Content marketing is not the future… it’s the present. Live from the CMAs in Cleveland!

We are delighted to be here in Cleveland at the Content Marketing Awards. Not only are we nominated for agency of the year, but two campaigns we ran for clients were nominated. EBS was nominated for the best multi-year content programme and Weirs was nominated for the best retail publication.

For so long now, people in content marketing have been saying that “content marketing is the future”. We’ve been in the industry for almost five years now and we’ve heard that time and time again. But we’ve thought for ages that content isn’t the future… it’s the present.

We don’t need to blind anyone with stats but 81 percent of all customers research online before buying a product. Over a third of them want more blogs and interesting content. Content is about telling the stories that customers want to hear.

Ira Glass, the host of the seminal This American Life Podcast once said that “great stories happen to those who tell them”.  That’s what we are seeing here in Cleveland. We’re not here to blow our own trumpet but there is some amazing work being done by content agencies around the world.

In Ireland, the role of the storyteller is a revered one. Even going back to our ancient Celtic ancestors, the clans that ruled Ireland had a pretty defined hierarchy. But regardless of who the figurehead was, the role that was perhaps most respected was that of the seanachaí or storyteller. Our team of journalists and writers are continuing that tradition in our own way!

That's what inspired our video for these Content Marketing Awards to celebrate the fact that we are the only Irish agency nominated for agency of the year which you can see here.

The great thing about attending something like this is the exchange of ideas with other content leaders from around the world.

The best of the Content marketing awards

One of the most innovative campaigns that we saw was by the fantastic Dutch agency Zandbeek – which won the award for the Best Use of Instagram/Snapchat in Content Marketing. Zandbeek designed a campaign to boost Eindhoven as a destination for city breaks.

They brought 18 influencers in the world of city breaks to Eindhoven and let them loose on the city. The campaign, which featured 204 posts, was seen by almost 4 million people and received 30 percent more engagement that traditional campaigns had in the past.

We’ve been working on similarly innovative campaigns for our clients in Ireland and further afield but every day is a school day so we’re unashamed to say that we are here to share and exchange ideas for our clients back home!

We’re madly excited to meet Joseph Gordon Levitt too at #CMWorld. Not only is he a fine actor, but Levitt also starred in a story based on one of our creative team (content creator Paul) back in Dublin so we’re dying to ask him about that!

Karen Hesse

Karen Hesse

Karen Hesse is Founder and CEO of 256, a multi-award winning global content marketing agency based in Dublin, Ireland. A journalist and publisher she has over 25 years experience developing content strategy for brands.
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