Rob ogilvyTell stories the way that people are consuming them.   Be part of the experience that consumers want to have.  This is the way to optimize brand storytelling through your content marketing, according to Robert Davis, Executive Director, Content Marketing Practice/Advanced Video Practice at Ogilvy (Follow social@ogilvy).

In a live (and livestream) event tonight (March 25, 2014) hosted by Ogilvy Public Relations, Rob said,  “The best use of content is marketing occurs when the accord is drawn between the goals of the brand and desires of the users.”   That is a pretty powerful concept.  It is customer- centric, in that the content must be consumed to meet any marketing goals, and thus it must be relevant, valuable, interesting and in the most appealing channel.   It’s also very empowering.  Imagine how game changing it would be to think about having an actual conversation with your customers.  If we were all able to have the trust and camaraderie of the beloved proprietor of the corner store.  If we were all actually part of the community.

At the end of the day, this is what marketing has come to: Being part of the community.  We are no longer in a push, broadcast world.  Our data-driven lifestyles are fueled by interactive exchanges with brands.  With marketing so good, we think of it as a service.   Information that is so valuable, it markets to us.

Rob had an interesting view on this. He said that we’ve moved from a POE environment (paid, owned, earned) to OEP (owned, earned, paid).  “The  change is significant,” he said.    “Adopting this idea, then brands will focus on where they can control as publishable content – website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – anywhere you can publish content without writing a check.

“Then, build the social strategy on top of that to increase the reach for owned and earned, and when your media budget runs out, you still have a content platform to juice the conversation and keep your momentum,” he said.

The ROI of content must be built into its creation, he advised.  “ You need to know up front where a piece of content goes in the marketing/sales funnel (which can range from awareness to loyalty), what are you trying to say, where it’s going to run, and how you will measure it?  Make sure every asset is created against a specific role in the funnel and assign a KPI to every asset,” he said.

“A view is not enough for most content to be measurable ROI.”