At the end of August, brands, content creators, and influencers descended upon Park City, UT for Digiday’s Content Marketing Summit (DCMS). For three days they shared their challenges, expertise, and proven solutions for content marketing. Attendees’ existing assumptions about content marketing were challenged: what is it? How should it be created, distributed and measured? Here are some the top learnings:
Think Beyond: redefine what content marketing is and how it comes to life
As HL Ray, head of partnerships & programming at Samsung, beautifully stated, “In the connected age, brands need to relate to consumers in a new way and move from transaction to interaction.” No longer does it suffice to push content down to consumers in a unidirectional way. Brands need to embrace the era of social, local, mobile and two way communications. Thinking beyond the era of disruption, how can you truly add value to a consumer’s experience of your product/service?
Re-examine your content-marketing strategy with these lenses: is it relevant? What is your intent? How are you measuring it? As Nag Odekar, VP of Marketing at Great-West Financial, stated: “Content creators must find new context to make people rethink their current beliefs & actions.” To that end, what contexts can you offer?
Recently, a paradigm shift has begun to redefine marketing. Instead of interrupting our daily workflow (think banners), it now aims to eliminate friction in our daily activities. The brands that succeed are those that revolutionize entire market segments (think Uber) by eliminating friction and adding value to the user experience (ease of use, convenience, actionable knowledge, etc), declared Jeff Rosenblum, founding partner at Questus.
The sky is the limit: how other brands are embracing a new definition of content marketing
Some of the brands at DCMS shared insights about how they are already doing this. Umpqua Bank, for example, wanted to get to the bottom of what blocks people from making financial decisions. With the help of behavioral psychologists, they identified a number of emotions that prevent people from making good financial decisions, as well as uncovering that money is simply a taboo topic in our society. They developed an innovative content marketing program that included initiatives such as an immersive installation to help people develop a more positive relationship with money, and a series of podcasts discussing day to day money related issues faced by average citizens and families.
Goldie Blox, a company dedicated to inspiring the next generation of female engineers, created a set of videos to disrupt the ‘pink aisle’ of girls’ toys in toy stores, which houses mostly princesses, traditional Barbies, dolls with tea sets and generally pink toys depicting women in submissive roles. The short videos, which went viral and were picked by Upworthy and the Huffington Post, featured three 7 year olds as the stars who would use the ‘traditional toys from the pink aisle’ to build highly innovative creations (like a Rube Goldberg machine to change channels).
Lastly, Samsung invested in creating 837, an immersive space in Manhattan’s Meatpacking district featuring their inventions as a means to unite humanity, technology and culture. Visitors to the space can interact with a range of technologies Samsung has created (from smartphones and wearables to VR) and enjoy experiences to which they would not otherwise have access. At the recent Olympics in Rio, they shot over 300 hours of VR content so that visitors of the 837 exhibit in New York could experience the games as if they were there in person.