In 2012 branded content grew beyond well-produced video and into full-scale publishing businesses. Coca-Cola’s ‘Journey’ was launched, Jay-Z’s ‘Life+Times’ came into its own and Facebook Stories all took dynamic and compelling content and packaged it in a way that both entertained and engaged the audience but also defined brands.
No doubt this an exciting time for branded content but it shows that creative content in 2013 shouldn’t be limited to major consumer brands. It is technology companies that have an advantage in content that they need to leverage and define their businesses beyond product.
There are three ways technology companies have a major advantage in content.
Innovation – Innovation is inherent in their businesses. If you are a technology company and you aren’t innovating or attempting to innovate you will not be in the game for very long. This means there are stories to tell, even stories of experimentation or failure. Technology companies have innovation on their side so if mined correctly should always have something interesting to say.
Expertise – The experts within technology businesses have specific knowledge of an industry, technology or service that gives them a voice of authority. These individuals can feed a brands story, personalise it and make a technology much more real than a simple product spec sheet. The spec sheet for a product is black and white. It only elicits a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response whereas a human face of a technology brand can be something that comes to define the brand and humanise it.
Trust – Technology brands are trusted brands. While other organisations in sectors like banking or finance face widespread criticism and suspicion, technology brands are seen as providing critical services that are enhancing how we live. They are largely seen as forces for good and there is an opportunity to emphasise this through content. The audience is receptive and willing to listen so technology brands have the opportunity to offer their ideas up through content.
Look at any of the three brands mentioned as achieving content milestones in 2012 and ask how many of them can claim all three of these characteristics or even two. Consumer and B2B technology businesses have an advantage in content not because of any elaborate marketing strategy but because the stories already exist within their businesses and the audiences are ready to hear them.
Making 2013 the year of technology content is about mining the stories, aligning them with business objectives and giving the audience something compelling to consider.