March 28, 2023

Do you end up planning the shape earlier than you develop the thought for content material?

Most of us do – it’s the best way we devour content material. Whenever you really feel impressed by a video or podcast, for instance, your mind will begin making an attempt to give you an concept to make use of in a film or podcast.

It is sensible. You see a superb, inventive concept expressed in some type issue, and also you assume, “That’s what I wish to create.”  But it surely’s the container (the expertise) you wish to emulate. You continue to must give you a singular concept for that type issue.

It’s regular to create this manner.

Give it some thought. Did George Lucas dream up a narrative a few younger boy on a desert planet who reunites together with his separated-at-birth twin sister to avoid wasting the galaxy from an evil empire and then resolve his story would work finest 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. But it surely doesn’t work nicely for advertising.

Container-first planning doesn’t work in advertising

Beginning with the content material type issue may 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 tip expertise. As an alternative, you’re optimizing to search out the individuals who need the tip expertise: our services or products.

Give it some thought this manner: Individuals 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 moderately 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 moderately than the thought. Organizations want to precise quite a lot of concepts. Some are small, and a few are large. In the event you plan the container first, you may find yourself placing small concepts into large containers and vice versa.

What number of occasions have you ever seen full white papers devoted to a too-small concept? However, I’ve seen many concepts that ought to have been built-in model campaigns crammed right into a single weblog submit. Why? As a result of somebody thought, “We’d like a weblog submit about this,” and by no means thought of whether or not it may flip into extra.

Tips on how to separate content material concepts from expression

Keep in mind: Individuals will devour the designed expression of your content material concepts (your web site, weblog, video, e-book, social media submit, and so on.). 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 a success as a result of it was a film. It succeeded as a result of it was an awesome story nicely 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 material consumption type that begins with the query, “What sort of content material would you like?” A drop-down menu affords a number of codecs (video, infographic, white paper, internet web page, weblog submit, and so on.)

Questions concerning 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. The story or concept creation must 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 seems to be like this:

Create the story

Begin by discovering or hashing out the compelling story (throughout the content material group or as a cross-functional effort). Do the analysis, define the story, and resolve how large the thought is.

Then, write the story. Create the world, the challenges, and the options. That is the uncooked content material that would (or ought to) stay in any expression of the thought.

Then – and solely then, transfer on to the subsequent step.

Design the expertise(s)

Resolve all of the totally different sorts of packages this story can stay in. Does it work as a video? Does it work as a white paper? Does it work as a weblog submit?  Does it work as a print advert? Might it work as all of these issues?

You don’t must execute all experiences directly. However taking the time to create the uncooked content material components initially of the method helps you to shortly create these issues while you’re prepared.

I comply with 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 have to create a presentation – I can look again to this doc and see which of my concepts are large enough. I have already got a superb begin on the content material I have to create it.

This method isn’t acceptable for all the pieces. Typically 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 influence the bigger group), begin fascinated with creating the uncooked content material on your compelling story earlier than you resolve methods to design and produce all of the experiences that may convey it.

That means, you can also make certain your nice large concepts received’t get trapped in too-small containers.

It’s your story. Inform it nicely.

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Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising and marketing Institute