Content Marketing Rockstars: Hedvig Lyche from Core Agency
As we continue our Content Marketing Rockstars series, we meet Hedvig Lyche. With over a decade of experience in the communications industry, Hedvig has worked with some of the top agencies in the world, which include Ogilvy, McCann, King Content and TBWA. She recently started her own shop, Core Agency in early 2018.
1. Why Content Marketing?
I feel this has been a standard question with a pretty standard answer for the past 5 years, so I will try to angle it a bit. It was born from the digital power shift, the information overload, ad-blocking and everything else we all know too well and have discussed to death. But as the world around us changes, so does the role of information, the role of channels, the role of people and the role of brands.
I think now it’s about creating belonging in a noisy, conflicted and difficult world. People are not searching for information about products and services, they are searching for ways to contribute, to hide, to discuss, to celebrate, to change or inform. Searching for ways to belong to something greater than themselves.
Content marketing has the ability to sidestep the red tape or guidelines that typically restricts traditional marketing, and so it can allow brands to more freely inform, entertain or inspire their audience through conversations designed to build up that sense of belonging.
It’s born from the needs of the consumer, not of the brand, and so should provide audience focused strategies around what they as a brand can offer that provides real value I the lives of their consumers.
Content marketing today is about brands acting as people, as a leading member of a tribe, providing the platforms, the content and the trust to encourage interactions, build a community and provide real value for long-term engagement.
it’s about creating belonging in a noisy, conflicted and difficult world. People are not searching for information about products and services, they are searching for ways to contribute, to hide, to discuss, to celebrate, to change or inform. Searching for ways to belong to something greater than themselves.
2. How did you get started with Content Marketing?
As with most other people from a comms background you’ve kind of been doing it all along, it just didn’t really have a label.
With TBWA in Oslo, in 2005 I think, we created a YouTube series around ‘Yellow Riders’ which was a bunch of wanna-be Hells’ Angels riding Segway’s and hanging out at the local Shell station. It was for Shell credit card, but the series was about the Segway Gang. It was pretty revolutionary for the time I think.
The work we did with MasterCard and Priceless Cities when at McCann and the exclusive programs built for DFS with Profero could also easily be put under the Content Marketing umbrella, and looking back at it I’d say both Disruption from TBWA and Truth Studies from McCann set a very strong foundation for me as more of a ‘pure’ content strategist.
So I think I can say that moving from being a planner in advertising and digital made the move into content marketing pretty seamless, the role and the focus is similar, the methods and channels a bit different, but overall you’re trying to create something of value that your audience actually cares about.
3. Content Marketing requires lots of inspiration, how do you stay inspired?
I read a lot. Like a lot. More than anything though I love submerging myself in different areas of communication and expression – I try to visit new galleries every Sunday, I go to debates and panels, I get on stage as often as I can and I ‘stalk’ people I admire on social.
I have two life rules that drive the way I seek inspiration. The first one is ‘If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room’, and so I try to seek out people and places who can help me grow and improve in my life and my job.
The second rule is, ‘Problems cannot be solved by thinking within the framework in which they were created’. This drives me to constantly seek inspiration outside of my field. Understand how we can use innovation and learnings from other industries and crafts to make our space better. I find a lot of this in art, photography, technology, and politics.
I’ve also been really lucky to have had some incredibly inspiring mentors through my career and worked with some phenomenally talented people, so I engage in discussions and conversations with them as often as possible.
4. What are some valuable insights would you give to businesses/organisations that are starting up or have been struggling with content marketing?
Have a plan, build your strategy first. Understand why you’re here, what role you can play, what value you can offer and how to best communicate that value proposition.
And start with the basics – too many brands think they need to be super sophisticated and complex in their channel/content/tech integration. Most of the time it’s just making sure your UX serves the right purpose and the CX is consistent. Build up your people, they are your best ambassadors; invest in programs and elements that build up a really strong EVP.
5. What do you think is the future of Content Marketing?
Partnerships. I think understanding that the value comes from building communities, creating belonging and strengthening tribes across borders will see brands finding strong strategic partnerships that cover different areas of interest, purpose and service. I think brands need to collaborate to build eco-systems and then understand their role within that ecosystem and stay true to that.
For agencies, I think the role will move towards consultancy, strategy and governance planning and structuring, less production and management.
6. Besides Content Marketing, what are you passionate about?
I’m generally quite a passionate person, so I’d say a lot! But travel, fitness and art are probably the top three, Champagne is up there too, though not sure I should say that! I adore my family and my friends and have a nephew who just melts my heart.
7. Give us an elevator pitch of your business?
Core is strategy-led, insights-driven and creatively adventurous. We leverage rich data from all layers of research to build truly unique territories for our clients to win and build over time, and we partner with the best heads, hearts and hands to help bring that strategy and that territory to life in the best way.