Tom Hoehn, director of Interactive Marketing and Convergence Media for Kodak’s Chief Marketing Office, is giving a presentation at the 2010 Custom Content Council conference—”Content: Use It or Lose It, Taking Advantage of Content in a Custom Media Age.” And as I will be attending the event, I thought it would be great to gain some insights into Tom’s digital marketing strategy at Kodak. Here’s the result.
John: You’ve been with Kodak for a while. How has Kodak’s content strategy for print and digital changed over the years?
Tom: It has evolved like everything must to keep viable. Over the last number of years our digital transformation has had the greatest impact on what and how we communicate.
We have changed what we make, how we make it, where we sell it and how we talk about it. That is change on a level that many companies wouldn’t survive. It was critical that we delivered the story of this transformation and showcased our digital credentials, many of which people were unaware of, throughout this period.
John: What are you currently doing with content strategy for digital?
Tom: Our social media presence is the primary focus of our digital content. We have been blogging since September of 2006 and followed suit with YouTube, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. You can find our social media presence here. Also, there is a set of tips we put together from our experiences using social media. In it you will find the thinking behind our approach. We describe our strategy as “The Ripcurl.” One cannot harness or control social media. The sooner that reality is faced, the better your company will do using social media. That energy must be used to help amplify your message in a transparent and value-adding way.
John: And content for social media?
Tom: Our content supports the brand, product launches, product use, tradeshows and events. We use all channels while covering an event. We tweet from the show floor or the red carpet, we post pictures on Flickr and post videos on our YouTube channel. All content usually leads to the blog. We look at our blog as the heart of our social media content efforts. A richer story can be told there, and we link to it from the other channels. We now have three-plus years of great content in our blogs, which also helps our search engine rankings. Our content plan for 2010 has been put together as a “Kodak Social Media Map.” This is used to ensure all parties are aligned on our focus areas.
John: Given the conference’s title, “Use It or Lose It,” how does Kodak ensure the company does not lose opportunities to use content across different channels?
Tom: We call it “step and repeat.” We make sure we are leveraging assets across all channels. If we have an engaging video of a product made for a tradeshow, you can bet people will find that of interest on our YouTube channel. The teams at Kodak know to distribute content widely, often beyond their normal purview. It helps us to tell the greater Kodak story. It also isn’t about your corporate Web site anymore. For sure you need to have your content there, but you also need to go to where your customers are and add value to conversations they are having there.
John: How does your content generation strategy influence the development of content across different channels?
Tom: One size does not fit all. Just because we leverage different channels, they have their different purposes and audiences. For the same reason we don’t put brochures on our Web site, we don’t take a generic message and place it everywhere. Twitter uses hashtags and links; Facebook is more conversational; blogs can go into greater detail. Our Web site is the place for all the speeds and feeds. They may all have content relating to the same product or topic, but they have their own unique attributes.