Oscars content marketingEach year, on one particular night, millions of viewers sit glued to their screens, watching the brightest stars in Hollywood come out to shine. And the Oscars 2016 was certainly no exception.

Those that peruse social media will notice, as the evening unfolds, Facebook and Twitter go crazy with people offering their views, opinions and criticisms in real time – who can forget Ellen DeGeneres’ 2014 Oscars selfie featuring the likes of Bradley Cooper, Kevin Spacey, Brad Putt and Jennifer Lawrence? The picture nearly broke Twitter, racking up 779,295 retweets in around 30 minutes, racing ahead past the record previously held by none other than President Obama. And the debating and sharing continues well on into the aftermath of the ceremony.

But, what does this have to do with digital marketing? Well, if there is one thing that the Oscars knows how to do it’s create a buzz that a content marketer would give his left arm for. In fact, the whole industry actually offers a few distinct parallels to the world of content marketing – perhaps this is why the Content Marketing Institute invited Kevin Spacey to deliver the closing keynote at Content Marketing World 2014. Maybe there are a few lessons we can learn from the Hollywood crowd…

It’s all about the story

Whether we are talking an Academy Award winning film or a content marketing campaign, a compelling story is everything. Movies use actors, directors, setting and screenwriters to engage their viewers – look at the tale told by the film which won three Oscars at this year’s ceremony, ‘The Revenant’: one man’s story of survival in a brutal, frost-bitten landscape. Gripping the emotions of the viewers, this film holds tight and doesn’t let go from start to finish, and as Spacey himself said in the aforementioned keynote speech: the most important element of any story is the audience. Content marketers need to know their audience inside out to create the most compelling story that relates to their services or products. Understand who they are, what it is they want and where they are looking for it and deliver the goods. Just like providing an incredible cinematic experience or excellent new Netflix series, your audience will binge on it, share it with their friends and engage with your brand.

Let the subtext do its work

A Backstage interview with Best Actress nominee, Cate Blanchett, records her discussing her love of the subtext in a script and how she feels ‘the typical over-explication of things’ simply doesn’t interest her in the same way. We came across an article on skyword.com which compares Blanchett’s point with the the subtext used by successful content marketers. Gone are the days of the hard sell and direct, to-the-point adverts. Instead, audiences desire the subtle approach – intelligent content that allows you to convey your message in a gentle way, allowing the audience to join the dots between your story and your brand.

Repurposing works

The prized Best Picture award this year went to ‘Spotlight’, the gripping saga of The Boston Globe’s investigation into crimes against children committed by the Catholic Church – a picture which has a style that gives more than a nod to another award-winning journalistic film, 70s classic ‘All the President’s Men’. Repurposing a winning formula, whether it’s a movie or stellar piece of content can win you an audience. Content curation, or putting your own unique spin on a hot topic shows you are in touch with your audience. Check you analytics to discover which of your posts perform the best and consider refreshing the content with a new angle, and check up on your competition for inspiration too. Of course, innovative brands should spend time coming up with their own innovative ideas, but it doesn’t follow that every idea needs to be 100% new. After all, if ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, sequel to the 80s favourites, can sweep up six statuettes, there’s something to be said for the humble spin-off.

Promotion is golden

It’s not enough to release a film and sit back waiting for the world to recognise your genius, just as it’s not enough to publish a piece of stellar content and then leave it to sit unnoticed on your company blog. Movies require marketing, and plenty of it, to prevent them sinking without a trace. Ensure you work out the best social platforms to appeal to your audience, and whether that’s LinkedIn or Twitter, be sure to share and share alike. Remember this twist on the old adage: you will fail to win 100% of your readers who don’t see your content.