Is content marketing the start or end of creativity?

Last week, we went to a talk discussing whether content marketing is the start or is it the end of creativity? On the panel was our very own Chris Pearce, CEO of TMW Unlimited – who was joined by Matt Gilbert, Business Director at Guardian Connected Labs , Gerald Keeley, Co–Founder and CEO of Vidsy, and Kate Burns, Europe’s General Manager of Buzzfeed.

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Chris discussed the sheer volume of money/pages that is currently on the internet. Did you know that currently there are 4.76 billion pages on the internet? And £155 billion was spent on content marketing last year alone? So it’s fair to say it’s a lucrative industry… Chris then proposed an overarching question of whether content marketing is losing creativity and are algorithms taking over?

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Matt Gilbert spoke about how he makes things work at Guardian Connected Labs; saying that storytelling engages the human emotion, and that this way, if it’s done well, brands can communicate their messages. But, that’s easier said than done, especially when making content at a fast speed. His answer was that, with the correct process and key campaigns, we can build reactive content – so that clients and consultants can work together to sign off this kind of collateral so it appears online in real time. This may mean working, or at least the ability to work, 24/7, but Matt believes this is key for consumer engagement.

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Gerald Keely is an expert on connecting brands to people via content. Gerald discussed the need for content to be mobile-ready, and he said that brands are beginning to have to engage with people on a personal level, but also on a global scale. How?, you ask. Well, Gerald says through emojis, gifs and videos that empowers a new generation of video makers and software developers. He added that creativity is weaning by the abilities of tech increasing.

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Kate Burns commented that people are now obsessed with content consumption which stems from sharing behaviours. Kate said that good, engaging content is all about timing and making sure the content is correct for the audience.

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The thoughts and comments of those above give the PR industry and the brands we all work with, a lot to think about. Now more than ever, we need to engage with consumers in the right way, with the right content, in order to establish a connection with a brand.

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