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Content will be setting the agenda over the next few days in London – but what issues should marketers be focusing on if they want to get the most from their investment in it this year? We asked some of content marketing’s leading minds (and Ad Week Europe council members) about the questions they’d like to see answered this week.
Chief Revenue Officer, Mashable
What’s the real KPI for success when I’m telling a story? Shares? Sales? Clicks? At Mashable we believe we have a different point of view on branded content because we are focused on serving content to our audience that is valuable: valuable enough to open minds, and valuable enough to share. We advise brands, in collaboration with their agencies, to find ways to engage our audience of 34 million hyper-sharers that have real credibility. If telling a story credibly isn’t your first goal, why are you telling it?
President, OMD EMEA
The role of content in the year ahead will be increasingly different for each and every brand. It’s another tactic or tool in the marketer’s armoury, but one that can play a number of roles depending on a brand’s objectives and challenges. Recent advances in technology mean branded content has become increasingly important but it cannot be used in isolation. It needs to deliver against the same objectives as any other marketing channel or plan, but do so in its own distinctive way.
Managing Director, Dennis Publishing
For many years, I have listened to lectures, publishers and editors talking about the fact that content is always king. More and more though, as we focus on native content, we have to look to its discoverability. You can write the best iPhone 5 review but if it’s not on the first page of Google there is not much point. Content may be king but discoverability is Queen and she wears the pants.
Publisher, Wired UK
Clever, considerate and sophisticated use of data is the biggest challenge for content marketing this year. Just because we can eavesdrop on people’s lives with what seems to be their consent, it does not mean that they have granted us the right to interrupt them mid-conversation. Marketers have to learn to resist the temptation to assume they are welcome and earn the right to enter the conversation.
Chief Creative Officer, Rockabox
Commitment to a continuous content-centric marketing strategy is necessary to make it work. Too often brands are thinking about content as an afterthought, a campaign add-on, just like they did with all things ‘digital’ not that long ago. The brands that have been getting the most attention recently, the likes of Netflix and Redbull, have put content front and centre of their marketing strategies and are the ones taking commitment to, investment in and execution of content to a whole new level.
Those looking to emulate them need to address the three Cs: Commitment, Cash and a Calendar. A successfully content strategy needs genuine commitment from the top of a company down. And that means a real understanding of how the information economy has changed the market and the expectations of brands by consumers. But brands also need to put their money where their mouth is, and start adopting content calendars rather than just talking about them.