Brilliant Reads: the art of crafting honest, authentic content marketing

Welcome to Brilliant Reads. Marketing plans are currently based around speed and repeatability of content, but this doesn’t work anymore, people see through it because it’s inauthentic. You need to let the real message of your brand come through.

This week we’ll be discussing our highlights from our roundtable event ‘Control Kills Content’. We hosted the debate at the Cinnamon Club, where we discussed with senior marketers from brands such as Legal & General, Universal Pictures and Benefit Cosmetics, why it’s time to stop over controlling if you want to survive.

Control kills Content – notes from the roundtable debate

Know the power of your core

Content needs to be driven by your purpose. Your mission. Your core. This is what you should be sharing with your audience before anything else. Make it a simple and clear message from your organisation as a whole and your audience will endorse it.

If you don’t know your core message, your content is just adding to the huge tide of content waste. You’re losing that powerful connection to your brand, which customers have come to expect today. Bring back the focus to your brand’s core beliefs in your content and people will engage with it.

The difficult balance

Control over the message feels like the perfect way to control the outcomes. Nothing could be more wrong. One of the most common mistakes brands make is to decide on business goals internally and then ask a third party just to execute.

Business goals have to be clear and must act as a shared vision. Brands need to be open to the idea of letting go of control over processes on how to reach those outcomes.

Innovation is always there, therefore a positive attitude to experimentation is essential and beneficial in a world of constant change and discovery.

The dividing issue

This attitude applies to influencers as well. Forrester New Wave™ reports that “The market of influencer marketing solutions will double its value from 2017 to 2019”. Customers have made it clear they want truth and meaning from brands, therefore the engagement of influencers is widely debated.

The discussion raised the idea that there’s a shocking boundary between who is and isn’t an influencer. However, instead of trying to take advantage of an influencer’s network to sell more – brands should look at influencers as a way of generating brand awareness.

And brands need to speak up clearly to their audience with compelling stories.

If you would like to discuss your content and influencer marketing strategy with our team of experts get in touch.

Stepping outside of the shoebox

For popular Instagrammers, it’s business as usual to be offered free products by big brands. But when M&S offered seven of the UK’s top fashion and lifestyle influencers a unique opportunity, they couldn’t help but get excited.

Given the opportunity to design their own bespoke footwear, the results were highly creative, hugely personal, and well outside the realms of the brand’s usual style.

Most partnerships would simply end there; where M&S excelled was in following through and actually putting the shoes into production. The end result was a wildly successful campaign led by an authentic passion for fashion, which saw an enormous impact from just a few well-targeted partnerships.

A more creative future for influencers? Look to M&S’s shoe campaign

Campaign, 3mins

The pitfall of the elite audience

For decades, The Economist has traded on message of ‘elite expertise’ that’s seen the magazine through from the golden age of print while droves of their competitors fizzled out.

However, this message has struggled to grow their readership in the digital age, calling for a radical change of approach.

Now actively pursuing a more accessible and less-stuffy brand, The Economist is swapping its elitist base for a more human-centred approach. Recent campaigns have seen the publisher experimenting with their first branded film for television, as well as podcasts and other digital formats specifically designed to connect with readers on a more emotional basis.

But will appealing to hearts over wallets net the returns they need?

Why The Economist swapped its famous elitist marketing for emotional messaging

The Drum, 3mins

That Andy Warhol ad

In a very public gamble that has left audiences divided, Burger King opted to use the Super Bowl, perhaps the most expensive advertising time-slot in the world, to screen a 45-second clip from a 1982 film featuring Andy Warhol.

The subject matter? The great artist sitting down to enjoy a Burger King Whopper, of course. The only addition is the hashtag, #EatLikeAndy.

Some have seen it as just the sort of wry media-recycling that Warhol himself would have greatly enjoyed. But when advertising is turned into art, can it really turn back again?

WHY BURGER KING SHOWED ANDY WARHOL EATING A BURGER IN ITS SUPER BOWL COMMERCIAL

Adage, 4mins

Brighton Podcast Meet-Up is back!

Are you a podcaster in the Brighton and Hove area, keen to meet others and share ideas? Do you run a business that could benefit from podcast advertising, but aren’t sure where to start? Are you interested in starting a podcast but not quite ready to take the leap? If so, the 5th Brighton Podcast Meet-Up will be just what you’re looking for!

Presented in partnership with Brilliant Noise and taking place just a literal stone’s throw from Brighton station, this event is a great chance for an informal chat, a bite to eat, and to meet people from all experience levels in the weird and wild world of podcasting.

Our guest speaker will be Ollie Catchpole, organiser of WAVE: Brighton Podcast Festival, which will take place the following week. Come hear Ollie talk about why the festival is taking place, how he assembled a large-scale live event featuring the very best UK podcasters including Richard Herring, The Bugle, Romesh Ranganathan, and No Such Thing As A Fish.

Sign up here

Thanks for reading. If you have any feedback, or suggestions for future editions, get in touch.