I’ve been glued to Cannes Lions this week, following the hashtag fervently and soaking in the awards and discussions, specifically those around PR Lions and Branded Content & Entertainment Lions. The International Festival of Creativity was started in 1954 and is touted as ‘the world’s biggest celebration of creativity in communications’ with more than 11,000 delegates from 90 countries attending.
A good indication of the emerging trends in our field, the festival launched two new categories in 2012: mobile and branded entertainment. In addition, the award categories show how the lines continue to blur between paid, earned and owned media, as the PR Lions category had entries from the advertising world and Media Lions had entries from the PR space.
Here are some of the key points and takeaways we saw thus far at the festival:
– LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner admits he attended Cannes Lions because content marketing is increasingly core to the platform and adds, “when it comes to content marketing, you get out what you put in.” (via @Ogilvy)
Tip: Good content is only the start. If you want your content to reach your audience, you need to amplify. Keep your headlines short and use keywords in the headline and in the body.
– Global CEO of Razorfish Bob Lord said, “All companies have available content, it just might not be in the marketing department.” (via @Aliceniezborala)
Tip: There IS content in hidden places throughout your organization. Turn client questions into blog posts, audience questions from webinars into tip sheets, and even your own experiences and lessons into content. Even though the stories don’t have to come from your marketing department, make sure you work closely with them for clear messaging across your organization.
– When speaking about native advertising and content marketing, creative and media executive leader at Citibank Elyssa Grey says, “If you’re not taking a risk, shame on you.” (via @Viral_Spiral)
Tip: This coincides with Gail Becker’s post on Edelman, in which she says escaping your comfort zone is the new measure of success. Try everything at least once, and then you have a basis for determining if you should do it again.
– Cannes Lions jury president Scott Donaton says, ‘We’ve gone from [content] that is a side project to content that is the centerpiece of marketing. It blurs the line more, but in a good way. It has become the center of what a lot of brands are doing.” (via Ad Age)
Tip: Use the skills you’ve honed as a PR professional or marketer to make your content sing. It will help you to ‘blur the line’ and ensure your branded content is telling a story and fulfilling a need.
– Global content director at Coca-Cola David Campbell said, “speed trumps perfection,” when discussing content marketing. (via @antonyyoung)
Tip: Consumers are used to immediate gratification and the quicker you can solve the need of a customer or prospect, the better chance you have of earning their trust. This is not to say that your content shouldn’t be well planned, researched and written, but instead that you shouldn’t mull over that comma placement for two days.