Content is a marketing buzzword extraordinaire. Everybody is talking about content but what does it mean in the world of communications?
One of the joys of content within a communications programme comes from being able to extend the impact of a milestone, let’s say a big event.
In the past, the events you staged were often the climax of a campaign, and that event had to deliver everything you needed to the audience present in the room, because you only got one bite at the cherry.
Now the digital and social world is our oyster, if you are running an event there is no reason for it to be a one hit wonder. If your comms team is doing its job right, not only should you get a wow impact in the room, but you should also get a stack of compelling content to come away with. Channelled correctly you can then reach a much bigger audience than there were chairs available in the room. Want to double your audience, or multiply it many times over? No problem! Just come up with the perfect content strategy and implement it to perfection.
This approach has the added bonus of making sure everybody sees your event is the one to attend next time around.
So want to know our five top tips?
- Make sure you have a content strategy. Content for the sake of content is not the point, at best it won’t resonate, at worst it will do damage to your brand. Work out what you want to achieve (how do you want people to think, feel, or behave as the result of seeing your content?) and work backwards from there to identifying what you need.
- Think about your audience and how they are likely to consume the content you are providing. Video is often the perfect way to tell a story, but people like to learn and consume information in different ways and congregate in different places to do so. Depending on your channel strategy you might not want to discount other formats such as podcasts, interactive guides and blogs. There is a growing trend for long-reads (wonderfully fighting against the accepted logic of the shortened attention span). If you have the resources to do something for everyone and a clear vision about how you are distributing that content, all the better, otherwise think through what will get you the greatest bang for your buck.
- When you’re thinking visual think about people and stories and human perspectives. You might have spent hours ensuring the stage lighting exactly reflects the brand pantone colours or be particularly pleased with your pop up stand, but in the same way that wedding photo albums are a bit boring on the pages filled with pics of place settings, your content will come alive when you focus on the people in the room and what they have to say. Maybe this is particularly true for us because we are in the business of talking about the most human of stories, but we’d wager it’s the case for most communicators out there too. Whether its voxpops or quotegraphics or unguarded photographs of delighted reactions in the audience, seek out human responses and you’re onto a winner.
- Be cheeky with the guests at an event or your supporters. The power of third party testimony will never wane, capture their testimony at the event, but also think bigger to the possibilities of guest blogs or interviews that can be a win-win for all concerned.
- You don’t have to blow the budget. If you’re working within a small budget envelope and can’t stretch to professionally produced video or artwork content you can do it yourself. We love design apps for creating graphic cards, and you can always flex your artistic muscle by whipping up a sketchnote.
- Of course developing and refining your content strategy and then creating the content is only half of the battle, using it effectively and monitoring your success are other big pieces of the puzzle. But get those right and you will find that content really is the key to campaign longevity.