The Next World of Content Creation

After a week steeped in creativity from Cannes, IAB Canada caught up with Katherine Scarrow, the General Manager of Globe Content Studio, the content marketing arm of The Globe and Mail to get her views on the evolution of content. 

IAB Canada (IABC): How would you define content creation? 

Katherine Scarrow (KS): At its essence, content creation is the process of identifying a topic, choosing the form you want the content to take, formalizing your strategy and then actually producing it. It’s one of the most time-consuming tasks for content marketers chiefly because creating good content – that is, something that people actually want to spend time with – is tough. 

But producing engaging content is fundamental for shaping brand identity, garnering interest from prospects and helping retain an audience. It also lets you establish authority in your space, project legitimacy and build trust between you and those you’re trying to reach. 

IABC: How has it changed? What are a few trends out of Cannes that you are seeing specific to digital creative and how will this drive change? 

KS: There are so many ways content creation is evolving. There’s obviously rise of the creator economy. More and more brands are breaking free from traditional platforms and teaming up with creators and influencers on social platforms like TikTok to co-create entertainment to drive business impact.  

But the most exciting transformation in content creation we’re seeing, and a major theme at this year’s Cannes Lion Festival of Creativity, is taking place in virtual worlds. The metaverse is really driving the direct-to-fan community, which means creators have way more control over their work, whether it’s art, music, literature, fashion apparel, etc. Through these virtual worlds, creators may increasingly sidestep traditional platforms and go straight to their fans through NFTs. For example, to promote Air Max Day, Nike co-created a new world – Airtopia – which floats above Nikeland in Roblox. By creating a virtual universe, Nike is one of many brands hoping to connect with younger generations (and future consumers) in metaverse. Or consider The Chainsmokers, who launched 5,000 NFTs featuring royalty cuts from the entirety of their latest album and made them available to their most loyal fans which they calculated and determined based on concert sales, Discord activity and streams.  

IABC: Where are the opportunities for content creators?  

KS: Apart from the metaverse, where the potential is pretty much endless, the other major opportunity for content creators and brand builders lies in the B2B category. According to Ryan Roslansky, CEO of LinkedIn, the biggest growth is going to come from the B2B category; companies like ServiceNow, Salesforce, Block and Nvidia which have a great market cap than Nike, Coca-Cola, Adidas and GM combined. “These companies have no idea that they need you yet,” Roslansky said in a keynote at Cannes. “These companies are growing fast, they’re spending much more money on advertising, and they know that they’ll need to stand out in an incredibly competitive market. There’s huge opportunity to help them build their brands.” 

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s official representative for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and this year again, supported Canadian presence on the global stage. For further coverage on Cannes Lions 2022 including from IAB Canada President and Cannes Lions Canada Advisory Board member, Sonia Carreno, visit The Globe and Mail coverage