DDN/Viacom Content Strategy Salon Informs, Educates & Inspires

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“The shortest distance between two people is a story.”

This observation from panelist Mina Seetharaman, Global Director of Content Strategy & Global Integrated Solutions, The Economist Group, underscored the consumer engagement proposition and was one of the key takeaways at Digital Diversity Network’s (DDN) Content Strategy Salon, presented in partnership with Viacom, on Thursday, May 8th in New York City. “Storytelling,” added Seetharaman, “is essential in order to inform, educate, inspire and connect a brand to a specific consumer.”

Much like storytelling, the Content Strategy Salon was designed to inform, educate and inspire diverse professionals in the digital media sector. More than 100 attendees, described by one of our Tweeters as a “great and powerful crowd”, were on hand at Viacom’s headquarters to establish connections –both live and on social media–and glean thought-provoking business insights from a panel of distinguished industry experts. The conversation extended beyond the walls of The Lodge at Viacom with more than 70,000 impressions on Twitter.

Digital Diversity Network board directors Richard Gay, EVP, Strategy & Operations, Viacom Music Group; and Dhanusha Sivajee, CMO, AOL Brands, kicked off the event with a welcome on behalf of our hosts, Viacom, and DDN, respectively. Kedma Brown, VP, Director of Integrated Production, Saatchi & Saatchi (and also a DDN board director) led the panel discussion on building buzz; viral and social traffic; and increased ROI for brands across multiple platforms.

Featured speakers included: Rosa Alonso, Creator & CEO, MiVidaTec.com and VP, Group Account Director, IMM; Michelle Lee, Chief Content Officer, Magnified Media; Karim Mawji, SVP, Digital Platform, Music & Entertainment Ad Sales, Viacom; and Mina Seetharaman.

Other key observations from our panelists included:

  • Content strategy is about fan engagement.
  • Buying “likes” is a double-edged sword.  Consumer engagement, rather than the number of (meaningless) likes, is more critical to success.
  • Know your brand and your audience.  Avoid simply duplicating someone else’s strategy.
  • Know your data.
  • Latinos, compared to other demographic groups, don’t consume as much video on mobile devices so, depending upon your audience, a “mobile-first” strategy might not be optimal.

Video Highlights from the Content Strategy Salon