When you start a new job, there are so many little things that you have to get used to. Getting to know the names of your co-workers (mostly there), finding the best route into work (still working on that!), the right little café nearby (sussed), and the neighbourhood.
With that in mind, and it being one of the first bright days of this spring, I took myself off this lunchtime to have a wander. So I found myself around the corner in St. Patrick’s Park, behind the cathedral – a spot I’d never really been in before. Worth a visit, if you’re in the neighbourhood with a few minutes to spare.
At the far end is a sequence of alcoves, each a tribute to one of Ireland’s literary greats with a bronze plaque.
Beckett, Clarke, Behan, Joyce, O’Casey, Synge, Yeats, Shaw, Wilde, Mangan, Dillon and Swift himself (No, I’m not too clued into Mangan or Dillon either, but they must have been good!).
When you see them all in a row in the back garden of Jonathan Swift, it makes quite an impression. It’s an extraordinary testament to the writing talent of this nation and our unique ability to tell stories.
The content revolution
And, in its own little way, it confirmed me in my belief that I had made the right choice in hitching my wagon to the content marketing revolution. Because we are a nation of storytellers. And that is what content marketing is. Telling your brand’s story so that it resonates with your audience and engages them.
The ability of content marketing to improve an Irish brand's organic search ranking, promote brand awareness and move your customer from stranger to visitor to prospect to customer to advocate is also highly desirable and very welcome.
But Engagement is the Endgame for brands (sorry, Sam), whether consumer brands or B2B. And that’s where content marketing scores big.
I have spent enough time in traditional media and on the client side to know that engagement is what Irish brands are looking for. I wish I had a euro for every time I heard a media agency say ‘The figures on how many people have the opportunity to see the ad are fine, but can you prove the level of engagement?’
Content marketing and Irish brands
There are no figures available for Irish brands, but the presumption must be that we are broadly in line with the UK, where a 2014 survey of B2C and B2B marketers shows that
- 31% of budget is spent on content marketing
- Only 42% have a documented content marketing strategy
- 56% plan to increase spend on content marketing over the next year
- 46% find it a challenge to produce enough content
- 44% find it a challenge to produce engaging content
It's the last one that's the real clincher for me. Because it's one thing to produce enough content. It's another thing entirely to produce engaging content.
And while we at 256 Media cannot promise you a Beckett, Joyce or Yeats to compose your next article, blog, ezine, infographic, video, white paper or printed magazine, we do have a wide panel of highly talented writers, storytellers, designers and tech guys that do this exceedingly well.
If you’re still trying to match the headline to the article, count how many literary greats there are in St. Patrick’s Park. See what I did there, eh?
Author: Adrian O’Farrell, The Quare Fellow (well, it's better than The Borstal Boy)
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