What’s the first rule of content marketing? Well you could argue that it is ‘keep it interesting’, or ‘don’t undermine your brand’, I do however think that there might be a case also for ‘keeping it relevant’ as being the place where brands need to start.
There ‘s a very interesting post on Mediatel today from Dominic Mills, the one time Campaign editor and now freelance journalist/media strategy guru, that highlights why relevancy is crucial. In it he takes a pop at BT for filling its BT.com website with largely irrelevant content.
Mills says that he went to the site as he moved house and needed to make amendments to his BT account, But he couldn’t easily find what he was looking for as the site was chock full of largely irrelevant content from the Press Association.
What I discovered when I logged in – which they insisted on telling me about before I could get to my BT e-mail – is that this involves full-on lifestyle coverage across areas like news, entertainment, technology, fashion and beauty, TV, film, video games, family and home (and on and on and on).
So the big question is: WHY? And that leads to all sorts of other questions you think BT should have asked itself first, such as: why do people go to BT.com? What do they want to achieve as a result of going there? And what makes BT a legitimate or credible provider of this sort of content?
Well I do wonder if BT has fallen into the trap of not really thinking through quite what its users really want to read about. It reminds me of the time a decade and a half ago when BT amongst others, hired hundreds of journalists in a bid to help them become media portals which would rival News International etc. It become obvious very quickly that the net benefit of creating huge amounts of news copy was largely not useful to BT’s core business and the company, and indeed many of its ISP rivals, canned their services and shifted away from content.
Now with every Internet consultant worth their salt repeating the mantra that content is king and that it is editorial which keeps consumers amused and engaged BT, among others is heading in the same direction.
It isn’t that filling a site with content per se is a bad move – I am sure it has huge SEO benefits for a start, and while you are mulling over your BT Sports subscriptions you might want to read a few football stories. It is just the unimaginative way in which BT has undertaken this. Grabbing a few store from the Press Association along with a few viral videos, hardly makes for a compelling editorial destination. That man on a bike on the M1 story has been everywhere today. If you have looked at a news site you will know all about it.
The content needs to be more relevant too. An intriguing tech channel might be more useful to consumers, and why not get a few high profile journalists and bloggers to deliver interesting opinion pieces which will help engage the company’s business customers.
BT also has some the potential to create some compelling content of its own, Surely a look behind the scenes look to see what its boffins are up to in its Suffolk research HQ is worth a hundred celeb stories which could be read elsewhere?
Where brands have succeeded in creating engaging content portals they have done it by delivering content that it relevant to their audience. It helps cement the relationship between the brand and the customer – which really is the main reason why brand undertakes content marketing in the first place.
Maybe BT will evolve a content strategy that is both interesting and innovative as time goes by. Here’s hoping.
** Update – book now available here from the lovely people at Olive Loves Alfie
New piano pieces by children for children
A new book which features piano pieces composed by children for other children to play will be published at the end of November. 28 Piano Pieces By Children For Children includes compositions from young Londoners, with each of the composers also performing editing tasks such as note checking, adding finger numbers, illustrations, cover design and deciding on which order the pieces should go.
‘Children become particularly enthusiastic to sight-read and explore new music when they realise that the pieces have been written by their peer group,’ says the book’s co-ordinator, Lola Perrin, Composer/ Teacher in Residence at Markson Pianos. She adds, ‘The pieces in the book are varied and fun and beautifully illustrated by the composers. We hope other music teachers and their pupils will be inspired by this book to create their own books’.
The book also includes an interview Lola conducted with Peter Vizard who co-ordinates an annual piano festival for young pianists at the Conservatoire Frederic Chopin in Paris.
Profits from the book, which goes on sale on 30 November, will be given to the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research charity.
The launch date was 30th November 2012. We had a successful private launch, hosted by Markson Pianos, at The Vortex, London. The book is now available to purchase from our exclusive worldwide distributor Olive Loves Alfie.OLIVE LOVES ALFIE
84 Stoke Newington Church St, London N16 0AP | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7241 4212 http://www.olivelovesalfie.co.uk/28-piano-pieces-by-children-for-children.ir?cName=books
£10 + £3 p&p
* How you can support and promote the book:
The book has a Facebook page at
http://www.facebook.com/28PianoPiecesByChildrenForChildren Please like the page and share the content on it.
