If you live in, or even near, NYC, the name Bansky has become a water cooler conversation for most of us for the past month. Bansky is a UK based artist who has decided to make the streets of the 5 boroughs his canvas for the past month. His works have included a truck filled with stuffed animals. A grim reaper bumper car and several amazing murals and sketches completed on the sides of buildings.
At first, his works were quickly “burned” over by other NYC graffiti artists. I’m not a graffiti expert, but from the images I saw, burners (I assume) are artists who write over other works with their tag (i.e. street name). As momentum mounted on his project, building owners quickly erected metal pull-downs to protect the works of art, as they did here with the Coney Island Robot! The project became so popular the secretive artist even completed a painting and delivered it to a thrift store so it could be sold and raise money for the non-profit. I believe it sold for over $600,000.
Despite the obvious talent and creativity of Bansky, the project delivers a great outline of how to evaluate content marketing concepts. I know when I look at our own concepts, I think of three high level requirements:
1) Create entertainment: when baking bread, you need to start with flour and water – content is no exception. Create something meaningful. Rewording existing articles and pushing around videos from others gets tired. Think of your entertainment themes: humor, sad, inspiring, revealing, love, death, etc..
Right now, the most watched/viewed piece of online content happened on Oct 14th, 2012 when Felix Baumgartner jumped from a balloon and fell 24 miles, breaking the free fall record. On that day, 10% of the internet bandwidth was taken by people watching the live-stream. YouTube saw 8-million simultaneous connections and actually went down for a while. I believe the only other event that spiked Internet traffic more was a release of a new Apple iOS.
Can’t afford a weather balloon and space suit for a hypersonic free fall? Some of us with more modest content budgets need to get clever with video editing, jokes and stories. Anyone creative can make things entertaining.
2) Portable: content needs to be portable so it can be shared many ways. It definitely should be consumable easily on a mobile device. Great articles are one thing, but can someone take a piece of content and move it into other forms? In the case of Bansky, items quickly went from a wall to spreading into videos, articles and photos. It was highly portable.
A great example of this was DISH and the Hopper TV device commercials. Its hard for a commercial to go viral, so they built talkboston.com. A very smart easy extension of the TV commercial.
3) Time sensitive: I debate this requirement as there have been numerous viral videos that have no element of time sensitivity (ie. What Does the Fox Say). But I do think this in an important element, especially if there is a promotion involved. Time sensitive means people need to share it fast. Flash sale sites capitalize on this concept – great deal, great stuff, but do it now!
In the case of Bansky, users felt special about finding new pieces, and the omen of the graffiti burners ruining the pieces made users compelled to share “before its too late.” People wanted to share it.
When analyzing content marketing concepts, if the idea covers all three elements here, you may have a hit on your hands!