As a judge on the Digital Effectiveness panel at the recent AMES awards in Singapore, I was privileged to see a range of the region’s best digital work. What struck me most across all the entries was how strong the use of content has become in driving effective business growth.
There are still too many examples in our industry where brands and agencies are happy counting shares and “viral” impressions as a measure for success, rather than moving the needle on measures a CEO would lay on the boardroom table.
But content is not marketing without a strategy, and content will not be effective without creativity.
It was inspiring to see work demonstrating how strong strategy and creative ideas in online content are delivering measurable impacts to brand health or business growth. The content examples covered the many-varied nature of content—delivered on mobile, on YouTube, streaming radio and through games. Brands are using content to entertain, to inform, to educate and to inspire.
Examples range from National Australia Bank’s FootifyFM’s inclusive approach to AFL sponsorship. The campaign used entertaining and relevant social, video and online streaming content to deliver on the idea of bringing AFL to all Australians through recruiting and training foreign language commentators for the 2013 Grand Final.
Unilever in India won awards for its idea to bring music entertainment to remote communities through a pioneering mobile phone radio service Kaan Khajura Teshan, sponsored by the brand but delivered to anyone for free.
Entrpreneur.com defines content as non-interruption marketing where "Your story is always about the people who use the thing you sell, not the thing itself. In other words, cast your customer as the hero, rather than you or your product."
Tui Beer (New Zealand) won Gold for an online film which put the consumer at the centre of the action. Tui’s beer drinking Kiwis are the star of a reality-TV style stunt showing how our hero’s mates plumb his entire house with Tui beer. Strong content distribution strategy ensured the content piece delivered growth for the business.
A more informative way of putting the customer at the centre was Amnesty International’s “Trial by Timeline” – an innovative and impactfully executed Gold award winning idea to bring to life how Amnesty campaigns to fight against human rights injustices. The content from your own Facebook timeline was analysed and shows you what your behaviour could have cost you in other countries just for being you and living your everyday life.
If content marketing is defined by the Content Marketing Institute as “The art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling.” AMES winners have demonstrated how to use content to achieve business success without selling.
Josie Brown, APAC Director of Digital, JWT