Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Adnan Arnautlija
In a series of interviews that we dedicated to Content Marketing, and learning more about the field of advertising that many believe is best equipped to deal with the challenges of modern times and frenzied technology changes, our next collocutor is Rebecca Lieb, one of the foremost global authorities on Content Marketing.
Rebecca is a strategic advisor, consultant, research analyst, keynote speaker, author and columnist, whose advice and research insights are leveraged by some of the most successful global brands. She held a lecture last year at the POMP Forum, organized by PM Poslovni Mediji, where she shared her perspective on Global Content Strategy.
We caught up with her to learn where Content Marketing is going, and why it must be a part of any marketing strategy today.
MM: Last year you held a lecture at POMP Forum focusing on the biggest challenges facing multinational organizations in Content Marketing. One of the challenges you pointed out was decentralization and proper localization. Have things changed over the last year, and have some new challenges come to the forefront?
Rebecca Lieb: I don’t think that this content strategy problem will change much anytime soon. The problem is baked into organizational structure. Some regions will always dominate content. They’re either bigger, closer to power, have more money, more staff or resources, etc. Simultaneously, smaller regions, or parts of the company that are just starting up make content a lower priority, or are simply too under-resourced to manage it properly.
Yet it’s critically important that all voices be heard. Ideas can come from anywhere, and communication is the key to execution and proper localization. This tension is at the very heart of global content strategy.
MM: One of the concepts you use in your lectures is the Content Engine. What is actually Content Engine and what are its parts?
Rebecca Lieb: Several years ago I conducted research on what I like to call a Culture of Content. Companies with the most successful content strategies integrate content into everything they do, across not just marketing but also different divisions and departments, especially those that are outward-facing like HR, sales, product, and communications.
When information, ideas and content flow across these divisions and departments it creates what I like to call a content engine that creates, promotes, and encourages content to flow up and down and across the entire organization. Content, after all, doesn’t just benefit the marketing department. Everyone needs it!
MM: What should companies focus on when trying to enrich a consumer’s journey through content marketing?
Rebecca Lieb: The consumer herself! What does she want? Need? What questions is she asking, and what answers will get her to the next step in her journey? This encompasses everything from understanding her wants and needs to the language she uses. This can be hard for self-centered businesses to do than you might think. A bank, for example, thinks of itself as a “lender.” But that consumer wants to “borrow” money, not lend it. Understanding, empathy, compassion and the ability to see through the eyes of the other are critical.
MM: Many believe that the entire communications industry is gripped with fear, which stifles bold and creative ideas. Agencies are afraid of losing clients, and clients are afraid of losing business so they opt for “safe” solutions. How can Content Marketing help in this sense?
Rebecca Lieb: There’s a concept in content marketing called 70:20:10, developed by Jonathan Mildenhall back when he was at Coca-Cola. The thinking goes that 70% of content should be safe. It’s the content that makes sense, that you are pretty sure will work. But we all know that what works today will change. Maybe next month, or next year, you’re going to have to do something different to be effective, and to create that “safe” content. So 20% of your content should be experimental. It’s a testbed to see what’s going to work next. And the other 10%? That’s for radical experiments. It’s to try to anticipate what content will work the day AFTER tomorrow. It’s where you’re going to get a little crazy and very experimental. Not all of it is going to work. But maybe, just maybe, five percent of that 10% will show you what the 70% will be five years from now. So, not so crazy, is it? It’s very typical for marketers to have what we call a “sandbox budget” of at least 10% of what they do to play around with ideas for tomorrow. In fact, it’s necessary.
MM: AI and machine learning are increasingly discussed as a disruptor across communications industries. What do these technologies mean for content marketing in the sense of technical implementation as well as in the sense of creativity itself?
Rebecca Lieb: I’m so glad you asked because this is the topic of my most recent research, Automated Content: How Artificial Intelligence Impacts Content Throughout the Organization.
Increasingly and across different industries and business sectors machines and algorithms are creating not just written content, but images and videos. The implications of automated content go far beyond marketing into numerous lines of business: service and support; legal; HR; product and other business areas will be impacted by this trend, as will industries such as news and media, finance, energy, and beyond.
The technology isn’t perfect but it’s advancing rapidly and creating risks as well as rewards for marketers. New skill sets are needed not just for technical implementation but to understand how to “program” for creativity and hyper-personalization without being creepy or intrusive. Or understand how to use machine learning to analyze massive amounts of content or data. We’re far from allowing machines to just take over. Right now, lots of oversight and human intervention is required. But I would encourage marketers to take a look at how automation is affecting all kinds of industries that use automated content, particularly journalism at the moment.
MM: What do you see as the major trends that will shape the near future of Content Marketing?
Rebecca Lieb: Technology is always paramount, it dictates what we can do with content, and what we will be doing next, e.g. automated intelligence. Another important trend is the continuing decline in the efficacy of advertising. Paid media can and must be supported by content in earned and owned channels. Finally, this isn’t a trend but a truism: it’s human nature to relate to stories, to be receptive to information from trusted friends and sources. For that reason content will always be of paramount importance!