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Creating Content That Resonates With Your Audience In engaging storytelling, it becomes easier to explain the brand's values and crystallize its value proposition.

By Diego Abba

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As any other CEO, my focus is on communicating our innovative business model and our value proposition. It all starts with the capability to engage in a two-way conversation with the customers, by utilizing storytelling that is compelling along with being able to incorporate reactions, ideas and feedback. Through engaging storytelling, it becomes easier to explain the brand's values and crystallize its value proposition. It also works towards motivating both the organization and the customers.

As an e-commerce portal, our model is to have unlimited offering, from Elie Saab to Gucci or Balenciaga, fast product discovery and zero inventory cost, at a price point that is on average 30% lower than traditional retailers while maintaining Italist's brand name and the exclusive relationship with the customers. For instance, using video is a much more powerful way to narrate a story and to communicate to a vast audience, regardless if it is a corporate video, or a 10 second Instagram story. Videos can highlight new business models in a connected emotional way.

There are three key actions that a company needs to adopt to create engaging content:

Firstly, re-think the way you engage with your customer
Focus on the interactive relationship with the customers by "mastering" social media. For an e-commerce site, how to engage with customers had changed dramatically over the past several years; for example, few weeks ago, an influencer from LA, who is also on the TV show "Rich Kids of Beverly Hills" and has one million followers, posted a thank you note to Italist spontaneously having no prior engagement with us. Dorothy Wang highlighted very well the two key advantages of our site, the vast selection from 1,000 luxury brands and the lower pricing while receiving 36,000 likes.

In fact, in her post, she mentions, "When you find the shoes. Those who follow my stories might remember that I could not find these Louboutin So Kate in my size to complete my birthday ensemble anywhere! I am so happy my savvy friend KC Sukamto told me about Italist and I want to share it with anyone searching for a hard to find item!! My shoes also ended up being a little less than what I would normally pay (yay for Italian pricing) and the automatic express two-day shipping got them to me in time for the festivities! Happy birthday to me!!!"

Related: How To Make Your Business Messaging Effective In The Age Of Video

Secondly, evolve your strategy on the marketing campaign, particularly on video ads
The traditional strategy on branding is sequential: from the brief to the creative agency to the format produced and the media buying allocation of budget and GRP's to different publishers, with the purpose to reach the customers to achieve the purchasing of the products. This strategy needs to be changed as it is still often based on a one-way communication flow that has to be a two-way channel. Furthermore, the objective is to have promoters, not just loyal customers. Engagement is the objective and videos are great tools to create engagement.

Thirdly, change the way you think of segmentation - it has to be through a segmentation matrix
It would be too easy if building advocacy would be just understanding one generation, or the most talked about one, the millennials. We should start focusing on Generation Z (born from the mid-nineties to late 2000).

This is the generation that is truly digital native; hence they are very tech savvy. They are also considered innovative and globally connected; hence they are the most multicultural and diverse generation. This is also the generation that was born in a more unstable world and witnessed the financial crisis early on. Thus, they are way more self-aware and self-reliant. Let's also remember that the Baby Boomers are still, if not the most, a relevant generation in term of purchasing power and the vast majority browse and shop online. Finally, we have Generation X that buys online and checks emails regularly, while responding well to personalized offers based on purchases patterns and interests.

Hence, to start designing a marketing strategy, we need a more articulate segmentation approach. Think of a segmentation matrix, where the Y-axis represents the various generations and the X-axis the demographic factors.

To conclude, here are the three key takeaways.

Diego Abba

Chief Executive Officer of Italist Inc.

Diego Abba is the Chief Executive Officer of Italist Inc., a global marketplace for Italian luxury multi-brand boutiques and brands, based in Los Angeles. Abba is the former CEO of Sleepy Giant, a game publisher and technology provider, participated by TPG Capital and CAA. He is also on the Board of Directors of New Design Charter Schools, a nonprofit that is focusing on providing quality education for East Los Angeles and Watts.


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