Somewhere in the debate to define what was hot or not as a worthy "real-time marketing" example during the Oscars, we lost sight of the bigger picture. We're not really talking about the benefits of marketing in a timely fashion as much as we are talking about the birthright of an organization or brand to produce, circulate and curate conversations around valuable content.
I had to take a pause recently to remind myself of the bigger picture and consider other activations we have in play like working with the organization who represents the US Dairy industry. In this approach, we've gotten to point where we staff an onsite newsroom who is focused on producing content and engaging with the industry. Before any of this happend, we had to begin with a strategic approach—a content strategy.
Planned & Responsive Content
A good content strategy starts with the basics—which are built upon developing content narratives around planned activities which are either ongoing (like a drumbeat) or are responsive (in reaction to current events). Both have their place and they can and should work together. Content strategy often is the starting point before getting into the nuts and bolts activities which support it, like developing a content calendar, putting an editorial process in place or supporting content production with writers producers and creative talent. While newsrooms and war rooms can serve as places content activation happens in concentrated form—these tactics are not the strategy.
These are still early days for organizations who are building their audiences directly via social channels, or partnering with media companies to circulate or co-produce their stories. There are some great examples where brands have already begun regularly producing their content (Intel IQ, Coke Journey, AMEX Open Forum). In each of these programs and the ones to come—whether it be formal or not, there is strategic thought being applied to content development and distribution.
Brands WILL become media.