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Be more Coco


By Toby Smeeton

Be more Coco

Coco Chanel’s influence runs deep. She was quite clear that before you leave the house, you should look in the mirror and take one thing off.

It’s not a bad lens through which to view a content-saturated world – and ask, is it all necessary?

Here are some 2021 statistics about content: 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute (yes, that’s every minute!); around 7 million blog posts are published every day; 500 million tweets are sent every 24 hours. Residents of major UK cities are exposed to between 2,000 and 5,000 commercial messages a day. Ask yourself how many adverts you can spontaneously recall since breakfast. Any? No more than a handful, I bet.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Add to this the channels everyone has to be on top of ­– from websites and podcasts through to magazines, email, voice, film, Instagram, TikTok and so many more…

Brands are jostling with influencers, search and mainstream media to be heard. Quantity is often celebrated over quality, and whoever shouts loudest gets heard.

It might sound counter-intuitive for a content agency to cry ‘enough is enough’. But it really is.

It’s time for brands to reclaim content and go back to some simple principles to help them stand out and engage with their audiences.

  1. Build a plan. Content shouldn’t come about by accident. A plan should be built on content pillars that set out core themes and ensure everything hangs together under one framework.
  2. Think like an editor – audience first, not brand first.
  3. Be brave. Good content should excite, inform and engage. If it doesn’t do any of those things – ditch it.
  4. More is not better. No one can be bothered to wade through a labyrinthine website or hundreds of tweets to find a nugget of genius. Value not volume.
  5. Create once and adapt many times across many channels. You can only do this if you have a plan (see point 1). A video can also be used as audio over photographs or an animation, and the interview can be written up.
  6. Be agile and flexible. Respond to events and resurface existing content.
  7. Be where your audience are. If video resonates more than words, then use it. If they are using TikTok, be there.
  8. Think socially. Make content shareable from the outset.
  9. Lean on external contributors to bring new, multi-dimensional perspectives to your brand story.
  10. And finally, if you don’t know whether to publish something, take a step back and ask whether it’s really going to add value to your brand, or to anyone’s life. If it doesn’t, you don’t need to publish it.

Above all, be more Coco.