Managing the content explosion: unleashing the value of content

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We are witnessing a content explosion. An unprecedented and accelerating demand for engaging and personalised content, across more channels, in more formats, in real-time.

In an age where consumers are now viewing upwards of 5,000 adverts a day, brands are increasingly under pressure to cut through this information proliferation and deliver content that is genuinely impactful and makes an impression. This is particularly exacerbated when attention is drawn inexorably towards the coronavirus with brands having to remain relevant, timely and authentic. With attention even harder to obtain, it’s not simply a question of what content to produce, but how to manage your content to enable a sustainable and scalable solution: from planning and creating, to managing and distributing; from publishing and activating, to optimising and amplifying.

Scale

On average consumers now engage with over 10 different pieces of content before making a purchase. The sheer scale of assets that marketers now need to be creating, adapting and pushing out to the different channels, markets and audience segments, makes it clear that a holistic content ‘value chain’ must be in place for brands to stay relevant and timely.

Velocity

To be relevant and effective, the speed and frequency of content must be dictated by your consumers, not by your organisation’s capabilities. Or to put it more simply: content now needs to be produced at the speed of social media. Yet over 85% of marketers, according to research by IDC, say that while they are under pressure to create assets and deliver campaigns more quickly, they are finding that producing consistently engaging, well-designed and visually appealing content a struggle.

Complexity

Adding another layer of complexity, content formats are growing increasingly more sophisticated: the likelihood of your consumer paying attention increases by four-fold when the content is a video compared to a piece of text. Despite the much lauded decline, or death, of influencer culture as a result of Covid-19, influencers whose message resonates with their audience are now one of a brand’s more valuable channels. This, in turn, exacerbates the complexity of how to ensure consistency and scale.

How should you respond to this content explosion and excel against attention scarcity?

1. Create organisational agility

Always-on, omnichannel content strategies demand a shift from annual planning cycles to much more responsive multi-speed models that avoid channel or team silos. Marketers therefore need to embrace agile principles and create multi-functional teams (for example, teams that consist of data specialists, e-commerce experts, and brand marketers). This organisational agility will not only enable brands to respond quickly to consumers’ needs, but by adopting test and learn principles, more rapidly evaluate and therefore alter the effectiveness of content across channels.

2. Treat content as a holistic system

Ensure you have an integrated view of how content flows and is consumed. Start with identifying how your content is managed, enabling you to address the efficiency of your content sourcing, production and distribution, as well as the effectiveness of your content in the consumer decision journey. Organise your content by adopting a consistent and structured approach – if content is king, metadata is the steed that will facilitate speed and scale.

3. Organise, orchestrate and optimise

Think big: you want to manage your content lifecycle, develop operational service models and processes, implement, integrate and scale your content eco-system, content strategies and creation services and optimise your content performance. But start with how you organise your content to drive scalability. For example, consolidating your assets across your various agencies into a central repository can facilitate asset reuse that will lead to significant operational and cost efficiencies. Engage in a pilot or proof of concept that can help you realise benefits straight away.

Failure to manage content will hit your bottom line as the costs to produce and orchestrate it escalate. Get it right and you’ll have the opportunity to maximise the value of your content and make a positive impact with greater brand saliency, consumer loyalty, and sales.

Norman Rosenberg, global offer lead for Content eXplosion, Capgemini Invent

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