­er­at­ed. This helps give cre­ative peo­ple more ideas for pro­duc­ing new con­tent, which will be pub­lished over time, depend­ing on the insights com­ing from these data.
  • Time: The idea is to stop focus­ing on short cam­paigns, and instead focus on approach­es ori­ent­ed toward brand­ing, which take time. These approach­es are less about cam­paigns than about posi­tion­ing, vis­i­bil­i­ty, com­mit­ment, and build­ing rela­tion­ships.

So, are you ready for flu­id con­tent? Ready to for­get the clas­sic com­mer­cial approach with mul­ti­ple for­mats? Ready to posi­tion dig­i­tal as the focal point of your new adver­tis­ing approach? In any case, your cus­tomers are! Do not make them wait.

If you did want to learn more about flu­id con­tent and expe­ri­ence, do join us at our Adobe Sum­mit EMEA, we would love to see you there.

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