We Interrupt this Blog

… to Bring You a Giant Advertisement (or Magnetic Content and the Death of Interruptive Advertising)

(Okay so “death” might be a bit strong but you have to lead with a snappy title or you are in trouble from the start)

It is March. So why am I still writing about trends for 2012? I have a blog to write that’s why. And there is nothing people like more than reading about trends – even if other people have written about the very same trend before. In fact, that is what makes it a trend. If only one person wrote about it there is really no trend.

So let’s step back for a moment. You have something to sell. You need to market this thing. How do you do it? Traditionally, you would try to throw it in front of people whose money you are after. You would interrupt their TV show, distract their attention with a banner on a website or a billboard on the roadside, insert a page within a magazine article…all interruptive methods of getting attention. According to eMarketer.com, “The goal now is to attract rather than distract, to engage rather than intrude”. How you ask? Magnetic content. (Insert dramatic music).

So what is Magnetic Content anyway?

Let’s go to the experts. “Magnetic content is content that’s good – content that gets people’s attention with great story or outright hilarity. It’s the sort of thing people want to engage with and share.” (So says Frank Marquardt writing for Mashable.com). It is content designed to delight the viewer.

Magnetic content is one part of a brand’s larger online/offline marketing strategy. Engagement with the customer is key. In fact it should engage customers in ways that traditional ads cannot, driving brand interest and building an audience.

“This form of marketing involves blurring lines between content and advertising, as well as between online and offline media.” says eMarketer. “It entails taking a holistic approach toward making a connection with the customer, whether through a viral video, an event, a 15-second sponsorship, a custom game, an email campaign or a Promoted Tweet. Marketers refer to this all-inclusive methodology by the acronym POEM, which stands for paid, owned and earned media.”

In the last year Ford Motor Company has embraced these sorts of integrated campaigns. They held a user-generated video contest which gave winners a trip to Spain to test drive the new Focus, worked with Hulu to create an Amazing Race-like branded video series called “Focus Rally: America” and used Facebook to launch the latest Explorer as well as promote funny videos of a sarcastic puppet. Facebook is being used not only for advertising but also as a forum for delivering content.

“The best magnetic content begins with a strong, compelling idea. It offers a platform and extension that goes beyond a simple, dead-end execution, and creates conversation around an experience that is relevant to your brand.” says Frank Marquardt.

“But that doesn’t mean the content is about your brand primarily, or even secondarily. The story must come first. Magnetic content is always about human experience. It is an attractor because it is fundamentally and meaningfully social. And its power lies in the degree to which it reflects and expands people’s vision of themselves.”

Or we could go back to being interrupted by these sorts of ads.

Not Magnetic Content

See, now wasn’t that irritating?

Interested in discussing how you can take advantage of magnetic content? Contact Rand Group today!


– Software Delivered as Promised. No Surprises.

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