In a world where content has the potential to deliver your wildest business and marketing objectives, how do you identify the BEST stories that carry your message, without losing your customer?

Content Marketers continually tread this fine line, and if you’ve already started on the content marketing journey, you should know that you must start with exactly what your audience is interested in. But how do you align your own messaging, so the two interest areas are one message? There is a way.

In all of our blogs, we’ll commit to bringing you the most objective and most extensive pool of expertise that we bring together for all of our creative. But for this article, please excuse us for imparting some elements of our own ‘secret sauce’, as we try and help all those who need a starting point to help find their own. You can use this advice to help inform all of your content marketing strategy and creative commissioning. We hope it’s as useful and award-winning for yourselves as it is for us.

Using a journalistic approach

There are many journalists and documentary makers within our teams at ShootMedia. As a former journalist covering home and international stories for national UK television audiences over a decade, I was part of a team that delivered and explained the what, where and when of the day’s events as it happened.  But the greatest skill we learned, which is as essential for brand storytelling as it is for capturing history as it happens, is how to communicate the ‘Why’ and the ‘What It’s Like’, to be there. To ride on the shoulders of those we are watching and know what is pushing them.

Audiences need to understand what is driving every story, to feel what motivations and what missions are at play. Capture the essence of yours, and you may, with permission, use it to inform every message you create for your audience; it is what audiences desire from content, to connect with it emotionally. Brand messages are so much more powerful when we discipline ourselves and make them relatable in this way.

So, how do you get it right?

In this lesson on brand storytelling best practice, we offer three simple things you want to be doing.  These techniques allow your own messaging to co-exist with the audience’s interests because they are what we call ‘Universal’ creative approaches.  Many ignore these, heading straight for their own messaging first, and building around that. But start using these three tips, at the beginning of the creative process, and you’ll put your messages, and the ones your audience are interested in, in a neutral setting, one that has a joint mission. A common point of relevance.

Start with the mission

Consumers are savvier than ever, and can spot a sales pitch a mile off so cranking up the music, winding up the edit, and plugging the benefits may seem like a good idea, but your audience may not agree. So how do you choose the right angle that unlocks the potential of your content marketing?

Start by capturing the mission, bottle the challenge, and show the human struggle that journey will involve. Give honest, authentic access for viewers to see how something so perfect, perhaps the creation of a classic, can be such an imperfect, modest and humble human endeavour. Purpose and mission underpin all great communication. You can’t beat it!

Surface the machine

Explaining the simple order of things feels so reassuring, as to become hypnotic in the hands of the right storyteller. Delivering authentic, explanative content to your channels and across the entire content strategy is paramount and can help build creative that not only engages but also delivers marketing results. Great explanation of process underpins organic search, the lifeblood of the internet, so you’ll be building in the likelihood of higher ranking content across your channels.

Biggest? Smallest?

There is something inherently interesting in the scale of things.  This is never to be ignored as a way of telling the same story from yet another angle.

Take a closer look and give the audience who live such busy lives the power of microscopic vision, show them detail they’d never notice in the usual daily rush.

Use close up camera work, or expansive, epic framing. Employed sensitively, can unlock aspects of a story that match your values. It’s a subtle way of pointing out to your audience that you share the same interests, are human in how you deal with the topic.

The three rules above can all be seen in the video below, rediscovered Levis long socks. See if you can spot them in action. Remember they are just a way of creating an engaging and objective experience for the audience. You messaging must never dominate, never overtly be an advert if possible, but used subtly you can remain aligned with the subject matter, and you can make the emotional connection that will engender your audience.

We captured these moments for the wonderful design agency and long-standing partners in content creation, GBH. We used an evocative documentary feel to capture the re-creation of an early pioneering long sock, bringing together craftsman and a rare Bentley Comet 048 knitting machine. This film, a classic all of its own, now sits preserved in the UK’s National Film Archive by the British Film Institute, captures a sock of intriguing and historical proportions!


Want to make great content? Join our next event

When: Next 2018 breakfast event announced soon, register now for your place at the table. From 8:00am – 10:30am.

Where: Searcys St Pancras Restaurant and Champagne Bar.

Insights: Today’s customers move faster than ever.  Do you know what they want and what they need? Our next breakfast event will bring together the fundamental application of content by illuminating the customer journey – from promotion to engagement, conversion and renewal.

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