In our latest edition of Content Magazine we spoke to our newly appointed board members to find out how they plan to shape our organization and add value to our members.
Here the four experienced marketers impart their vision for the year ahead and highlight one content trend to watch out for.
James is Text100’s EVP Regional Director, North America
I see my role as attracting and supporting a new breed of content creators. There are now a broader range of companies producing content for a broader set of purposes for brands, and I hope that my appointment to the board means that I can start to represent them and their needs in addition to the existing traditional custom-publishing businesses.
I’m from an agency background and, like other PR and creative agencies, we are going through a business transformation. We are now facing similar challenges and opportunities as traditional content businesses. So, I hope to use my new role on the board to facilitate the inclusion of the new-style content creators and represent their interests within the industry.
One content trend to watch: Facebook & Google’s Ad Revenue Share You can’t underestimate the continuing march of both Facebook and Google. In 2016 both tech giants accounted for 46% of the overall digital ad revenue—which was in the region of $190bn. In 2019 these two companies are expected to have 52%—of a much bigger pot somewhere of in the region of $260bn. So, not only has the market grown—the revenue pot and their share of it has grown significantly too. That’s a threat and opportunity to everybody in some way, shape or form.
Zack Bryant is the creative director of Journey Group’s digital studio
I’m different from typical board members in that I come from a design background. We’ve experienced a great deal of disruption in our field as a result of technological change. In recent years it’s been difficult to create truly excellent interfaces and service design— as we haven’t been able to hold still long enough to consider the human thoughtfully. There's been a lot of innovation, but not much intentionality. But, I think we're at a better place now. Big players like Google, Amazon and Netflix are really upping the ante on the design of their products and the way content is delivered via their platforms. I see my role on the board as attracting, supporting and representing the creative directors, art directors, and designers who are integral in the production and delivery of new, high-design content.
One content trend to watch: Experiential marketing Smart brands and publishers are creating in-person experiences for their loyal customers beyond just delivering mediated content. Consumer brands, community organizations and even traditional media companies have started tapping into this. It seems old school but in an era of “always-on” creating experiential humans-in-a-room connections can be really effective.
Joe Stella is the VP of business development at GLC
I have broad experience in content creation, working initially in financial services and insurance and latterly, for the last 10 years, partnering with professional, trade and NPOs of different shapes and sizes. My role has been to help my clients add member value through content. In joining The Content Council’s board I hope to ensure that the organization continues to add and deliver value to its members and the industry at large.
One content trend to watch: Storytelling
I don’t invest in trends, although I have been reading a lot about the impact of AI and how it’s going to change the role of brand marketers and communicators. It’s not a trend, but one constant is the importance of storytelling. It’s at the heart of everything we do. Marketers must figure out where their products, services or member benefits fit into the daily narrative of their audiences and tell that story using a variety of mediums, including video which continues to grow steadily.
Paul Tsigrikes is Vice President of Marketing at The Washington Post
I’ve been in the content marketing space for 15 years, having run the custom content divisions at Hearst’s Condé Nast Traveller, Smart Money, and The Wall Street Journal. I now oversee marketing and branded content for The Washington Post. So, the perspective I’ll bring to the board will be one from a global and national media brand. We know that content marketing, and the importance of targeting and leveraging technology to reach the right reader and target audience, is now a larger part of our clients’ strategy and media mix. Good content is useless unless someone sees it. I’m interested in helping members to measure the ROI on programs to help them elevate the effectiveness of their marketing programs.
One content trend to watch: Proving the ROI of content
As investment in content has increased, so too has emphasis to prove the ROI in upper funnel results—such as branding, as well as lower funnel—such as driving consideration and purchases. Historically, content has been often viewed as upper funnel marketing, but now I think as people spend more money on it—they need to internally prove results—i.e. that content is driving changes in awareness, perception, as well as sales. Quantifiable metrics, such as number of people viewing, engagement time, social shares, along with qualitative primary research, that demonstrates brand lift and brand awareness studies, will become increasingly essential on all content programs.