Do you end up planning the shape earlier than you develop the concept for content material?
Most of us do – it’s the best way we eat content material. If you really feel impressed by a video or podcast, for instance, your mind will begin making an attempt to provide you with an concept to make use of in a film or podcast.
It is sensible. You see a wonderful, inventive concept expressed in some type issue, and also you suppose, “That’s what I wish to create.” However it’s the container (the expertise) you wish to emulate. You continue to should provide you with a singular concept for that type issue.
It’s regular to create this fashion.
Give it some thought. Did George Lucas dream up a narrative a couple of younger boy on a desert planet who reunites along with his separated-at-birth twin sister to avoid wasting the galaxy from an evil empire and then resolve his story would work greatest as a film?
No. Impressed by the tv and film variations of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, he determined to make a film. The story for Star Wars got here subsequent.
Beginning with the medium is sensible for filmmakers, TV present creators, novelists, and others. However it doesn’t work effectively for advertising.
Container-first planning doesn’t work in advertising
Beginning with the content material type issue could cause a heap of bother in advertising for 2 causes.
First, advertising content material isn’t an endpoint – it’s a bridge to an endpoint. In different phrases, you aren’t making an attempt to optimize for the top expertise. As a substitute, you’re optimizing to search out the individuals who need the top expertise: our services or products.
Give it some thought this fashion: Folks need to look at Star Wars. They don’t essentially need to search out your advertising content material. So conveying one story or concept in a number of containers offers you a greater probability to search out an viewers. You’re telling the story in every single place the viewers is relatively than making an attempt to lure them to 1 piece on one channel.
People aren’t seeking out your marketing #content, so put it wherever they are, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet
There’s another excuse to keep away from beginning with the container relatively than the concept. Organizations want to precise loads of ideas. Some are small, and a few are massive. If you happen to plan the container first, you may find yourself placing small concepts into massive containers and vice versa.
What number of occasions have you ever seen full white papers devoted to a too-small concept? Alternatively, I’ve seen many concepts that ought to have been built-in model campaigns crammed right into a single weblog put up. Why? As a result of somebody thought, “We’d like a weblog put up about this,” and by no means thought-about whether or not it might flip into extra.
The right way to separate content material concepts from expression
Bear in mind: Folks will eat the designed expression of your content material concepts (your web site, weblog, video, e-book, social media put up, and so forth.). However the concept conveyed in that expression will differentiate your work and decide whether or not your content material technique succeeds.
Star Wars wasn’t successful as a result of it was a film. It succeeded as a result of it was an excellent story effectively advised.
I’ve written about how planning and governance may help you prioritize content material tasks. Including a step may help you be certain that your concepts find yourself in as many (or few) containers as you’ll want to search out your viewers.
A lot of the content material and advertising groups I do know of use a content intake form that begins with the query, “What sort of content material would you like?” A drop-down menu gives a collection of codecs (video, infographic, white paper, internet web page, weblog put up, and so forth.)
Questions in regards to the content material for that format, the viewers, the journey stage, and so forth all the time come later. The method goes from request to asset creation.
That’s the place the extra step ought to are available in. The story or concept creation ought to be a step of its personal – separate from the design and manufacturing course of.
Plan your #content story first – then decide what formats to tell it in, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet
The method I like to recommend appears like this:
Create the story
Begin by discovering or hashing out the compelling story (inside the content material staff or as a cross-functional effort). Do the analysis, define the story, and resolve how massive the concept is.
Then, write the story. Create the world, the challenges, and the options. That is the uncooked content material that might (or ought to) dwell in any expression of the concept.
Then – and solely then, transfer on to the subsequent step.
Design the expertise(s)
Resolve all of the completely different sorts of packages this story can dwell in. Does it work as a video? Does it work as a white paper? Does it work as a weblog put up? Does it work as a print advert? May it work as all of these issues?
You don’t should execute all experiences without delay. However taking the time to create the uncooked content material components at the start of the method allows you to rapidly create these issues once you’re prepared.
I observe this similar two-step course of after I create content material. I plan the story and write these uncooked components first:
- Content material components (a draft of this column)
- A bullet level model I can use on a podcast
- Totally different paragraphs and variations to function on The Content material Advisory web site
- Centered messaging factors I can use to show this right into a presentation (or class or keynote)
- All of the hyperlinks and analysis I used to create this text (if any)
I file all this materials away and use it as I would like it. If I must create a presentation – I can look again to this doc and see which of my concepts are sufficiently big. I have already got a superb begin on the content material I must create it.
This method isn’t applicable for every thing. Generally an advert is simply an advert, a video is only a video, and an e-mail is simply an e-mail.
However for large concepts (particularly people who affect the bigger group), begin occupied with creating the uncooked content material on your compelling story earlier than you resolve find out how to design and produce all of the experiences that can convey it.
That approach, you can also make positive your nice massive concepts received’t get trapped in too-small containers.
It’s your story. Inform it effectively.
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Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising Institute
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