The moment we exhaust all frontiers is the moment we extinguish curiosity — the chief driver of innovation.
The question — as these new frontiers are discovered and explored — is how best to navigate them.
1. START WITH THE ADVENTURE
What is at the core of the adventure you want to take? Family unity? Corporate leadership? Culinary excellence?
Your adventure (read: story) will drive the choices of what platform(s) speaks best to the audience that will resonate and the medium (short vs. long form, animation, video, written word).
2. THE BOUNTY
Content Marketing at its core taps emotion to drive action, but how do you know beyond a “feeling” that the content delivered?
Determine your KPI (key performance indicator) BEFORE you launch any campaign.
Ask yourself — “What does success look like?” Is it views? Engagement time? Shares? Earned media?
Imagine the press release — what’s the headline?
Or it could be an entirely new metric relevant to the particular campaign: meals ordered, smiles tracked, houses built…
3. A PARTY OR A SCOUT?
Different campaigns call for different volumes of content — but don’t make “content for content’s sake,” aiming to simply fill up a company blog, populate a platform, or force a newsletter, for example.
Start with the adventure — what is the most efficient way to tell it? Determine how much content you THINK you may need, (3 episodes, 6 episodes, etc.) and then audit that for superfluous items.
4. DON’T GET TOO CLOSE
Trying to read a marker from a distance can be difficult depending on your eye sight, but getting too close to it will guarantee that it’s an abstracted blur.
In the middle of a project, it’s often easy to lose sight of the audience experience. Schedule a mid-point to take a step back, assess, and say to yourself: “If I knew NOTHING at all about this story — would I understand or care?”
5. ASK A STRANGER
If you get lost in the wilderness, you ask a stranger for help.
If you find you can’t distance yourself from the work, show it to an impartial party WITHOUT a pre-amble and ask for their honest reaction and feedback.
6. LEAVE THE WOUNDED
Ideation can be a violent process. What started out as a clear concept winds up tattered, even barely recognizable.
It’s not about purity of the original creative, it’s about recognizing when the body is beyond repair.
Sure, poke it with a stick a couple times just to make sure, but don’t be afraid to leave it behind in favor of progress.
7. GOLD IN THEM HILLS
Like sifting through the rushing waters of a cold Yukon river, the creativity of native and branded content can often be found “between the cracks.”
There’s enormous potential in using the art of storytelling and the human instinct of adventure to capture audience’s loyalty, consumer’s interest, and the press’s intrigue — but it takes a willingness to sift through the layers of marketing speak, messaging, budgets, and the like to get there.
If you accept these at the outset, it can make the adventure all the better.
DIGITAS GLOBAL BRAND PRESIDENT