I’ll be live blogging some of the key talks from The Social Media Marketing Conference in London today. Please keep refreshing the page for updates.

Doug Kessler is a B2B marketer. He kicks off by reminding us that content marketing started out as a business to business thing – then the consumer marketers got hold of it. Now everybody’s doing it. And as content marketing goes mainstream it stops conferring advantage.

Content marketing is becoming increasingly about “home run pieces” – the stuff that really resonates with your target audience. You want to give your audience goodies over time. And you want to throw a few “home runs” in there. You want to get onto a home run path. Building a great content brand.

Why hit home runs?

1. They earn disproportionate goodies.
2. They improve the performance of all other content
3. They create engagement through shares
4. They give you shot at overcoming the biggest obstacle: inertia

Clearly there’s no formula for producing home runs – but you can create the right conditions to produce it. Here are some tips:

1. Swing for the fences – home runs happen in the brief: are you commissioning something to create a home run?
2. Become a student of home runs. Figure out what works in content – and apply it. Most content marketers are studying the wrong things.
3. Steal shamelessly: originality is over-rated and creativity is misunderstood. Tarentino stole from Tolstoy and he stole from somebody else. That’s what stealing is.
4. Steal from far away. Yes you can learn from the home runs in your market, but you’re not going to get a home run by copying the competition.
5. Steal from people who do it well.
6. Put your swag to work – find a way to get it into your market.
7. Follow the fear. Look at people who dared to get fired and hit home runs instead.

Doug gives a great case study: the Follow the Frog campaign (above) from Rainforest Alliance: there’s a little kernel of truth that was beautiful about this one. Also, Metro Trains’ Dumb Ways to Die video. Find your kernel of truth.

Paths of Flight from GE Aviation is a beautiful film with no noise at all. Landings, take offs, dusk and dawn. The lesson here: when you have something beautiful, just shut up. Find the people having the most fun in your company and go and hang out with them. Find the people in your company who love their work.

Don’t steal from Axair UK limited. Steal from Big Ass Fans. They used to be called “high volume low speed” fans. Then a customer saw a fan one day and said “my, that’s one big ass fan”. You need to have stealing confidence.

Steal from Crap [Doug’s talk] by all means – anything you can steal, please do. All great content is confident and most crappy content is not.

Emotion is a big part of the success of those slides. The formula might be like this: Head x Heart = Home Run. If you hit both, you’re touching something real. It’s psychographic targeting. Think: what can we rant about, what are we passionate about?

Jemima Gibbons

Social media consultant and author of Monkeys with Typewriters (featured by BBC Radio 5 and the London Evening Standard). Get your social marketing up and running with my Social Media Launch Pack!

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