Creative constraint: the future of content marketing

The 21st century’s defining medium could well be social media. As brand reputations can rise and fall in bite-sized, 140-character chunks, so content marketing must now compete, not just with traditional media channels, but also with the complex ecosystem of the feed, where consumer attention is often fleeting and technologies’ demands unrelenting.

Almost overnight, the industry decided Facebook wasn’t right

This has prompted critics to argue that the knee-jerk response that this ecosystem demands is creating a shallow substitute for the painstaking and time-consuming task of formulating honest, considered answers to the complex and difficult questions of our time.

Among the creative community, some of these questions are focusing on how brands, for better or worse, are shaping their communication to fit better within the walls of social-media channels and the way these constraints are driving and challenging creativity within content marketing.

Ross Neil, executive creative director at ad agency WCRS, compares the industry’s obsession with social media, and the instant response it demands, to waterskiing. “The danger is you skim the surface and don’t have enough time to think,” he warns. “Agencies put too much weight on believing in Twitter when only 15% of the country is on it.

You can’t boil everything down to the constraints of one medium still in its infancy.” A virtual prison Constraint has long been used as a way to trigger inspiration for creative ideas. Perhaps the most famous example is the Oulipo movement of French writers and mathematicians, founded in the 1960s, who actively sought out constrictions of form and pattern to better mould their writing and focus their creative thinking.

Creative constraint: the future of content marketing


Rick Duris is CopyRanger.

Leave a Reply