David Shing on context at Marketing’s Branded Content conference

September 12, 2012  |  Russ Martin  |  Comments

Every brand on the planet wants to curate content. The trouble is most aren’t very good at it, according to AOL’s digital prophet David Shing, who spoke today at Marketing’s Branded Content conference in Toronto.

Shing showed the audience dozens of examples of companies that do curate content well – brands such as Lego, Unilever, Band-Aid, Intel and Toshiba. Throughout the talk Shing, placed a heavy emphasis on the context of branded content and insisted marketers need to tell a variety of stories, each tailored to the time, place and way in which people will consume them.

“At the end of the day it’s all about the context of storytelling – making sure you’re telling the right story at the right time to the right person in a combination of web and multi-device,” he said.

Q&A: David Shing

Shing, who studies web trends and consumer behaviour for AOL, also explained the importance of a slew of recent trends including location, gamification, augmented reality, mobile merits and intranets for friends. Understanding trends, especially on the web, is vital to retaining relevancy, he said.

“Trends are important because if you’re seeing a number of people in a tribe head towards a particular thing, you want to be the first brand, or one of the first brands, to enable that trend,” he said. “If it blows up, you don’t want to be standing on the shore waving the boat goodbye. You want to be on the boat.”

After the talk, Shing explained he believes branded content will become even more important. “Consumers are actually consuming a lot more of this content then they ever have previously, and they’re consuming it on multiple devices.”

“Brands have to sit up and pay attention to the fact that people care about branded content,” he said.

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