Interview with Daniel Bô, founder of the Brand Content Institute
Tell us about the Brand Content Institute …
It is an independent center of expertise dedicated to brand content. Its aim is, on the one hand, to do research and monitoring and, on the other hand, to organize events, training and consulting around brand content.
What is your expertise?
Over twenty five years of media and brand studies at the institute of studies QualiQuanti. We evaluated hundreds of magazines, TV shows, and content sites and worked on numerous brand platforms.
Our expertise is also grounded on a process of continuous monitoring of the best brand-content practices and on many surveys conducted among the public. We have been meeting with market players for ten years as well as supporting brands with their editorial strategy. Precise knowledge of the editorial offer of a specific sector and of the expectations of different audiences helps one make the right choices. A lot of things have already been tried on the subject, it would be a shame not to learn the lessons.
Finally, nothing would have been possible without the expertise of our network of collaborators, which brings together a varied range of skills.
What expectations do you address?
Far too often, I meet advertisers who are disoriented: it is difficult to become an impromptu content producer… Compared to the good old thirty-second advertising, the wealth of possibilities offered by brand content is staggering: informative content, practical advice, blogs, web-series … Should we develop content in-house or in partnership with a media outlet? There is also the question of the choice of positioning area or areas the brand will adopt: what subjects to approach, how to properly associate the content, how to renew?
What are the objectives of the Brand Content Institute?
- Help brands and their partners to develop brand-content strategies that create value.
- Promote original editorial strategies that are connected to the culture of the brand in the long term.
- Speed up the professionalization of brands by developing expertise by sectors: Luxury, Technology, Automotive, Insurance, Banking, Food, Distribution, B2B, SMEs, etc.
Relying on years of research, the Brand Content Institute provides independent benchmarks. The objective: to save time and money for our clients.
How do you develop a strategic brand content policy?
We need to take a good look at the international editorial landscape of the sector; understand the brand and its potential; identify an editorial and cultural area that is appropriate, fertile, attractive and relevant; mobilize the internal resources; define an artistic direction and a timetable and assume the learning process. It is a matter of continuous experimentation, making sure that the content remains awesome, interesting, stimulating, and of adapting.
What is missing in today’s brand content?
The lack of strategic vision generates:
- Poor quality brand content: fuzzy editorial lines, information with low added value, etc.
- Generic operations disconnected from the brand identity.
- Sporadic content that is unrelated to other manifestations of the brand.
What kind of brand content do you want to privilege?
Our approach is to take into account the full range of brand content including:
- Different types of content (informative, practical, artistic, cultural, entertaining, social, etc.)
- All forms of expression (photo, video, music, books, tutorials, data visualization, exhibitions, virtual reality, etc.)
- Everyone involved in the production (internal, communities, consumers, experts, artists, influencers, youtubers, etc.)
- New practices (immersive content, connected objects, living services, conversational agents, etc.)
Who do you offer your services to?
To all brand-content actors: advertisers but also the media, agencies and content producers. The idea is to build bridges between very different segments, with whom we have been meeting for decades. We can conduct research to feed events, white papers or give visibility to an actor. We are complementary to the agencies, which want to benefit from an independent strategic vision.
Why do you insist on this concept of independence?
Brands are constantly being solicited by a wide range of actors (media, advertising, editorial, digital agencies, content producers). Each specialist offers a solution, in line with his or her know-how. Only an independent and generalist organization can help the advertiser distance himself and gain some perspective to sort out these recommendations, while helping him develop in-house expertise through training and counseling.
Are there other equivalent organizations elsewhere in the world?
Since 2007, in Cleveland, U.S., Joe Pulizzi’s CMI or Content Marketing Institute has been democratizing content marketing through events, studies, an award, a university, a magazine, a podcasts, a blog … There was a need for a similar European initiative, one that would take into account not only content marketing but all forms of brand expression (including cultural and artistic content, product culture, etc.).