How to Use Digital Entertainment to Drive Content Engagement (Part 2)

Since my last ClickZ article, where I shared some of the real-time advertising opportunities available through digital music streaming, I have continued on my quest to impart insider knowledge about how you can utilize digital entertainment to make your content marketing programs work best in driving true, authentic targeted engagement. In this article, you will learn the secrets to meta data in music and the power of using digital comics for story-selling.

Harnessing the Power of Meta Data for Branded Entertainment in Music

Not unlike the world of search engine optimization (SEO), the world of music depends on the quality and proper analysis, insight, and then use (in digital marketing programs) of meta data. So says Bill Wilson, vice president of digital strategy and business development at Music Biz, formerly NARM. Music Biz is the member organization for the entire industry of music.

I sat down with Wilson to understand how the music business works from the standpoint of consumer insights in support of its service providers. Wilson, a legend and true pioneer of using technology to drive the music economy, gave me a deep dive into how more sophisticated data in the industry from pulls from downloads information, streaming numbers, and sync summaries has enabled companies in the industry (and their advertisers) to provide customized content and offers based on real-time information of consumer demand.

He pointed to such acquisitions as Beats by Apple and Songza by Google – both of which were driven by the need to own behavioral consumer data (and related playlists). Wilson describes meta data as “all the individual pieces of information about the customer coupled with backend sales data and record label product codes.” It is this meaning of data and then the creation of consumer-facing products with this data in mind that then provides advertisers opportunities to create branded experience with the consumer.

We need only to look at immersive brands such as Converse and the Rubber Tracks Music Label and Red Bull and Red Bull Records to see the ubiquity the brands have created alongside of the listening and digital sharing of the music.

Digital Comics Provide the Ultimate Story-Selling in Content Marketing

Just as music has demonstrated in so many ways that it provides opportunities for marketers to engage in branded entertainment, digital comics are where it’s at for telling stories in a hugely compelling way. In the new world of content marketing, story-selling and personal branding and understanding how digital comics are being used in the business marketplace is of crucial marketing importance. In case you have been living under a rock for the last decade, the world of Comic-Con and comics as an industry has literally exploded, expanding its popularity into film, television, and the digital world of entertainment.

jack-dorsey-comic-bookI reached out to the executive team at Lion Forge Comics, which has made the popular TV shows of the ‘80s live again through digital comics. Through their partnership with NBC, the comic book publisher has digitized the likes of Miami Vice, Knight Rider, and Air Wolf.

David Stewart, chief executive (CEO), and Sanjiv Teelock, chief operating officer (COO), of Lion Forge have been hard at work enabling sequential stories to support the needs of marketers. In my interview with the team I came to understand how comics can be customized to support selling at all levels of an organization,

“Sequential story-telling found in comics allows organizations to better explain their vision, strategy, and internal policies to their employees,” they shared. “Comics can not only be used as art to embellish the work place but also can carry important messages for the employees. When it comes to marketing and promotion, comics can be used to better explain the value proposition of products and services to prospective clients.”

There are many existing examples of how comics have been used and continue to be used to support interaction with brands, both corporate and executive brands:

  • Google created a digital comic on their launch of their Web browser Chrome in order to help bloggers and journalists better understand its inner-workings. 
  • In the healthcare space, Graphic Medicine, a nonprofit, uses comics as a medium to better explain diseases and offer an outlet to cope with illness.
  • On the executive brand, custom illustrations of business figures are popping up everywhere and some even have dedicated Web comics established to share their individual story. Bluewater Productions created The Jack Dorsey Story, about the co-founder of Twitter (see above, image credit Bluewater Comics). As a big believer in the power of the online personal brand for B2B executives to drive engagement, I even had my very own digital comic illustration created, which you can see below:


Utilizing digital entertainment in an authentic way where your brand becomes an immersed property of the experience to the consumer or client can expand your content marketing reach exponentially. As you start to think about how you can leverage the viral online audiences that popular music acts or comic books and graphic novels represent, start with your best customer in mind. Do you know their age, tastes, background, and general interests? That information is only a step away. Considering a content marketing program that partners with a digital entertainment property can mean all the difference in making your content earn new business.

Homepage image via Shutterstock.

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