When you’ve got the likes of a twerking pop-star and a presidential bid by Kanye West dominating the internet, it’s tough for a brand to stand alongside and get people interested in its content.
While there’s a number of things brands can learn from Miley Cyrus, how can brands actually stand out against the myriad of content cluttering up the World Wide Web?
It was a question posed to a panel of industry pros at a content marketing event yesterday, hosted by content marketing company Storyation and content distribution site Outbrain.
Tourism Australia’s global content editor, Andres Lopez-Varela, said it’s about making sure you’re writing what your audience wants, not just what you want.
“Before you even start distributing, it’s important to ask…‘will they find this useful?’” he told the audience.
“The whole idea of what you’re doing is not to be great at content, rather use content to treat a behaviour or create an action.
“You can only do that by creating content that’s useful, actionable and vaguely entertaining and interesting.”
Being a content distribution platform for brands, which has seen the likes of Dentsu Aegis, ESPN, OMD and Time signing up with the business, Outbrain pushes content out to the relevant target audience.
However, head of sales and business solutions, Adam Carroll said the content has to be good.
“There’s so much content out there… that unless it’s really meaningful and unless it’s impactful for your target audience it’s going to be invisible, regardless of how much paid amplification was behind that.”
That being said, many of the viral videos of recent years such as Gangnam Style and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge were misunderstood as growing from pure organic growth. However, Carroll said they, and videos like it, often have much paid amplification behind them.
The term ‘viral’ is a massively misunderstood concept for marketers, with many still aiming to achieve the success of a viral video. However, the obsession is leading marketers astray.
It’s a bit of an unattainable goal, suggested Carroll.
“Unless you’re a celebrity willing to take your clothes, going viral probably isn’t something that’s going to happen,” he said.