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You Need Better Content, Not More

There are more than 150 million blogs. Last year, over 100 trillion emails were sent out. The number of websites in the world is well over 250 million. 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

In a world drowning in content, the secret to success is not more content marketing - it's better content marketing.

That's what Wendy Clark, VP of Integrated Marketing and Communications at Coca-Cola, told a crowd of digital marketing enthusiasts at ad:tech 2011. "The world is not lacking content," she said. "You better be great storytellers."


Think back in time. The history of human history is full of platforms. We drew on cave walls. We carved symbols into stone. We scrawled prose on scrolls. We typed words from printing presses. Now, we publish on blogs,  and mobile screens, Tweet and update our social networks.

What hasn't changed is that stories are what's fill these platforms. "{C}No matter what the platform is, what goes into the platform are stories," said Clark. Coca-Cola, she added, studies great storytellers because they want to invest in stories, rather than platforms.

And you can make great stories, that involve your customers and prospects, without spending a ton of money. For instance, Coke planted a giant vending machine in a mall. To get at the coin slot friends needed to literally give each other a boost. As a result, it far outsold the number of bottles a typical vending machine disperses. And Coke recorded it all to make a great viral video concept.


This doesn't mean that platforms don't matter. Becoming platform proficient is now a skill marketers must posses, Clark said. "Lateral thinking, systems thinking is become more and more critical for your marketers," she said.

That's because your stories need to be told across various forms of media, and fit properly according to the platform. In fact, Coca-Cola has moved from a "owned, paid, earned" media model to a "now, new, next" model.


"{C} We know as a company, and a group of marketers, that we have to place bets," always looking for the next thing, Clark said.

Driving this level of risk-taking and integration is storytelling, Clark said. Our kids will read The Odyssey on iPads despite that it likely started out as a story told around a campfire. The key to lasting content marketing is telling a story that resonates.

As Clark put it: "You must do more good content, not just more content."

What stories are you sharing? How do you make them breakthrough and impact customers?

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