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What Makes Great Content? BY GEORGE PEARCY

In collaboration with James Woods and Jonathan Cohen

Content Week continues here at Blue 449, and on Tuesday 9th June we had Michael Derktis and Brian Durnin of Vice and Sally Ferreia  from The Guardian Labs in to talk us through their perspectives on some of the most common question brands, publishers and agencies alike are asking; just what is it that makes truly great content?


Cater to the Reader, the Brand and the Platform:
Do this by telling great stories, with equally strong content. A rapport between brand and consumer created by powerful story-telling, allows brands headspace in a crowded arena. The ad bombarded consumer is able to seek solace from endless sales pitches in interesting and engaging content.


Define Core Brand Principles and Purpose:
Once brands grasp their true mantra and the values and services they provide to their audience then meaningful engaging content will usually follow. It’s these values and principles that should be shouted about initially, not the product.


Be Authentic, Be Helpful and Create Content for the Right Reasons:
In the modern world of Marketing, KPI’s and other performance metrics quite understandably rule the roost. Yet when it comes to content, there is no quick fix measure; the parameters for gauging successful content aren’t as black and white as traditional KPI’s.

Scale is not entirely indicative of good content; the true value of branded content will take longer a time to emerge. In order to ascertain the true lasting success of a campaign, brands need to ask – will they miss it when it’s gone?


Tell a Genuine Story, and Offer Something Different:
Consumers have become resistant to Marketing as it becomes normalised as part of their lives. The simple antidote is to be genuine, don’t look to fool the consumer.

With the Internet, the ability to cover and address topics as varied as global news, culture, art and music across a multitude of platforms, brands’ content now has the potential to offer a fresh take in a unique and immersive way to provide content that offers actual and proper use to the consumer.


Treat Consumers as an Audience, Not as Consumers:
Storytelling, as Brian and Michael asserted, is the key to successfully engaging with their youthful audience. Create a dedicated ethos of telling the ‘human story’ to create what they called a ‘non-commercial value exchange’, something that entices your audience into consuming your media.

In return for this consumption, capture the audience’s attention and look to fulfil demands for more content in return – a somewhat refined and developed supply and demand ethos.


Take the Content to Where the Audience Exists:
Vice’s content is categorised into a network of channels, including their Vice News channel. Having only launched last year, Vice News is already renowned as the fastest growing News channel both online and off.

Proper distribution and informed and intelligent targeting is almost as important as the content itself; the right people need to be consuming it and benefiting from your content.



In conclusion then, both Vice and The Guardian suggested an overarching theme of adding value to a branded audience’s lives. The key to making this connection and achieving this reach lies in relatable and engaging content, which allows the audience to connect and emote over; it may be immeasurable, but so often that’s just what emotion and feelings inspire, an ineffable quality that we as Advertisers can look to inspire in those around us.


Thanks to James Woods and Jonathan Cohen

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