How important is a brand story? Let’s start with a true episode … about a week ago or so, I am bugging my 11 year-old daughter to go up and shower and get ready for bed. She says to me, “Dad, I have to watch Glee.”
“We’re DVRing it. You can watch it tomorrow,” I said.
She replied, “No I can’t. I have to watch it tonight. Everyone will be talking about it tomorrow at school.”
Marketers – do you realize how powerful my daughter’s words are? Not because I am biased and think the world of her, but this is exactly what we want for our brands … That our audience feels the need to talk about it tomorrow.
And this is accomplished by having a story line with continuous, periodic episodes. Episodes where the characters that are developed are your values, benefits, products, services, and people. The content of your episodes reinforces why you are in business, not what you are selling (as I mentioned in the article “Marketing Leadership (with a Hint of Social Media“) .
You need a content strategy that plays like the best TV production you know. Glee is about production, character development, and supporting other marketing channels (soundtrack downloads, touring concert, and merchandise). The content each week reinforces their “products.”
I am not suggesting that you need to create and maintain a production as elaborate as Glee, but I am stating you need a storyline. And each content piece you produce is an episode of “your” show, your owned media reinforcing your brand’s value.
And why is a brand story so important?
Because stories are what connect us to one another. And if you want to connect your brand with your audience and potential customers/clients and deepen relationships, you need not only have a good story, but also have to determine the outlets or channels where your story will be told and the scheduling for your content releases. If you want people talking about your brand, you need a well executed and coordinated content strategy.
According to Kristina Halvorson, “Content strategy plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content.” In her article, “The Discipline of Content Strategy,” she goes on to say that the best content strategy defines:
– key themes and messages,
– recommended topics,
– content purpose (i.e., how content will bridge the space between audience needs and business requirements),
– content gap analysis,
– metadata frameworks and related content attributes,
– search engine optimization (SEO), and
– implications of strategic recommendations on content creation, publication, and governance.
I would go on to say that a complete content strategy (your owned media) must also define integration with earned and paid media as I cover in the article “Integrating Owned Media, Earned Media, and Paid Media.” But I digress …
– Knowing your voice
– Timing your content
– Knowing your audience
– Solving problems, and
– Being true
as their 5 Key Tips for a Successful Social Media Content Strategy“.” I would add that you need to think how you will stand out from the crowd (read creativity into this) and tactically plan how your content will be shared such that your audience continues to grow.
The point is you should have a brand story. This starts with a brand position but goes a bit deeper to explain why you do what you do. A brand story that is supported by a creative content strategy that views owned media as part of the product/service you deliver. Your content should be a production of episodes across different outlets and channels to continually reinforce the brand.
So what’s your story morning glory?
Make It Happen,