The Content Strategist

Ikea’s Interactive Holiday Catalog, Fiat’s Storytelling, Debating Branded Content

The Strategist picks the day’s most relevant and interesting stories about the world of content from around the web. Here’s what you should be reading today

Ikea’s Holiday Catalog Includes Interactive Content

Ikea’s new interactive online catalog for the holidays includes videos clips with social media integration, and “a feature to change the furniture and accessories in a photograph by using a mouse to ‘pull down’ a virtual window shade,” writes The New York Times’ Stuart Elliott.

The catalog is promoted through an online banner ad campaign as well as e-mails to customers in the United States.

Fiat’s Branded Content Efforts

Social Media Manager of Fiat Esperansita Bejnarowicz talked about the brand’s live storytelling events at Ad:Tech in New York, Media Post reports.

Dubbed “Alternate Routes,” the event featured Moth storytellers and was filmed and put online. It also appeared on CBS radio over the period of two months. There were 76 million impressions of the campaign, along with 440,000 hits on the videos.

Bejnarowicz said, “try to make your content as good as — or better than — the content around it; that’s what we learned. Make sure your content organically fits with the brand. Real content, like stories, engages.”

Branded Content Worthwhile?

Adrian Flores of mUmBRELLA says that, basically, branded content is a bit of a waste of time, and that it’s not profitable.

While he praises Harley Davidson’s Ridebook as being on point, some branded content is not selling anything, he says.

“For every pitch perfect execution like that, you have an Intel asking Kiefer Sutherland to reprise a character from a defunct television show with the only link back to their product being the fact it’s in the same room as him,” he continues. “As 1950s adman Howard Gossage said: ‘Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes it’s an ad.’ And if your ad is not about selling, the question must be asked; why exactly did you make it?”

The Power of Brand Media 

Blogger Steve Earl writes that brands now have just as much power as the media, which might get them in trouble.

To avoid this, he suggests knowing what the audience can take, and valuing editorial skills. People creating the content need to know the laws, and there should be planning for stories and how they could work across different channels.

BBC Chief Steps Down Over Scandal

According to the BBC, Chief George Entwistle will receive £450,000, or one year’s salary, as part of his deal to step down this past weekend. He stepped down after a Newsright report accused Tory politician Lord McAlpine of child abuse (McAlpine denied the charges, and the accusation was taken back by the man who claimed to be the victim).

Tim Davie, who is director of BBC Audio & Music, will be taking over the role of chief in December.

Content Marketing and the Competition

CopyBlogger’s Beth Hayden discusses why it’s necessary for content marketers to scope out the competition. Marketers should look on social media sites, in search engine results, and see who is getting a lot of attention in the industry.

It’s important to study the products and services competitors offer, along with their strengths and weaknesses and SEO strategy, she says. Marketers should monitor the social and SEO campaigns so that they can learn to beat the competition.

The Local Marketing Push in 2013

According to ClickZ and Balihoo, 91 percent of national brands will be investing at least the same amount or more into local marketing efforts next year. Forty seven percent of those brands “said they plan to invest more in local marketing for 2013 than they did in 2012.”

Local mobile marketing is also going to play a factor in campaigns; 34 percent of survey takers said they would be using it in 2013.