The content crunch

By Katie Wilter, Copywriter

“Getting information off the internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.” – Mitchell Kapor

At the Integrated Marketing Conference in Cape Town earlier this year, Director of Content Strategy at Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town Melissa Attree kicked off her presentation entitled, “How effective Content Strategy can strengthen campaigns and boost customer engagement in an omnichannel world” with the above quote. And it couldn’t be more true of the current online content landscape.

Today’s millennials are bombarded with online white noise and they’re turning a blind eye to many brand communications unless they’re being offered content on their social media newsfeeds that really resonates with their interests and aspirations. Why would they want to be blasted with a fire hydrant at full force?

A top of mind example of content that is catching millennials’ attention is VICE. Their editorial team creates lifestyle content that is honest, raw and downright hilarious.

On a recent business trip to Barcelona with four very lucky Inner Circle members, I learnt that the four techno-savvy millennials had sourced Barcelona travel tips on VICE by reading an article written by a Barca local, The VICE Guide to Barcelona 2014. Today’s audiences don’t want generic information that is duplicated on various  websites; they want the real deal – the inside scoop.

As a content queen, it’s sometimes frustrating trying to explain why content marketing is a great investment for brands’ bottom lines. This is because it is tricky to measure content marketing initiative’s success as a contributor to sales. And in digital advertising, numbers sometimes speak louder than words. However, it is possible, as Kraft’s success suggests.

Kraft’s content strategy generated 1.1billion impressions in a year and they reported that:

“Content marketing has a 4 x better ROI than traditional advertising.” – Kraft

You see, rich content adds value for customers and builds trust. Instead of constantly shoving strong calls-to-action and over-worked advertising jargon down consumers’ throats; sometimes a better approach is to take a step back and tell your brand’s story in a way that will hit the right spot in audience’s hearts and minds.

So how should you effectively implement content marketing into your brand’s overall strategy? Here are a few key take-outs from Melissa Attree’s presentation that offer some simple solutions:

  1. Repurpose and repackage content that you already have
  2. Invest in content and tell stories differently
  3. Make content marketing central to your business
  4. Focus on customer-centric solutions
  5. Be open to collaboration – merge efforts with experts in their field
  6. Activate your existing base – ask community what they want
  7. Plan / Maintain / Measure
  8. Prioritise quality over quantity

Think about it.

“3.2 billion people around the world use the internet today. 2.2 billion of them use social media every month.” We Are Social.

So if you want your brand to be noticed online at all, you can’t just add to the endless archives of mediocre content. You need to share your story differently, in the right place and in a more human way.