From BBC+ to Trump’s $2bn earned media windfall – content marketing trends

BBC’s new app will make mobile content more practical

The BBC has just launched BBC+; its 15th app in the U.K. But, in the bastardised words of Tolkien, this will become “one app to rule them all”. BBC+_BBC_App

BBC+ gives users a list of over 50 topics when they download the app. They are encouraged to choose at least three. Examples include:

  • ‘iPlayer Radio picks’
  • ‘Behind the headlines’
  • ‘This week in sport’
  • ‘Faith and philosophy’

Once users have selected their preferences, the app creates a personalised and easily readable

This app signals a desire to make written content more practical. You can now read an article about a new DJ and access their latest radio show without ever leaving the platform. This mirrors to take consumers from discovery to purchase within the same app.

It also ties into the ever-increasing demand for personalised content. According to Paul Owen, Head of BBC+:

“BBC+ is a key part of the journey towards achieving a much more personal BBC, and truly brings topical information from across the whole organisation to your pocket, ready for you to access at your convenience.”

With 7m people already signed up for a myBBC account, it looks like the BBC might have broken out ahead of the pack with this latest app.

Trump’s $2bn earned media windfall hides lesson for content marketers

Sepia-faced oligarch Donald Trump has generated a staggering $2bn in earned media since the start of his presidential campaign, setting a new whole new precedent for political advertising.

Content that is resonates with its audience, and gets shared and promoted without any capital outlay, is known as earned media. Traditional advertising, on the other hand, requires people to pay for the privilege of putting across their message.

This method typically boils down to four primary types of content activity:

  • Mentions
  • Shares
  • Reposts
  • Reviews

The key ingredients that comprise earned media are authority, memorability and a broad appeal. Regardless of your political standing, Trump has demonstrably achieved all three.

In doing so, the xenophobic wig-stand has leveraged the ‘clickbait’ model; prioritising bite-sized, hyperbolic statements to communicate his message.

How much has Trump spent?

Up to the end of February, Trump had spent just $10m on campaign advertising. To put things into perspective, this represents approximately one-third of the amount spent by both of this year’s Democrat candidates (Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders), and less than one-eighth of what George ‘Dubbya’ Bush had spent at the same point in his campaign.

While earned media pretty much always trumps paid media when it comes to political campaigning, ‘The Donald’ is already being touted as possibly the most successful earned media operator there’s ever been.

Trump_bought_vs_free_media

In February alone, Trump secured $400m worth of earned media. Equivalent to the entire funding package for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. At the last count, he had earned $2bn in free media during the nomination process, which adds up to roughly twice the amount invested in the most expensive presidential campaigns in history.

Trump revels in negative media attention. He frequently inspires anger, and often ad-libs hate-filled vitriol. He dominates the airwaves and his campaign is extremely memorable. Could this be all it takes to win a presidential election?

The lesson this holds for content marketers is that you have to make your content memorable if you want it to take on a life of its own and snowball into an earned media phenomenon. Content should grab the reader’s attention and discuss a relevant subject in a way the audience can relate to, whether it takes the form of a humorous slogan or detailed analytical piece.

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