The rules that govern content/brand relationships with consumers have changed A LOT in the past few years. In this video, Jim Sabey (who helps manage Beyoncé’s brand) rallies against clickbait compulsions and insists instead on being authentic in how you present content to your followers.
Jim Sabey: When we first launched Beyoncé.com, I was fascinated by the fact that a good 80 percent of our traffic came from Facebook referrals as kids would use the news feed as — they’d go and like all the brands that they were interested in and then as they appeared in the news feed, it would bounce out to whatever piece of information that they were interested in learning more about. And, you know, that has changed dramatically over time. The way your core audience is finding new talent is very complicated and it’s very cluttered, which is really the right word — cluttered. You find a tremendous amount of outlets that are trying to figure out how to be effective editing tools, you know. A perfect example, you know, YouTube is a fantastic video-delivery service. It’s an absolutely terrifyingly bad editing solution. Being able to serve up content to people who want to see like-minded things becomes very complicated, you know. Most people said to me, which I thought was fascinating, is that they spend an inordinate amount of time whether it’s through referral, whether it’s my friend saw a great band last night at a club in Chicago, or I saw this awesome video from this really cool artist out of London or, you know, here’s these five new acts that I think are super talented. There becomes an editing process that you’re having your social network do for you, which essentially is the basis of social media. I mean it’s allowing your network to influence what you’re interested in. Then there’s a whole group of people who are just looking for controversial headlines that I think are incredibly inauthentic. And you’re just looking to trick people into clicking on your story in order to drive information. And I think you do yourself a disservice most times if brands look to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves, you know. We did something recently and I’ll leave names out of it, but where a television show created a very sensational trailer that had nothing to do with what the piece of media was about. But because the trailer was so sensational there was an expectation of what was supposed to occur the following day. And there were a lot of disappointed individuals when they tuned in the next day and the story was what the story was. And it was interesting and it was a learning exercise and it was meant to be something very organic. And because of that idea of packaging and trying to drive viewership in an inauthentic manner, you pissed a lot of people off. And frankly at the end of the day I think you damaged your own brand.