Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but: content is king.
I know, nothing new. Since Bill Gates famously declared content’s place at the center of brand communications in 1996, this mantra has been lifted up and touted from a number of different angles and has always remained relevant, whether it’s SEO, B to B, traditional and on and on.
While this rule is rigid, the definition of content seems more fluid than ever. Where brand content was once confined within the distribution model of the old media – such as TV or print or radio – the maturation of the internet has reopened the interpretation of what content can be.
Now, when you taste a Coke on a hot summer day or enjoy a ride in your friend’s impressive new car, your experience is 140 characters away from being exalted and shared with a wider group of people; from being packaged and distributed as content. These brief, unprompted moments have the ability to do as much for a brand as their shiny, multi-million dollar ads (and sometimes more).
Instead of waiting and wishing for these unscripted chunks of content to emerge, smart marketers are turning to experiential methods to encourage them. Think of our world as the reality television of advertising (except the horrible examples). We don’t spend our client’s money on tightly scripted brand messages; instead, we create an experience that instills a message and provide a conduit by which consumers can share it themselves.
So Bill Gates was right (go figure). Content is king; and the more we can extend the possibilities of content, the more we can accomplish as brand marketers.