I recently had the exciting opportunity to participate in the conceptualization and planning of a Business Talks Event through Humber College.  http://www.humber.ca/events/business-school/engage-content-marketing-digital-age . Our class was able to put together a conference that encompassed some of the hottest topics in advertising today – Content Marketing, Digital Media and Engagement.  We enlisted some great industry professionals as speakers including our Keynote Brian Sheppard,  Executive Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi Canada.

So what is behind the  concept of content marketing?  It begins with interactive media platforms found on digital systems which present content such as text, graphics video and audio and take the form of blogs, social media, mobile apps, games and other formats that haven’t even been conceptualized yet! Through these platforms, an interaction takes place between the brand and the consumer.  These points of contact can be as simple as “liking ”  or “following” a brand on their social media sites or getting involved in a contest that has the audience uploading pictures to instagram or giving their opinions on a product through chats and comments.  Whatever the interaction is,  the brand wants to connect and engage with its target audience.  In the case of an innovator like Burberry, connecting digitally  means engaging with customers through livestreaming of fashion shows and creating microsites for campaigns like Burberry Kisses  and Art of the Trench.  Even though sending a kiss to a loved one or uploading a picture of a favourite Burberry item  may seem gimmicky; it personalizes the brand’s interaction with consumers and is really a smart way to humanize technology.

Brands with a clear strategy like Burberry, Coca-Cola  and Nike have re-invented themselves as media outlets in their own right,  and are at the top of their game in competing with publishers and traditional media for the attention of the consumer particularily Generation Y which represents a billion dollar market.  This generation of consumers are desensitised to traditional media and are spending more and more time on mobile devices.  They are not happy to have advertising thrust upon them but will choose how when and where they interact with a brand.  Ultimately, brands must find out where their audience is and then engage them with interesting content.

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