You can also listen to some of the pieces on the book’s Vimeo page here http://vimeo.com/user14484233/videos
* Some information about Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research:
Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is the only UK charity solely dedicated to research into blood cancers, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Our life-saving research is focused on finding causes, improving diagnosis and treatments, and running ground-breaking clinical trials for all blood cancer patients. Blood cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma affect people of all ages from babies to grandparents. We need to be sure that we reach all those touched by leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma and give them the best possible chance of survival.
More information http://leukaemialymphomaresearch.org.uk/
* More about Lola Perrin:
Lola Perrin is a composer, pianist, publisher and contributor to International Piano magazine. She has played live and been interviewed on various radio programmes including Radio 3 In tune, Jazz Line Up, Radio 4 Science Matters and local BBC radio stations. She has performed extensively in the UK in recent years at venues including the Design Museum, London’s Jazz Café, Latitude Festival, Henham Park, 2010 and the London Jazz Festival. In 2011 she played a seven date concert series hosted by Markson Pianos dedicated to her eight piano suites. Lola has published eight books of solo piano music. For more details please visit www.lolaperrinsheetmusic.com
Lola Perrin is also Artist in Residence at Naim Audio. For information about the Naim Audio Lola Perrin Piano Competition please visit http://lolaperrinsheetmusic.com/pages/piano-competition.html
Kids piano book raises funds for cancer research facebook.com/28PianoPiecesB… Pls like and reweet thanks
I must admit that not being obsessed with kittens or aliens means that I don’t spend as great deal of time on killer viral site Buzzfeed. But I do know people who spend as much time on there as they used to on Facebook.
I do find it heartening though that the site has just employed the former editor in chief of Spin to pioneer a section of long-form journalism on the site.
How on earth they expect to make any money from serious essays – and the ones they have run so far including a profile of Mitt Romney’s father are serious stuff completely at odds with the catchy songs about pizza and Obama crying videos that is the site’s bread and butter – remains to be seen.
How they present the essays too will be interesting. The essays so far like – Can you Die From A Nightmare? http://www.buzzfeed.com/doree/can-you-die-from-a-nightmare are just scroll down affairs that probably work much better on tablets than they do on the web. Maybe we will see some HTML5 type magic like Pitchfork – http://pitchfork.com/features/cover-story/reader/bat-for-lashes/ which incidentally freezes my PC each time visit it.
Men’s fashion site Brandish.tv needs an intern to come and help us grow. We will need you between now and Christmas to spend a lot of your time going to events, checking out next season’s ranges, sniffing the latest fragrances and playing with the latest toys.
Ideally you will have a fashion blog already and will be looking to break into style journalism.
You can be male or female – as long you can write brilliantly, take pics and carry home goody bags from events then you are perfect.
You’ll need to be in our central London office for three days at least a week. We can help out with expenses, and all the freebies will be yours to keep.
email ashleyatshinymediadotcom for more
We need a prize for a social media survey asking what people really think of brands on Facebook which is on 10 sites.
Hi, we are about to put a survey on to 10 sites with a combined readership that is more than 2.5 million per month.
It asks readers about their social media habits, how they engage with brands on Facebook and a whole lot more.
We are looking for prizes to encourage people to fill in the survey. If you have something appropriate then let me know on ashleyatshinymediadotcom asap.
You can obviously have access to the results of the survey too for use however you see fit.
Don’t get me started on the iPhone 5 launch. Apparently the Geniuses were whooping everyone who went through the door this morning in a cheesy way that is part cheerleader and part Butlins’ Redcoat. Don’t they know we are British.
The best story though is around the launch of Apple Maps. Apparently…
One Twitter user pointed out that the app has also created two instances of the Senkaku, or Diaoyu, Islands. Japan and China have been fighting over ownership of that territory, leading the tweeter to quip that Apple may be trying to broker a deal by creating two versions of the islands.
Brilliant diplomacy from Apple and Tom Tom.
So why stop there. How about two Palestines? A pair of Falkland Islands? Maybe even they could create another Canary Islands for us Brits to take over.