Global head of innovation and content at Vizeum Global Management Tia Castagno shares her thoughts on the generating data-informed content at scale discussion from DMexco 2015.
Most brands of today are facing a ‘manufacturing problem’, as Dee Salomon put it in her opening introduction, a problem creating enough good content. Stories these days come in a river via social newsfeed, providing great variety for people but certainly causing a challenge for brands to stand out in this flow and not drown.
In addition, the paradox of data technology is that we can now segment audiences in different groups, with different needs, which is fantastic news for brands but it further enhances the importance of creating even more content that really matters to specific audiences. This is certainly a familiar story across all the brands that Vizeum works with.
The million-dollar question came early on, why has content marketing become so important all of a sudden?
Popsugar’s view was that the move of traffic from display to mobile has had a huge impact on that. Brands today have to become storytellers in order to get attention via mobile. Apps (and here I mean mainly social/chat apps) amount for 90% of time spent on mobile, which further stresses the importance of becoming a storyteller in order to participate in this exchange.
NewsCred’s view was that content marketing is so much more possible. As publishers have reinvented themselves over the past few years. This has created a new environment for brands and made content the way they can enter that conversation. The opportunities for brands are generally real and authentic; it’s not just marketing disguised as content. Brands often have great expertise in a specific area, such as Wholefoods for nutrition, NorthFace for outdoor living and Red Bull for extreme sports.
Celtra added that it is also the power of data firing content marketing forward, as brands can establish almost in real time what is working, what isn’t and react accordingly, hence making their comms more effective and efficient.
However, OneSpot invited us not to forget that in some industries people still buy media for the ads. Think of fashion and Vogue, made by ads for 60% of its content. Ads in this case do become content, very resonating, which we can fully confirm from our experience working with three high fashion brands at Vizeum.
On to the second million-dollar question: how does data impact how brands can create better content, and better engagement as a result?
People are used to a completely different experience on mobile compared to Web, as Onespot first then Celtra elaborated. Everything is personalised. If I open my Uber app my usual car choice appears. If I open notes, I have my notes. If I open Spotify, I have my music.
All the data collected via mobile devices is finally starting to be used to create better content, and we have seen so many examples that content marketing can be Content with the capital C. Most content marketing still shows poor efforts, according to NewsCred. That’s why content marketing gets a bad name, because marketers don’t think enough about what their audience really likes, getting under their skin via data.
The best brands are really thinking like publishers. The more brands that can behave like that, the better content there will be out there.
The third and last really interesting topic that captured my attention was the reinvention of journalism that content marketing has fuelled, as editorial talent is now being employed by brands. Brands are starting to build ‘editorial wards’, as NewsCred creatively labeled them, made of a few journalists (often even just one) that then bring in different expertise, via freelancers or publishers…
This collaboration is contributing to the creation of great quality content, whether explicitly for marketing purposes or not. Content marketing isn’t a campaign, more a ‘trust transaction’ (NewsCred).
We see many more collaboration being built, also across a brand’s agency ecosystem, as PR, media and creative all join forces and cross-pollinate.