I’ll admit it, I’m really starting to think like a marketer. When I hear a good story I no longer seize on its news value, I ponder its marketing value. And that’s what happened last night when I overheard Kevin Spacey’s voice coming from my wife’s iPad. Spacey’s recent speech about the future of television – lots of quality content, presented in ways audiences want, always built around compelling stories – sounds to me like content marketing call to arms.
In the speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Spacey discussed the decision to release the entire first season of the wildly popular “House of Cards” all at once. The goal was to give the audience control over when and how they consumed it. That made me think of one of the key tenets of content marketing today: lethal generosity. Spacey said:
“Give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in, at a reasonable price, and they’ll more likely pay for it rather than steal it.”
Of course, people don’t steal marketing content. But we often ask them to pay a price for it by filling out a form or giving us their email addresses. The more valuable the message, the more likely prospects are to pay that price.
And this idea of providing content in the form audiences want. Too often marketers get hung up on formats and vehicles. Is it a whitepaper, an ebook, an infographic, a blog post? Should we share it through LinkedIn, Twitter, neither, both? Here’s Spacey’s take:
“Watching ‘Avatar’ on an iPad, or watching YouTube on a TV, or watching ‘Game of Thrones’ on their computer: It’s all content. It’s just story.”
It’s always just story. And if this flourish from Spacey about the value of story doesn’t get the marketer in you going, you may want to consider another line of work:
“… The audience has spoken. They want stories. They’re dying for them. They’re rooting for us to give them the right thing. And they will talk about it, binge on it, carry it with them on the bus and to the hairdresser’s, force it on their friends, tweet, blog, Facebook, make fan pages, silly GIFs, and God knows what else about it! Engage with it with a passion a blockbuster movie could only dream of! All we have to do is give it to them. The prize fruit is right there, shinier and juicier than it’s ever been before! So it’ll be all the more shame on each and every one of us if we don’t reach out and seize it!”