I enjoyed a great couple of days attending Content360 in Singapore last week, with ACMA as the Association Partner for the event. The 180-strong audience enjoyed case-study rich presentations from some of the world’s greatest brands, and I definitely agree with the general sentiment that Singapore (and Asia) has moved beyond the why of content marketing into the how.

While the event was predominantly focused on B2C and video content, the overarching message I took from all of the presentations and discussions is this: don’t get confused by the processes, because it’s easy to get distracted (and stalled) by the details.

Instead, we must all work to focus on what is most important – creating really compelling content that makes your customers (the ‘audience’) want more, and deliver it over the appropriate channels based on where your customers are most engaged – online and off. That said, throughout this event there was definitely a strong focus on digital.

My concern is the audience taking that message too literally when it may not be appropriate for their brand?

Another key take-away is that content marketing has moved into the mainstream and with ad-blocking now a reality, delivering awesome content that is mobile-enabled has never been more critical.

Industry events normally attract a smattering of good speakers and for the rest of the time we yawn our way through, but at Content360 this year, it was definitely not the case. I wasn’t bored for a second and every speaker taught me something new and valuable. I hope everyone else felt the same.

Some highlights from two days, but do check out hashtag #content360sg for more:

The event got off to a great start with the effervescent Tony Chow from Marriot International. Marriott are doing great content in this region, with plans to grow both budgets and the content team.

#content360sg

#content360sg

Radha K Raman, of Brightcove, Asia Pacific, discussed the difference between YouTube and Your Tube. A very interesting distinction. Video was definitely a hot topic throughout the event.

A great panel discussion followed, honing in on how significantly budgets are changing, with a dramatic decrease in advertising spend as well as traditional viewing channels.

#content360sg

Chantal van Wijnbergen, of Jetstar Airways made us laugh when discussing the very successful Jetstar Airways Singlish campaign. If you haven’t watched it, do check out the link.

#content360sg

And later, Angela Hunter of Prudential Assurance Singapore made us cry with her presentation on Prudential’s beautiful #relationshipreconnect campaign. Pass the tissues.

The results speak for themselves.

#content360sg

Phil Townend, MD Asia Pacific for Unruly gave a very spirited presentation, claiming that content marketing will be the saviour of the free internet. I agree Phil.

#content360sg

And did you know you are 475 times more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad?

#content360sg

John Williams of the BBC discussed building brand purpose in a compelling presentation from one of the world’s greatest storytelling brands. I am looking forward to seeing what BBC Storyworks achieves in the content space in Asia.

#content360sg

Rashish Pandey of Cisco gave a great B2B example in discussing how Cisco evolved into a content marketing organisation, with an internal focus in building its content muscle the first core focus area.

#content360sg

Kevin Hagino of LEGO Group was an outstanding highlight for the event, mainly because he is a great storyteller. The table I was sitting at saw us all giggle for the first 10 minutes as he explained his early career in feminine hygiene products. Why a man enters that field, I don’t know!

However, as a brand, it’s hard to get a better story board to work with than LEGO. Kevin’s focus on creating content that’s really meaningful to customers – the idea that a human is at the end of all marketing – struck a big chord with the audience.

#content360sg

ACMA board member Timi Siytangco of Outbrain did us all proud as she discussed the three moments of attention – intent, influence and interest. But definitely not interrupt!

#content360sg

And Aseem Puri, CMO, Unilever International, gave a highly irreverent but impactful presentation on a number of content campaigns that have achieved phenomenal results. Poo-Pourri as a closer was an interesting choice. Check it out.

#content360sg

#content360sg

Everyone did a great job and shared incredible insights and examples, and there were many more speakers and presentations worthy of a mention. So I really do recommend reviewing the Twitter feed #content360sg, where there is lots of tweets and interactions throughout the event to learn from.

For anyone who attended but found the big brand success stories daunting and is maybe struggling to understand how to apply all of this to your business and budget, here’s some key messages I hope will help:

  • It’s about stopping thumbs and winning hearts today – so focus on creating great content that is all about the human at the end of your marketing
  • Define your customer, define your story and then deliver magic to them
  • Understand where your customer is and interact with them there
  • If you are still focused on the ‘old’ style of marketing and advertising as your primary focus area, it’s time to take another look, shuffle your priorities, and put content at the heart of your strategy
  • There was a lot of talk about moving to digital, but as above, where is your customer? If you can reach them in-person, don’t forget the old tactics in your mix as well
  • Take risks, be brave, be prepared to make mistakes and learn
  • Be patient, give your content marketing strategy time to work
  • What external content can you use? Is user generated content (UGC) an opportunity?
  • Measure what you’re doing, track trends, understand SEO and SEM
  • Get started

Also, do check in to ACMA regularly for our content, events, research and learnings. We’re here to help you succeed so bookmark this page and follow us on social media.

Congrats to the team at Marketing Magazine/Marketing Interactive. You pulled together a great event and I’m looking forward to next year.

Let me know what you thought of the two days if you attended?

Cheers

Andrea

Andrea Edwards is the Executive Director for ACMA and recently launched her new business – The Digital Conversationalist – which is focused on content marketing strategy and mentoring, social leadership, employee advocacy, and personal branding. You can connect with Andrea on LinkedIn, Twitter or on Facebook.