Two Degrees Of Sarah Hofstetter

360i Chief Sarah Hofstetter kicked the Content Marketing Insider Summit off with a demoralizing stat for all you content marketers out there: “27 million-plus.” That’s how many pieces of content are produced daily on the social Web, and that’s the environment your messages are competing in.

Okay, so that’s the baseline, now what do you do about it? If your Hofstetter and her team, you lean in, not out of that, and figure out how to leverage that installed base of content producers to produce content for you and your brand. The problem she said, is most brands -- and brand stewards -- still don’t get how to do that. Case in point: Mount Rushmore.

To illustrate her point, Hofstetter took a U.S. national holiday -- no, not the Super Bowl -- President’s Day. To see how brands were leveraging their content around the event, she had 360i’s team research the types of content brands created for it in February 2013, just after 360i’s Super Bowl blackout tweet for Oreo began heating things up. Amazingly, all the examples the agency could find were essentially the same -- a bunch of stony-faced Presidents staring back at users from Mount Rushmore. Figuring it might take time or brands to get on the President’s Day content marketing brand wagon, the 360i team repeated the analysis in 2014, and found the same stony-faced stares.

To illustrate an arguably more imaginative approach, Hofstetter gave an example of a 360i content campaign built around another holiday, Father’s Day.  Instead of focusing on “power ties and power tools,” the 360i team opted to bring home the bacon for client Oscar Mayer, creating a tongue-in-cheek content campaign around a special edition, premium line of Oscar Mayer bacon. Hilarious! Check it out on YouTube, if you haven’t already.

So how do you come back after defining bacon as the ultimate Father’s Day gift, you build a content strategy around bacon’s lesser known brother, you know, “turkey bacon,” Hofstetter said, showing a campaign featuring the lesser known brother of the Bacon Brothers -- the musical band whose best known performer is six-degrees-of actor Kevin Bacon: Michael Bacon.

Like many of the content strategies Hofstetter showcased, the two degrees of Kevin Bacon campaign utilized the element of humor. So I asked her during the Q&A, can other emotions play in content marketing strategies?

Absolutely she said, citing a campaign that 360i created for client Clinique. The campaign, dubbed “Start Better,” is rooted in the idea that “every day is an opportunity to start better,” Hofstetter said, adding, that the emphasis is on the fact that the opportunity to start over again, “hasn’t passed them buy.”

Check it out, she said, and you’re guaranteed to shed a tear. She only left it out of the mix for her opening keynote, she said, because she didn’t want to start the day with a bunch of weepy-eyed content marketing execs.

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