Your Content Marketing Framework
Strategy, Audience, Content and Distribution
I want to write a little about my experience building a content marketing framework for our business and some of the great companies we work with.
As a creative studio we work with our clients across multiple touch points in the digital space to help develop content strategies and create unique high quality content for their brands.
One of the key areas we specialise in focuses on helping clients to craft their brand stories into compelling animated and static visual content. We distill their messaging into memorable, shareable and unique short form content to engage, delight and be useful to their customers. As well as creating unique content for brand campaigns we know a thing or to about the strategies around creating a content framework and some of the new tools deployed to streamline this process in your business.
We think about the process of creating a content marketing framework into 3 key areas.
1. CONTENT STRATEGY
2. THE AUDIENCE
3. STORY / CONTENT CREATION / CURATION & DISTRIBUTION
Let’s start by looking at content strategy.
1. CONTENT STRATEGY
I think I could write a short book on this one based on my reading and experience to date but safe to say no one has the time or energy to wade through more on the subject than is already out there.. so let’s keep it brief.
A) Purpose – Be purpose driven. By this I mean know why your organisation is doing what it does and hence what business goals you want your content to help you achieve. What are the business objectives? No bull allowed here so be clear and concise.
B) Teams – How do you engage with your internal teams and external partners to facilitate the support needed to generate and create content consistently?
C) Ideation – How do you come up with content ideas that map to your goals? We often run workshops to get ideas started. Part of what we do as a ‘creator’ brand is help our clients / brands / people discover and amplify their creativity.
D) What are the business objectives? – Get clear on these, it’s that simple.
E) What Does Your Content Mission Statement Sound Like?
What’s your reason for creating content, the priorities and perspectives?
What is your goal?
What target audience can help you achieve that goal?
What can you offer of value at key stages of their journey?
What makes your approach to delivering this value different?
Your Mission is “………………..”
F) Now create ideas to accomplish the mission goals
Is your organisation looking for greater brand awareness? Increased customer loyalty or increased sales leads? Perhaps it’s all of these and more.
Whatever the goals, pick one and dream up (while walking about) a few content ideas that might meet these goals.
As an example we recently created a seasonal mini series all about the components of a Christmas Dinner because we wanted to demonstrate how you can use humour to capture attention and make people laugh. Among other organic veg, these innocent little brussel sprouts support our purpose to share likeable, quality and fun content with character, build brand discovery and awareness and give our clients some inspiration for future content ideas at the same time.
It’s safe to say we never knew brussel sprouts would feature in our content plan…
As another example of short form content we created a series of quirky thank you’s for our customers so that every time we receive payment for services rendered our customer receives a funky little dance routine like the one found here.
G) Write down your strategy and print it out. Research shows that those companies who have a strategy for their content and formalise this into a structured plan show greater return on every metric. No surprises there.
2. THE AUDIENCE
This has to be the key to nearly everything right?. Understanding our audience as people who we have a real relationship with is everything.
This is of paramount importance in our industry where it’s all about people, our talented client service and creative teams, our clients and their customers experience, their wants, their needs and business goals.
So what does the ideal customer profile look like?
Who are your key advocates?
Do you know who your key influencers are?
We start by asking these sorts of questions. Just as you might do when approaching a UX project, it’s important to create personas for your target audiences so you can really give consideration to them and have them front and centre in your mind when designing solutions, content, experiences etc.
Define their title/role, challenges and what their interests are. Short of being a stalker you want to know what there is to know so you can better purpose content to suit their needs and challenges.
This should be both science sprinkled with a little bit of intuition to create a series of picture postcards that help you to understand that audience in more detail.
What do we know about this person?
3. STORY / CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
So here’s the rub. We tend to think that the stories we need to ‘create’ are in fact already there, a bit like data, it’s already available somewhere but needs to be discovered, polished and made meaningful. We help in the art of identifying, distilling, visualising and amplifying those stories so that they resonate with your audiences across multiple platforms.
We think the narrative is really important and love to craft a beautiful story.
So how do we tell the story we’ve discovered or created? Why is it relevant? These and many other questions allow us to build a script around what’s important. We’ll write more on our approach to stories next time.
We love to help our clients convey their messages with unique animation. We use strategic and conceptual thinking with a strong illustrative approach to visualise your narrative and bring this to life with animation. Animation is a popular medium to amplify your brand reach and distill complex ideas and concepts into bitesize memorable content.
It’s important to understand the strengths of animation and where this works best. If you have lots of big data, stats or system processes to convey then animation is spot on. It’s also a great way to learn about all sorts of topics, so educational content is well placed for animating too!
Equally we’ve worked with companies where a quirky character driven story helps shape behaviours and values internally.
We have a page dedicated to some of the animation types we work with here if you’d like to read more on this.
I think it’s about understanding the whole picture and where your content strategy, creation and distribution come in. We’re working to align and tighten up all three areas in our business so we can better help define and offer greater insight for our clients. We’ll be covering more on distribution and how to seed your content next time too.
Thanks for reading and let us know if we can help on your next project.
The Like Minded are a strategic creative studio that develops your brand story by creating engaging tailor-made visual content. You can find out more on what we do at www.thelikeminded.co.uk and get in touch if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.