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The king is dead, long live the new content

Posted on 24 Oct 2012 at 10:29 am by Yeoh Siew Hoon
Photo above: “The Future of Content” panel at WIT, from left, Ross Veitch, CEO, Wego; George Mitchell, CTO & co-founder, Circos Brand Karma; Prof Adrian David Cheok; Gordon Locke, president, DCustom; and Melissa Yang, CTO & co-founder, Tujia, China.

I heard it again on the podcast our “Unplugged Plus” Marketer of the Year, Kathleen Tan, did with a local radio station right after her win at the WIT Conference – content is king.

Yes, it’s been uttered many times but a point worth noting is that the king has changed.

He’s gone from a simple king with basic necessities to one that has a growing, voracious appetite for content. He wants it in all forms – text, images, videos, mixed reality – and he wants it across different channels. He then wants to be able to deliver all this cost-effectively to his subjects in a way that is relevant and contextual so that it inspires them into action right away.

So remember the early days of the web when it was supposed to be simple for us to communicate with our customers – set up a website, put up some content, do a little search engine optimization or marketing – and then you could count the hits, clicks and conversions.

Well, those days are over.

Today, Search Engine Marketing is out of reach for us mere mortals with groups like Priceline and Expedia paying millions to dominate the rankings. You can play with SEO but how far is that going to get you? Google is the monster sitting in that space, between us and our customers.

Social networks have also obfuscated the science of digital marketing – how do you measure the value of a “like”, a point raised by Timothy Hughes, vice president of Agoda? Facebook is the monster sitting in that space, between us and our customers.

And then there’s App Marketing where suppliers have to spend millions of dollars a month in user acquisition  - this post gives some insights. And Apple (and Google) is the monster in that space, between us and our customers.

So from simplicity and a democratic web, we have moved to a complex world dominated and controlled by juggernauts.

To cut through the clutter therefore, you have to get really smart about content and content marketing, by blending both art and science.

The art is in the telling and the science is in the selling, as was covered in the panel session on “The Future of Content: Beyond Words, Even Reality” at the WIT Conference. 

As defined by Gordon Locke, president of D Custom, in this blog – content marketing is “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

His blog, written for WIT before his appearance at the conference in Singapore, lists 10 tips which are worth keeping by your bedside as you go into 2013 wondering how you’re going to execute your content strategy.

Said Locke, “Social media commentary, SEO, websites, blogs and search engines are not really separate tactics anymore ... you have be sure your web presence, social sharing and blogs triangulate between each other with liquid content -- that is what search engines are looking for and Google recognizes.

“The true practice now is not social media or website optimization, etc. It is ‘audience development and reputation visibility’.”

And to drive home that point, here’s a video D Custom has put together specially for WIT.


Next week: The Art of Content: Lessons from Hollywood

Tags: travel , content , content marketing , search engine marketing , search engine optimisation , app marketing , social networks , digital marketing