The world’s largest licensing trade show has kicked off in Las Vegas yesterday providing an invaluable networking and business platform for professionals.
Not unusually, this year, the list of exhibitors at Licensing Expo features an impressive selection of IP owners who are heavily leveraging on their content pipeline to support their licensing deals. Indeed, “As Seen on TV”, seems to still to be a huge incentive to investigate a potential deal.
The relationship between content and physical product is certainly not new concept. However, what we are witnessing more and more is the proliferation of content development linked to product marketing. Content has been identified as a key driver to facilitate product sell-in, because it creates editorial value around a physical product.
But what are the guidelines to develop and successfully market this type of content? There are traditionally three things to look for when starting to create content.
Firstly, given that content development tends to be a costly exercise, insight is key to mitigate the risks involved.
Research should be used to spot elements such as mass trends and seasonality patterns that, if successfully integrated in the story line, will provide a compelling reason to view for your audience. Research should also be used to gain as much knowledge as possible on the target demographic, as content is, by definition, an audience-centric concept. What does your audience want or need from your content? Soft learning or pure entertainment? Will they want to watch your content on their own or with their friends and families?
The second element is storytelling. A strong overarching narrative is paramount: you do not want your content to look and feel like an advert. You want your audience to emotionally engage with the plot and the characters. This means that the content will have to feature strong and likeable protagonists, who your audience can identify with. Strong values such as friendship and camaraderie are also a winning ingredient.
The last element is a decision on where to place your content. Again, a strong insight on your audience will provide direction on how successfully to showcase content. For instance, bite-sized content will probably perform better online, whereas long-form episodic content could be placed on TV or streamed online via content aggregators such as Amazon Prime or Netflix.
Of course, the golden ticket will always be a scenario where both content and products are available in the same space. More and more platforms are trying to provide this kind of solution, using content to drive licensed product sell-in and, conversely, using products as a promotional vehicle to boost content viewership.
It will be interesting to see what developments key players such as Netflix and Amazon will offer in the future.
If you are thinking of developing content or would like to place existing content, Generation Media can help you. Email email@example.com or give the team a call on +44 (0) 207 307 7900.