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Customer Experiences: Content is King of Connection

As Customers Become Active Content Creators, Personalization and Community Grow Into Key Features

From special interest communities to video games, consumers are connecting in new ways —and this seems to be particularly relevant as a post-pandemic new normal is setting in. Customer experiences are revealing trends in consumer participation, driving more activity in community-building. We’re also seeing brands serving as platforms as a way to help more people engage, connect and better understand themselves.

The opposite is also true. As machine learning and algorithms are becoming increasingly embedded in the customer experience, content hyper-personalization is rising as a strong value proposition for brands. We take a closer look into how brands are moving past standardization to designing experiences around individual customers. 

Brands are quickly discovering that it’s not enough to simply produce and share content. Customers now seek out more active participation and creation in brand experiences. From Spotify podcasts to Tik Tok, consumers are no longer passive spectators but active creators, sharing their own meaning. Let’s explore what some brands are doing.

Customer Experiences Provide Content Within Content

Brands have recently started viewing customers with a new lens. One that shifts its sights from passive consumers to active creator-consumers. Some brands are already incorporating the change into their customer experiences via content. Spotify is already testing a new podcast format. Typically, listeners only hear music brief samples during podcasts. The new format will allow audiences to listen to entire music tracks during shows, giving podcast hosts full usage without copyright restrictions.

Hulu Viewers Go From Remote Control to Ultimate Control With Ads

To offer consumers a more personalized experience, Hulu has recently launched choice-based ads. The streaming service will create a customer experience that will allow viewers to select which ads they prefer to see from a brand. The move reflects a viewer-first approach. By giving viewers choices, advertisers can connect with consumers with more engagement and less disruption. And Liquid is already playing a part, premiering our first choice-based ad campaign on Hulu’s new feature.

AOC Joins Forces With Twitch: Engaging With Gamers, Connecting With Voters

From one-way to two-way communication, consumers want content they can interact with while getting to know brands. In one recent and successful example of our 2020 elections, the brand was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the platform was Twitch. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez joined others on the livestreaming game platform for a round of Among Us. Leading up to and during her gaming, she directed Twitch audiences to voting resources and polls. AOC’s Twitch debut ultimately drew more than 400,000 viewers.

Audiences Rewrite the Storytelling Model

For years, brands have taken the mantle of storytellers. But some are investing in “story framing.” This emerging construct offers consumers space within a customer experience to affect their own content. And Netflix’s new interactive show is leading the way. It’s choose-your-own-adventure format puts a survival show host’s fate in the hands of viewers. Consumers are empowered to take an active role, deepening their engagement and connection with the brand that’s providing the story framing structure.


Co-creation and Experiencing Community In Real Time

With audiences’ growing desire for more connection through co-creation, brands are responding by finding content that leverages and brings communities together. Such is the case with R/Layer, a creative platform made available through a Reddit and Adobe partnership. The brand experience provides an online community where users can collaborate in real-time over a digital canvas.