Next Gen for a New Gen: Content, Voices and Influencers

Content creation does not look like it used to before. To build a closer relationship with the audience, what approach should content creators take, how to sufficiently understand the influencers and how to eventually connect with them? Presented by Condé Nast, speakers from magazine and technology industry addressed these questions for marketers and advertisers.

The moderator of the talk, CMO at Condé Nast, Pamela Drucker Mann, started off the panel by asking what changes have the panelists seen in content creation in the past year. Michelle Lee, editor in chief at Allure Condé Nast talked about how 2017 is the first year that Allure magazine involves logistical issues. Allure has been known as a paper product for a long time and before this, 90% of the working time was spent on print. This is a massive shift for the company to be more involved in the digital age. Phillip Picardi, Editorial Director at Teen Vogue & Allure agreed with Michelle that they are learning so much about social listening and are trying to take a different approach.

Influencers, defined by panelist Marco Hansell, CEO at Speakr, are the people that you have so much admiration that they can drive you to act. In Michelle’s opinion, influencers are not content creators’ competitors but more like partners,

“I’d like to think that we live symbiotic with each other”, said Michelle.

Consumers today have a power of choice and for them to find you, creators should generate contents that build an emotional connection. Sometimes, people might not know what they really want to see or read. The idea of challenging people’s thinking, therefore, is also a valuable philosophy. Michelle thinks that it is their job, as content creators, to push the consumers to the areas that they might not be comfortable with and always think outside of the box.

A community approach is another important perspective in creating the connections. In Teen Vogue, every editor has their information online so that readers can either send an Email to or tweet directly to share new ideas. In this way, people feel like they can approach you. As for the content itself, Teen Vogue is featuring more and more people from the general public who are not celebrities or well known. Phillip says that content creation is a two-way street and now since anyone can be featured on the magazine, the readers feel like it too.

From a data and technology perspective, Marco also added that more and more influencers online are creating the sub-niche market that can connect with a small group of people in the world. Maybe they only have 50,000 followers on Instagram, but it directly reaches this small community of people who share a special interest. Very specialized contents and brands can now be more involved in advertising.

Looking at the future, what direction does the panelists think that content creation is going? All three panelists agreed that data utilization will be a crucial part in the future. In Marco’s words, eighty percent of the data processing is getting the content to the right person and the rest twenty percent is finding the matching content with the brand.

In the digital age, content creators are looking at new challenges that have never existed before. However, no matter it’s utilizing influencers or data analysis, the core of content creation will always be listening to the audiences and making true connections.

Xinyi Wang

Xinyi Wang

Writer at Advertising Week
Xinyi is a senior student studying journalism at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is passionate about mass communication research and writes for the MODAmadison magazine. Coming from a different cultural background, she hopes to learn more about the influence of media and advertising on a global scale.
Xinyi Wang
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