The Story of The Content Kraken
In the beginning, the Content Kraken was just a Kraken — a squid-like sea monster that lay beneath the sea, terrorizing maritime wayfarers everywhere.
Sinking ships left and right, the Kraken was instilling fear in the hearts and minds of sailors everywhere. In fact, there was a long stretch of time when the Kraken really was in control of oceanic travel. He had everything he ever wanted, but at the very heart of his slimy, tenticular being, he knew something was wrong.
“What’s the point of it all?” he thought. “Is this all there is? Why am I even here?”
Rapt in existential contemplation, the Kraken fell fast asleep… and didn’t wake up until the latter half of the 20th century.
Waking From The Great Snooze
Needless to say, a lot had changed. When it woke, the Kraken came into a whole new world — one with a booming human population, globalized world trade, and an ocean that wasn’t just uncomfortably acidic and polluted, but was also filled with barges and stronger ships that the Kraken knew it didn’t stand a chance terrorizing.
With nowhere else to turn, the Kraken came to a conclusion: although it provided a lot of good to mankind as well, proliferating business was ultimately at the heart of this current condition. The Kraken knew it had to find a way into the business world in order to truly make an impact in today’s society.
…but he also knew it wouldn’t be easy. In fact, he realized there was a whole lot of problems with the way things are currently done — plenty of businesses were trying too hard to obtain new customers, and were ultimately hurting their brands in the process by overemphasizing promotion over value. The Kraken witnessed outbound marketing in the form of a print advertisement, and his mystical spirit immediately understood how compromising content for promotion can ultimately hinder brand equity in today’s age.
Becoming the Content Kraken
The Kraken knew what he had to do. Reading about the growing industries of inbound marketing and content marketing, the Kraken changed his name and entire being around this newfound, more effective form of marketing. He polished his head, waxed his tentacle, and even got a Wordpress account to display off a new and more articulate self. With success in mind and virtue in heart-thing, Kraken filed a name change with the Department of Social Scary Services and became… the Content Kraken.
Today, the Content Kraken has retired from wreaking havoc on the seas, but remains similarly destructive — striving to disrupt traditional marketing tactics with premium content marketing. By producing valuable content for a specific target audience (instead of marketing via traditional outbound means), the Content Kraken aims to help move individual businesses forward, while also enriching the bustling social media landscape and progressing the marketing industry as a whole. In time, the Content Kraken may even be able to instigate a state of enlightened marketing; with inbound marketing and the advent of conscious consumerism, brands (and society) may benefit from cultivating a more open and socially responsible brand identity.
More benevolent than chaotic, the Content Kraken has moved to the toolboxes of businesses everywhere, waiting to be utilized for the highest quality branding and lead generation. The Content Kraken represents how the best and most audacious content marketing campaigns should be viewed from the start: as valuable and highly engaging, aiming to pull customers in with tenticular accuracy and interesting content — as opposed to just reaching out to customers with sloppy, slippery appendages that serve to foremost promote a product rather than appeal to customer interests or actually solve problems.
Content Kraken In Action
Catching a glimpse of the elusive beast can be tough, but rest assured he’s out there. Case in point, following are some great examples of Content Krakens set free by their respective brands, now exercising their full might. Additionally, it’s worth noting that all of these campaigns have had virtual libraries of blog posts and articles written about them (as per the industry norm), so all you need to do is Google each of them to learn more.
In 2011, Coca-Cola rolled out one of the most audacious content marketing campaigns ever when they introduced Coca-Cola 20/20, their vastly original approach to marketing — a huge portion of which involves content marketing. The strategy involves sourcing content from literally everyone, from individual customers to small agencies looking to do pro-bono work. Ultimately (and aside from the their self-described purpose to “Inspire moments of happiness and optimism,”), what Coca-Cola aims to accomplish with this new strategy is a holistic new method of story-based marketing for their brand — allowing everyone to contribute their content in order to form a more collaborative, interactive and vibrant brand image.
Did you know that Red Bull has their own magazine? It’s called the Red Bulletin. With a circulation of about 2.2 million, it’s available in five languages, and it’s also free. Now that’s an outstanding content marketing campaign in its own right. What’s more, you’d be hard pressed to find a piece of content in the Bulletin that discusses anything about Red Bull’s energy drinks. Instead, each issue is filled with articles and rich visuals about what appeals to Red Bull’s target audience and brand: Extreme sports and an active lifestyle. In addition, Red Bull sponsors countless concerts worldwide and frequently hosts extreme sporting events — all of which serve to further enhance Red Bull’s brand and progress the marketing industry overall.
A multifaceted, multinational corporation, it’s no secret that Xerox has a lot of customers — and that those customers come from a wide range of backgrounds and demographics is also no surprise. But what’s one thing linking them all together? (Hint: Not printing.) Healthcare. Everyone who uses Xerox also needs healthcare, and with all the big changes to our healthcare system of late – and with the state of journalism being what it is – Xerox took a bold move to fill a big gap of content production. With HealthBiz Decoded, Xerox aims to, “provide a go-to resource for providers, payers, employers and government agencies.” Behold: this is a Content Kraken in full view.
While these content marketing campaigns are all vastly different in their approaches and the industries they span, they also demonstrably put their customers’ problems and interests first, displaying how versatile content marketing can be for any business. What’s more, even though these are national brands with enormous marketing budgets, that doesn’t mean smaller, local businesses can’t reap the benefits of quality content marketing too. The fact is that businesses of any size and scope can improve their branding – and our entire marketing paradigm – by implementing valuable content into their marketing mix.
And while the fabled tale of the Content Kraken may be somewhat of a stretch to get these ideas across, it’s nonetheless an interesting lens through which to view the content world. On a medium where novel headlines are key, and in an industry where value ostensibly comes from saying “content marketing” in as many different ways as possible, sometimes it seems that there are only so many ways to skin a cat.
It’s with that notion in mind, though, that I ask: What’s more differentiated and original than personifying content marketing as a mythic, sea-dwelling beast? I encourage all businesses, large and small (and all content marketing influencers alike): Release your Content Krakens!