The Ultimate “Show and Tell”
In my last post, we covered platform as the backbone of a well-honed owned content strategy. If platform is the backbone, or skeleton, content represents the guts, most specifically, the heart and mind of your product, the very essence of the stories you will share with customers.
Content is king, or so goes the cliché I’m so fond of using on this blog and in my grad school studies. However, what’s the secret of getting and producing great content? While everyone’s mileage may vary, here are some fundamentals:
Tell A Story: This seems simple, right? Ah, but in marketing, it can be so hard. The VP of Engineering demands you just publish PowerPoint slides with all the features of the new product. After all, the product is so great, it sells itself!
An owned content strategist needs to push back on that temptation and advocate for the audience and sensible storytelling. At the very least, you need a common story structure: intro, body, and conclusion, with a call to action to help the consumer find more information.
Make It Helpful: Be audience-centric. Look at your blog post, your tweet, your video script, and ask yourself: “Would a potential customer watch this and say, ‘Why am I reading this?'”
You must give your viewer something to get out of this- they must be saying, “I’m glad I read that,” when it’s over. To do this, make it helpful- make the messaging about them. How can your writing help your viewer?
Make It Personal: Use the various powers of media to tell a personal, relatable story about your product. In written media, use the power of description to explain how a client is able to make their life better with your product.
In digital media, highlight the personality of those who appear on camera to make an visceral connection between your viewer and your product.
Here’s an example of a project I produced and directed at Microsoft, which follows this philosophy:
A question I get often is, “where do you get your stories?” The best advice I can give: keep your ear to the ground. Talk to people around your office. Talk to your customers. Talk to people about your company in coffee shops; you’d be amazed at what stories you can find.