Written by Lisa Lewis on July 4, 2013
in Content Strategy

“Even though content marketing is 100+ years old, we are in the middle of a revolution. Total consumer control, combined with an absence of technology barriers for brands, has resulted in a content marketing renaissance.” Joe Pulizzi (Founder, Content Marketing Institute)

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the first CMA Content Marketing Show, hosted by our very own Baron Manett Senior Vice-President, Strategy, Ariad Communications. Content experts empowered the audience with learning that covered:

  • Methods of evaluating content marketing strategies and tactics
  • How to operationalize content for both B2C and B2B marketing
  • How to measure the ROI of content marketing
  • How to sell content both internally and externally as valuable tool
  • Approaches to syndication
  • About trends and research in marketing with content

We can all acknowledge that today’s consumer is inundated with brand requests to “like”, “follow”, “click here”, a variety of requests to show some love and attention. Then layer on the more traditional advertising that follows us everywhere we go, in the car, on the street, in the shopping mall and even in the bathroom! So how do brands breakthrough and make a meaningful connection to their consumer in an environment that is unprecedented in its competitiveness?

Enter the art of story-telling. 

“The cultivation of purposeful stories that scale and spread to create value.” Shane Grant, Coca Cola

Tamara Steiber (Director of Content Strategy, Totem), engaged conference attendees with her presentation on “The next generation of content curators” as she related the content curator to the fashion stylist.  “It’s not just about creating content anymore. There has been a shift in paradigm and today, it’s all about getting noticed making an impact and being relevant.”

This remarkably fast paced and ever evolving communications environment creates an ongoing challenge for marketers. The thought of consistently developing and aggregating appropriate and engaging content can be overwhelming. The fact is that many companies already own huge inventories of content that they are not leveraging.  “Content” is so much more than just words on a page, it can be found in an engaging presentation, video, pictures, personal stories from employees and customers, and the list goes on. Listen, learn and share!

Brenda Demers (Marketing Manager, Savoury, Unilever Canada) reiterated this sentiment, “Content already exists in your organization.  Determine the unmet content needs your audience has, what are they looking for, what value exchange can your brand provide and then identify the places they are most receptive to receiving.”

One of the poignant take-aways from the conference came from Shane Grant, Vice-President, Sparkling Beverages Business Unit Canada, Coca-Cola.

Coca Cola’s secret formula for great content:

  1. Be shareworthy
  2. Celebrate your customers and downplay the product.
  3. Speed trumps perfection
  4. Lagging top gain perfection puts you behind the game…Fast – not perfect.
  5. Disrupt
  6. If you don’t disrupt you will die.
  7.  Constantly re-imagine
  8. Be inspired by the past and consistently reinvent the future.
  9. 1:1 Experience is the foundation
  10. We are not telling our story we are empowering consumers to be the story.
  11. Play well
  12. Culture & Capability (Empowerment not hierarchy and real-time response capability) Technology (That enables decision makers)
  13. Measurement (Learning loops)
  14. Simplify

And one extra, yet essential ingredient, create content that matters!

To paraphrase one of Ariad’s Content Strategists and conference video speaker, Chad Story, content marketing is not a trend or a fad, it’s always been about content.

Companies must realize that they are not just selling their brands any more.  It truly is “the people” selling the brands: customers, prospects and influencers. These “people” need a reason to believe in “your” brand.

As marketers we must orchestrate participation, stay tuned in to the spirit and culture of the day, be real (savvy consumers can sniff out affectation) and create amazing content.

The most fundamental learning I gleaned from The CMA Content Marketing Show is to recognize that a great content strategy is required in order to create, maintain and nurture your company’s content.

If you’re looking to explore this idea in more detail be sure to download our whitepaper: Content Changes Everything.

 

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