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2013 – A curtain-raiser for content

DURING the year ahead marketers will spend more money than ever before on generating original and charismatic content.

If you look back at the big viral video successes of 2012, Red Bull’s “space jump” ranks among the most memorable, and rightly so. The challenge for brands this year is to emulate such creativity and generate content which will capture the imagination of millions around the world.

Ogilvy in Singapore will be at the forefront of this content revolution. There were raised eyebrows among PR firms at last month’s World Islamic Economic Forum in Johor Bahru when Ogilvy PR turned up with our own team of journalists, producers, cameramen and editors.

As well as facilitating the traditional print and broadcast media for the global event, we were also there to provide the client with original content for broadcast. A clear line in the sand was drawn and it was worth it if only to see the puzzled expressions of our competition.

2013 will be the year where we move from the traditional public relations package to a more content-driven service offering.

We will move beyond simply writing commentary and analysis pieces for clients to dreaming up world-beating ways of engineering global media events, videos which go viral and other creative ways of transforming our clients into thought leaders.

Average spending on content last year for companies with more than 1,000 employees was more than $1.2 million. This year that figure is expected to rise and it is our job to challenge ourselves to drive the kind of great ideas which will convince those in charge of such budgets to commit financially.

Experts predict that content marketing will rival traditional forms of advertising.

Already the evidence proves convincingly that websites with high-grade, regular content updates get more customers every month.

Those websites who stuff their sites with keyword search tricks and low-level material are quickly found up.

In short, investing in content makes good business sense. Quality is at the heart of any good, integrated marketing strategy and it creates a more meaningful, lasting relationship with stakeholders.

Some 70 per cent of consumers prefer getting to know a company through articles rather than adverts, and 60 per cent of them feel more positive about firms after reading custom content on their sites.

The great part of this for those of us at the forefront of such change is that it represents popular journalism and its fresh and original best. During the middle part of the last century, the media had to move beyond traditional news to compete for readers and viewers.

This is what we have to do with the digital space available to us.

The modern day blog or video diary need to be unwatchable. With great content we can transform our CEOs and business leaders into the great newspaper columnists and thought leaders of tomorrow.

We must constantly challenge our clients, by asking: “What stories could you be telling?”

Info-graphics are going to make a massive breakthrough in 2013. Complex concepts can be transformed into the visual story-telling. The creativity of the artwork inspires while the way the information is disseminated makes the reader marvel.

Platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Google, Twitter and LinkedIn are still the preferred options but there are partnerships to be had for clients within such spheres.

Just look out for those citizen journalists, bedroom tweeters or viral video-makers in your area and see what can be achieved.

The quality of on-line video content is fast-evolving and in many cases on par with traditional broadcast output.

If your clients are producing inspirational work and want to tell the world about it, then content should be king and the story-telling should sing.

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