Does your content marketing need to be “woke”?

Thu, 13/12/2018 - 09:00

In today’s day and age, it’s time to ask the question: should your content marketing efforts be woke or remain sound asleep? Okay, so to start off with – for those who aren’t millennials – according to Urban Dictionary, “woke” is defined as:

 “Although an incorrect tense of awake, a reference to how people should be aware in current affairs.” 

Or, alternatively, it has been referred to by another Urban Dictionary user as: 

“Getting woke is like being in the Matrix and taking the red pill. You get a sudden understanding of what's really going on and find out you were wrong about much of what you understood to be truth.”

Basically, if your business’s blog posts, white papers, videos and other types of content are socially conscious, they’re “woke”. Meaning, your brand is associated with being conscious of what is happening in the world outside of the industry your business operates in. That doesn’t simply mean that you produce great content that doesn’t offend your target audience by stepping on toes, but rather that your brand takes a stand, that your brand has an opinion. And that opinion is open-minded and conscientious.  

Brands being woke isn’t about snowflakes
You may think that your brand doesn’t need to bother with being woke because your consumers aren’t whiny millennial snowflakes. Well, here’s the thing, aside from the fact that those whiny millennial snowflakes’ buying power is on the rise, you don’t need to be easily offended to care about the world around you. Your content marketing strategies should take into account that people have opinions and these opinions are driven by their values. And being woke is about being open to changing the world around you by delving into those values and what they mean to you. 

Traditional marketing is doing it
Billboard, radio and TV ads may be old school when it comes to marketing your products or services, but they’ve been pretty new school when it comes to being woke. Big brands like Always are giving their marketing agencies the full go-ahead to influence the buying cycle with socially-conscious advertising. So, shouldn’t your content strategy follow suit?

But then again, content marketing isn’t advertising
And that means that it can’t afford to simply sit there, say nothing and be pretty. Content is your brand’s way of interacting with the world, not pushing a product. While your content does need to drive results, in order to do so, it needs to communicate with people on their level and people are becoming more woke than ever before. In order to speak to people on their level, you need to care about what they care about and not in a superficial way. 

So, how do you wake up your brand?
Social networks, comments sections and forums are all filled with the opinions of people who care enough to put their values out there on display. Okay, so maybe some of them are not good values and are highly problematic, but your content marketing agency should be smart enough to know the difference. You can rely on case studies all you want, but at the end of the day, you should also be looking at what your target market is saying online. Pretend they’re your ex and stalk them online for a bit, you’ll soon find out everything you need to know. 

Well, by now you may have realised that the answer to the question “Does your content marketing need to be woke?” is yes, yes it does. However the degree of wokeness that your brand displays should be based on what you’re selling. For example, if your business manufactures plastic straws, maybe stay away from that conversation and find other ways to be socially conscious.

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