A Japanese Take on Content Marketing

This post was written by John White on Wed, 14 Dec 2011 05:11:23 +0000
Posted Under: content marketing,marketing manager

Marketing communication managers grow long-lived bodies of content like white papers, case studies and blog posts. What if time didn’t matter in content marketing?

Consider a Japanese approach to content marketing in which the content disappears after about a day. What can you learn from that?

American content marketer extraordinaire David Meerman Scott wrote a book called Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, which is now available in Japanese and enjoying brisk sales.

Scott has partnered with Shigesato Itoi on the localization and publication of the book, and saluted the real-time nature of the content on Itoi’s site, Hobonichi. In an interview with Itoi, Scott comments:

A particularly interesting aspect is that daily content is available for only 24 hours, and then disappears. There is no archive of the daily information. This unusual content strategy is exactly the opposite of what SEO experts would tell you to do and therefore, because it is unique, is a very Grateful Dead approach.

Whether you’re Japanese or not, transitory content feels more like a conversation with your readers. As Itoi says,

Maybe it’s because it allows me to discuss the same theme over and over again. It’s natural: don’t we do that every day? Perhaps I wanted to replicate this behavior.

It’s not important to show people what you and your organization were thinking six months ago, or even last week. The important thing is to take what you’re thinking TODAY and turn it into engaging content. That would be easy, except that today becomes yesterday (then last Tuesday, then last month, then last quarter…) awfully fast.

This Japanese take on content marketing spans both this Content Buffet blog and my Localization Project Management blog, which focuses on international product marketing. Isn’t it surprising how people in other parts of the world think about and relate to content? What if it’s only in the West that time matters to content marketing?

John White of venTAJA Marketing is a marketing communications writer for technology companies. He posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s dirty work, but somebody has to do it. Download his eBook, “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Marketing Communications Writer.”

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