winter / 2016

The magazine of branded content
How to create
Juliet Stott
It’s all down to reality-based storytelling
Juliet Stott
Dec 1, 2016

The Scandinavian content marketing agency Spoon, which scooped nine accolades at our recent annual Pearl Awards, advocates that the most powerful content comes from the real world. Its recent work for Volvo Trucks, which won Gold for best social media, best video and best automotive categories, is testament to this fact.

Spoon helped Volvo Trucks to promote its newly released automated transmission gearbox, the I-Shift with crawler gears, designed to enable trucks to pull loads of up to 350 tons from standstill. The target audience was truck drivers, truck owners and the wider automotive community. On paper, this was not going to be the most glamourous of topics to promote. Yet, the film Spoon created, of Sweden’s Strongest Man, Magnus Samuelsson, driving a truck pulling a 300-meter road train weighing 750 tons, gained more than a million views on YouTube in the first week and 2.8 million in total. Volvo Trucks gained more than 50,000 new followers on Facebook and 11, 000 on Instagram during the month-long campaign. Why was this such a hit? It’s all down to reality-based storytelling.

Spoon’s marketing manager Björn Owen Glad says, “Spoon aims to create communication that invokes change. We help our clients reach their audiences in a way that is engaging, effective and tangible.” He says that success comes from working in close partnership with clients and a team of strategists and content creators across the Nordics.

Here Glad shares his vision for content marketing in 2017 and talks to Content Magazine about why content marketing is a more effective way to reach consumers than using traditional channels.

Why do you think content marketing is such an effective medium to connect with consumers?

Simply because you give the consumers what they want and need. That’s the basics of content marketing. Your consumers are not interested in you, your products or your services. They want answers to their questions. They want to feel good about themselves. And if you, as a brand, can help them with that, you can build a loyal relationship over time.

How does content marketing differ from other forms of communication—PR/Traditional Ads/Marketing?

There are some fundamental differences between traditional marketing and content marketing. I would say that the long-term strategy is the most important. Campaign based marketing can be great at delivering a quick value for your business, but it disappears. With content marketing, you’re building an asset and a worth over time. You build your audience, instead of buying reach.

Also, a big difference is the consumer focus. You don’t talk about yourself or your products. You talk about the things that you and your audience have in common—where your passions and knowledge as a brand meet the audience’s passion and needs. That’s where you can create great content that is engaging.

Social media is a popular method of connecting with consumers. Is there a formula for success on these channels?

Social media is great, but risky. You can grow an audience on social media and have a great dialogue there, but you don’t own that contact. It’s not “your” audience, but rather the social media platform’s audience. And we know from history that audiences can be taken away on social media.

My only tip when it comes to social media is to use it to grow your email newsletter audience. Because that’s an audience that you are in full control of.

You've created some award winning branded videos. Why have these been a success and how have they connected with the audience?

Video is a great format for telling stories and touching people’s hearts. Video is also very easy to share and use across different platforms. But it all comes down to fantastic content. You have to tell great stories very well to see any effect. Some of our clients have a long-term video strategy where they create great content in different formats to build an audience over time. And if you invest in good content, that is a great strategy.

What do you predict will happen in content marketing in 2017?

I think that 2017 is the year when we will see more and more companies create a content driven communications strategy, where content marketing is the core and traditional marketing and PR is added on. We’ve seen that move for a long time, but it’s about to explode now. We will also see how large companies organize differently to work content driven. That takes new talent, the tearing down of silos and a completely new mindset. I think most companies are ready for that now. The days of content without a strategy is hopefully over now.