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In early 2011 I put together a simple video for a friend's band for a song they made referencing a certain (lonely) dictator.
It was uploaded to YouTube and had been seen by a handful of people; however on December 17 that year the viewing figures suddenly skyrocketed.
The despot in question had died, and I was the unexpected beneficiary of some web traffic.
Something I had long forgotten about was suddenly being watched by thousands of people!
The top 10 list of storytelling brands in the UK usually includes Apple, Cadbury, IKEA and Walkers.
But looking at the annual list from AESOP, it's Virgin Media that jumps out at me as a storytelling brand that breaks the mould.
Here I round up some of its activity that falls into my nebulous understanding of storytelling.
Let me know if you agree.
Five years ago if you were a brand and you wanted to make a video, you went to a video agency, begged them to make it more viral than h5n1 and paid through the nose for the privilege.
If you wanted an infographic you went to a design agency, if you wanted to write editorial you went to a PR agency etc…
Your content creation was almost completely outsourced and, unless you had a reasonably serious budget, a great content marketing campaign was probably beyond you.
That couldn’t be further from the truth today, brands have a wealth of tools that allow them to create highly professional content without the traditional agency brief.
The following are just five examples of the kinds of companies that are driving this change.
Shipping and engineering are inherently cool.
I thought I'd take a quick scoot through the websites of General Electric, Siemens and Maersk and check out what sorts of content they provide to market.
It's by no means an exhaustive journey, but hopefully it will give you some links to check out and some inspiration for your own B2B content.
These behemoth sized B2B companies, in the case of Maersk, make great use of their heritage. For GE and Siemens, the task is more about appearing imaginative and innovative and almost appearing as synecdoche or at least flag bearer for particular industries, i.e. an indisputable authority.
Let's take a look.
Forget the hard sell and the dry press release. Audiences have wised up, so give them high-quality content that they can really engage with.
For anyone who’s experienced the following phrase bellowed at them across the boardroom by a senior executive “we should get into content marketing, everyone’s doing it, Coca-Cola’s doing it, BMW is doing it, Red Bull is doing it, we should be doing it too” then this is for you...
Content marketing is everyone’s favourite hot new digital marketing phrase right now, yet the truth is that while the label has grown in popularity, the notion that content marketing is anything new isn’t quite correct.
What the imaginary senior executive above doesn’t realise is that his company has actually been making content for years. It just hasn’t been called as such until recently.
The company has been creating blog posts, surveys, whitepapers and reports for the entire length of its existence. In many cases, it understands the power of content and how it can keep its existing audience happy and engaged.
However the new era of content marketing brings with it more of a tactical focus: in seeking to help audience growth, generate new leads, spread brand awareness and improve brand perception on a much larger scale.
In line with this, content marketing roles are being created and teams are being restructured across an incredibly diverse range of industries. Content marketing has become an umbrella term, one that bonds together five different disciplines – editorial, marketing, PR, SEO and social media – in order to focus on one long-term marketing strategy.
Here I've rounded up some brands that are successful with content marketing.
I hope you won't have seen all of my examples. Some of them have heritage in content, and some don't.
For more case studies, subscribers can check out the Econsultancy archive.
Ashley Friedlein, Econsultancy CEO, kicked off 2014 by pointing to six trends of note in advertising.
These were real-time bidding, native advertising, video advertising, targeting, localised and geo-targeting, and mobile advertising.
Unilever is a company that continues to innovate in advertising. Let’s look at how.
Repurposing content is a fundamental part of inbound marketing activity. Or it should be if it currently isn’t.
Repurposing content is relatively easy and doesn’t require a large amount of time or budget, but can be really effective.
Do you repurpose your content? If not then this post explains what it is, how it will benefit your brand, and then looks at examples of three brands who are Jedi masters at the practice.
The World Cup, along with the Olympics, comes by once every four years and is therefore a good assay of changing media habits and technology.
Twitter users have doubled since the last World Cup in 2010. Live TV streaming is available from all the main broadcasters and the user experience of laptop and tablet TV-streaming continues to improve.
Mobile has been the main driver of social media consumption and increasing demand for real-time content. Additionally, user generated content is easier than ever to gather, as new devices and new users become more adept and involved online.
So, what should marketers expect to come out of Brazil and World Cup 2014? In this post I’m going to take a look at some of the brands involved so far and their efforts, as well as looking at lessons that can be drawn from the London Olympics in 2012.
Being first with a piece of content isn't necessarily a guarantee of victory in the traffic stakes, but in timely situations the sooner you can join the party the better.
When news breaks, and there's a legitimate reason for your brand to share its voice then it's all systems go to collaborate with your PR and marketing teams to produce something that will capture the attention of your audience.
It’s the end of another month and therefore it’s time again to crawl through the six second efforts from brands both small and gigantic in order to bring you the very best mini advertorial marvels.
We have everything here from nuclear lizards, ultra-low budget remakes of classic car chases to some mind-bending perspective fun.
So strap yourself in for exactly two minutes of entertainment. Longer if you stop to read my various witterings.
As part of my job, I spend quite a lot of time sifting through applications for content roles.
In filtering potential candidates for interview, I always look very hard at the covering emails or LinkedIn summary that accompanies the CV.
You can learn a lot about what makes someone a good planner or creator of marketable content from the CVs and covering letters of those who don't quite have what it takes…