Lean Content.... sorry, what??
When we talk about content quality, spread ability of media, maximizing marketing return with a minimum investment… we talk about Lean Content. But what does it mean exactly in terms of content type and production process?
Lean Content is the art of maximizing your brand impact on Social Media (mainly visibility wise), using minimum resources through content (According to ScoopIt). It is also, as Julien Carlier from Social Dynamite claims, the art of agilizing your contents. It is a concept invented by ScoopIt to promote social curation, which is about pushing somebody else’s content on your brand space. According to Scoopit (but it is their business model), it allows users to gain visibility and credibility about their business and ecosystem knowledge and drive traffic to their personal space.
Minimum resources, because these days, to produce a podcast, you only need a phone and a mic. It can range from the interview made in 1 minute of the famous influencer you happen to meet in a convention, to the video blog report you make of it afterwards. What is interesting is that in many cases, with the help of a single laptop people can produce quality contents, upload and promote them in a matter of minutes, far from the traditional Corporate Content, which is costly, un-agile, and in most cases not responsive to opportunities or risks. Like the Titanic, it is made for long haul cruises, and it is complicated to make it change its course once it is launched.
In Lean Content generation, you only consider the intrinsic quality of the content for dissemination and dispersion across the internet. It may serve purposes of notoriety, which is about getting to be known as a reference in an ecosystem; of visibility, which is more about traffic and pure audience base, or of credibility.
You should also consider its intrinsic agility. An agile content is made on the go, very often without having being prepared in advance (brings authenticity to the game), with minimum resources (a phone would do), and shared on social media. Some of these transform into viral content, leveraging to levels unprecedented in Marketing history.
“Lean Content is about exploiting situational opportunities to generate content” claims Julien Carlier. This in turn raises questions about our production and broadcasting processes. Rights management and corporate communication are having a hard time coping with these new realities. What to produce, under which circumstances does content become acceptable as far as corporate communication is concerned? How does an organization control the spontaneity of that communication, and accept the inherent risks to its promotion? How and when to allow the use of corporate identification for privately produced contents?
Any organization involved in digital marketing among other marketing channels should consider these issues, and have processes that allow for flexibility and control at the same time. Flexibility because this type of communication need to permanently adapt to in order to maximize its impact which very often does not last, and control because corporate communication is a serious matter, which can lead to disaster if ill prepared.
A good example would be the Oreo campaign during the Super Bowl XLVII. During this particular Super Bowl event, a blackout occurred that was promptly followed by a tweet from Oreo Corporate Account with following image. You have to imagine the reactivity and autonomy given to the communication team in order for them to be able to surf on such an event so fast... Would you have been able to do so?
So, do you have a content generating system that allows for Lean Content? Are some of your contents Lean? Moreover, do you think you could gain from producing lean content? And if so, what supporting processes did you put in place to design and manage those?