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This month I had the pleasure and privilege of being a judge in the CMA’s International Content Marketing Awards 2012 for the category, Best Content Marketing Solution of the Year – Cross-Media, Consumer.

Some of the entries were stunning – strategically outstanding and incredibly effective pieces of work by some of the best agencies in the world on behalf of some of the best brands – some were not.

Sad to say, but even within the highest echelons of our profession there are those that completely misunderstand what a cross-media content marketing solution actually is.
Producing an informative article for a magazine, uploading a PDF of the page onto your client’s website and tweeting out a link to it, even if it’s a bitly link, does not make it a cross-platform solution.

Nor is publishing a customer magazine and uploading a page turning copy online.

I exaggerate to make a point, but not a lot.

So what is a cross-platform, content marketing solution?

Every customer touch point, every piece of markcomms, on and offline, every press release, every tweet, every customer service call, every video, every app – the options are endless. Every word, image (moving and still), every sound, every event and every interaction – they all have to work in harmony – be consistent, cohesive and clear – be either informative or entertaining and preferably both – and above all be engaging. It’s about pulling your audience towards you, not pushing your message at them.

Content has to be channel and audience-appropriate – how people engage online is completely different from how they engage offline. And online, how people engage on websites, blogs, mobile apps and Twitter is all very different – one size most definitely does not fit all!

The following are brilliant examples of how it should be done…in my humble opinion of course.

Mags

Coca Cola – Mark Ronson/ Olympics

You may have seen, heard or even submitted content to the latest campaign by Coco-Cola. The adverts first graced our screens just before the Olympics with Mark Ronson blasting out his usual cool tunes – with the help of an athlete or two. You can read all about the campaign on the company’s website and see the video below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFPN8k4ysqk&feature=relmfu

Land Rover Discovery

The 50-day ‘Journey of Discovery’ from Birmingham to Beijing, was one of the most epic and ambitious modern-day overland journeys and celebrated the production of the One Millionth Land Rover Discovery. Watch just one of the videos from this adventurous trip below or read all about the campaign on the company’s blog.

Harley Davidson Owners club

Including a magazine, app and website, the campaign encouraged riders to upload their own pictures to a dedicated website.

Sainsbury’s Little Ones

With a website, hardcopy magazine and dedicated social media streams, the campaign bridged the gap between the supermarket, mums and mums-to-be.