Marketers Try To Get Closer To Content

Here’s a key marketing question: Are you creating content for your advertisers or viewers? Or are you just doing good “art”?

Think about the rise of content marketing, especially with the wide-open platform of digital media. What’s the goal? TV seems a more traditional, but workable, platform for marketers.

Consider NBC’s recent “Peter Pan Live!”  NBC expected it to attract a wide variety of viewers, and for a full range of marketers to buy up that family-friendly content -- especially considering the eye-popping 4.6 initial rating for “Sound of Music Live!” a year before.

Compared to digital platforms, advertisers don’t have the same access to controlling “content marketing” on television.  Still, marketers continue their push to be closer to content in any way possible.

Walmart was the presenting sponsor of NBC's "Peter Pan Live!” But many other brands, including Charmin, DiGiorno Pizza and Ritz, hopped on the Twitter hashtag (#PeterPanLive) bandwagon to do their own bit of marketing attack-work.



Were they successful in crashing the party? Ratings were very modest this time around -- 2.3 among 18-49ers. Nothing is an easy layup anymore.

Efforts to get closer to content -- in organic and original ways -- will continue. That said, here’s why some people say all this content marketing stuff is, well, crap.

“[Marketers] see it as a strategy rather than a meaningful way to exchange value, a ploy rather than a craft,” business consultant Greg Satell told Forbes.  “The problem is that they usually get it backwards.  They spend their time seeking out emotional triggers in their consumers instead of bonding with the story of their brands.”  

Of course TV is a big emotional trigger. But it takes some art -- or someone good at it -- to make those triggers happen. Here’s what content marketers need to understand: It’s hard to come up with good content. Even remaking a classic like Peter Pan -- and drawing in viewers -- can be difficult.

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