Our industry loves a buzzword, and the latest one bouncing around is this seven-letter beauty: "CONTENT".
A slightly dull and insignificant word on its own (sounds like it refers to an accountants spreadsheet), until one prefaces it with any of the following: inspiring, engaging... rewarding... exciting... you get the picture.
Yes, it seems “content” is the answer to all our problems.
No-one visiting your website? Get some inspiring content.
No-one buying your stuff? Get some rewarding content.
No-one commenting on your blog? Get some engaging content!
So like all good creative types I did a bit of research to find out what this magical content was and where I could get some.
Then, it dawned on me... there’s nothing new or magical about “content”. It’s what we’ve been doing since I started in this business and what copywriters and art directors were doing for years before that.
We create content every day. We tell stories... and yes, they are engaging and interesting and all that stuff because they have to be because, guess what? No one’s going to take notice if it isn’t.
Direct mail, email, websites, video, blogs, tweets - whatever the format - it has to engage and inspire our audience through brilliant writing, beautiful art and bright insights.
Yes. It’s time for creatives across the land to stand up and reclaim content.
Say it loud: “I’m a content specialist and proud!”
The real revolution
It turns out the really innovative thinking is in how all this lovely content is being delivered.
We don’t just create for one channel anymore. A video on a website becomes a banner ad becomes an email becomes tweeted, becomes liked, becomes a YouTube sensation...
Ideas need to be re-purposed so they can be delivered across all these channels for multiple audiences.
For example, we recently made a series of short documentaries for Asus/Intel’s In Search Of Incredible campaign, directed by the brilliant Asif Kapadia (Senna) and featuring the very talented Jason Mraz, which were edited to make shorter and more palatable for MTV’s audience.
Painful, but when they are reaching an audience of tens of thousands, who are all clicking through to view our website I’m not going to complain too much and neither is our client.
And this is the really clever bit
We’re now creating audiences, not just targeting them.
We can actively talk to MTV viewers who will engage with Jason Mraz and his music, while at the same time we can build a following of filmmakers and film buffs with an interest in Asif Kapadia’s latest project.
We can borrow their following and bring them all to our website, where they’ll be entertained, and inspired to add their own creative ideas, express their opinions and connect with others, extending their contacts and building communities.
They may not all head off to buy the latest ASUS laptop today but they’ll have engaged, they’ll have enjoyed the experience and started a relationship with their brand for tomorrow.
You can see the latest In Search Of Incredible film, with Jason Mraz, directed by Asif Kapadia here.
Goodfellas (the film not the pizzas)