We all know that content, in whatever format, can take time, so how do we ensure that we make the absolute most of that content and the stories contained within it?
For us at We Do Stories we find taking a content marketing approach helps make the most of everything we do. It ensures that we think about how content is used across different platforms in a strategic way, to connect with the maximum possible audience – allowing each platform to play its own unique role in the process. This approach has never been so helpful as it is now, as budgets and time are stretched to inconceivable levels. Plus, it’s also an attractive option as it sees content shared in different ways to ensure greater overall accessibility.
Through our work with charities we aim to make their stories work smarter, by planning, creating and distributing content to the maximum possible effect. Because we know using a mix of creativity, and analytical strategy can get you a long way. Here are five of our content marketing tips to help you make the most of your content too
- Prepare well and think about the possibilities before you film
It’s key to prepare well. This honours both the time taken on the day and the contributor. Ensure that you have spent time beforehand getting to know them and their story. Know the key points that you feel need to come out, and prepare questions to help draw these out. If you have questions prepared for the main elements of the story, you can allow yourself time to respond on the day, if new and interesting stories are shared.
I know from my TV producing days to allow space for the unexpected conversations. It’s often in these that the heart connecting stories are found – those comments when the contributor is comfortable, and used to speaking, and they may well share information that they didn’t share in the preparation.
For the past three years We Do Stories has been producing the content for the Stelios’ Awards for Disabled Entrepreneurs, run by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and Leonard Cheshire. Each year every finalist receives a 60 second video to highlight their business at the award ceremony and online after the event.
Here’s an example of the finalists’ video from 2019
When we head out to do the filming we give ourselves a day to travel to and film each contributor. By allowing a day it ensures that we have the time, that the interviewee is comfortable, and that there is time for stories to really be shared.
2. Focus on key points, and getting them succinctly.
By giving time for the interview, it means that you have time to re-visit key points, ensuring you have them in a clear and succinct way. This doesn’t have to be gained by being coercive or manipulative, but rather by paying attention to the key aspects of what they’re saying and asking them to summarise in a way they’re comfortable.
Clear soundbytes are invaluable, and can be utilised as social media graphics, engaging short video clips on social, as well as ensuring that we can condense a clear story into a one-minute video.
3. Cover all bases – stills, video and audio
Be strategic in the content gathering. If you’re capturing someone’s story – what else can you get to illustrate it? For example, ensure that you record clean audio as well as video – you never know which bits could be cut together for a podcast after too.
In the case of the stories for the awards, this means that we go in with a list of what we need to cover – photos for the programme and publicity, interview questions, ideas of sequences to illustrate, and responsive social media coverage on the day.
A carefully planned few hours with each contributor provides films that are shared on social media, still photos taken on the shoot for PR purposes, and interviews that can be used in podcasts and transcribed to find key quotes to be used on social media. So, in a very tight schedule, nothing is wasted.
4. Remember to show, not just tell
There’s a brilliant quote “marketing is telling the world you’re a Rockstar, content marketing is showing them”. Remember on all platforms, to illustrate the point you are trying to get across – whether that’s by stories, statistics, an impact quote etc. In the case of the awards content – we ensure that we ask the winners to not only tell us but to show us, both in what they say, and also the images and videos we create.
5. Know your platforms well, and know what you need for which platform
Ensure that you know what you need for each platform. If you create the content with this in mind, it will ensure that the subsequent use of different pieces on different platforms goes smoothly. Also, ensure that you know the audience demographic on each platform – it may well be that a different cut is needed to speak to a different audience. Once you know this, it can be easier to spot sections of the original content that will work well on the respective platforms.
In the case of the stories for the awards, this means that we provide the content in different forms, so they can be shared on different platforms with ease. We also re-cut a longer interview to be used in a podcast, and which could also be written up as an article.
It’s worth pointing out that these tips can apply just as well when directing content remotely, as they can for creating video content on location.
That’s a very whistle stop tour, but hopefully a helpful one. There are many more, but these five top tips serve well as a start.
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Image: lan deng on Unsplash