Content Changes Everything: Thoughts from SXSW
Michela Stribling 270006VAX7 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  content outbrain sxsw socbiz content-revolution kodi-foster
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Michela Stribling, Program Director, IBM Social Business
I had a chance last week to spend some time with Kodi Foster, head of brand initiatives for Outbrain. Kodi and I were in Austin for SXSW and started talking about the content revolution in marketing, or the idea that more brands are embracing a journalistic approach to reaching their audiences. Basically, digital marketing has become storytelling largely because people spend the bulk of their time online looking for either entertainment or information.
As Kodi says, we all need to think about the precise definition of “content.” Content means “to satisfy,” and if you’ve satisfied your audience, then you’ve won. It’s a covenant of trust—you give your audience something that they may not have even know they wanted, and then you ask for nothing in return (except of course, their attention). The challenge for brand marketers like me is to be the reason someone turns on a device, be it a laptop, a tablet or even a smart watch.
Outbrain, the leading content discovery engine on the web, actually hit on its business model in part from watching what IBM was doing with its Smarter Planet campaign and expressed no surprise that some brands are hiring seasoned journalists to run major marketing initiatives. His advice to marketers is simple: roll the dice, try something new, and test the results. “You’re not Nostradamus,” he says, and you shouldn’t presume to know what will resonate with your audience.
You can hear more from Kodi in this video, Planning for Discovery: 4 Keys to Winning the Content Revolution. Bring it on!