You already know your audience inside and out. You spend your days talking to customers, researching trends, and crafting the perfect message that will engage your brand’s followers. And you already know that in today’s crowded media landscape branded content is the best way to engage your audience and target the message.
Great. You get it.
Now let’s add some strategic context to make your investment in content even more powerful.
I’m willing to bet that you also already know a lot about the customer journey. And you can relate to many of the emotions that they feel on their way to a purchase decision. So what does it look like when you begin to layer your content with this kind of knowledge? It starts to look like designing and delivering your message with context in mind.
At rabble+rouser, when we develop a content strategy, we are always looking for relevant contextual ways to design, whether that be for utility, entertainment, education, and/or ad infinitum. A situational understanding and awareness of your customer’s perspective is the best way to maximize the distribution and effectiveness of your content. Here are a few examples of branded content projects that succeeded when we layered in context on top of content.
First, we helped Denver’s Road Home roll out A Better Way To Give campaign by installing donation parking meters downtown that dispelled panhandling myths and built awareness of Denver’s Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness. The insight driving the creation of the meters was the understanding that most people want to help when they see someone in need but they just don’t know the best way to do it. The meters gave them an opportunity to give in the moment — and deliver important information about the program at the same time. Context was everything. Then, when the Democratic National Convention brought swarms of media to town, we saw a unique opportunity to tell the story about the campaign. So we designed, printed, and distributed a foldable map of the city that listed the locations of donation meters that delegates could use to navigate downtown and learn what Denver was doing to solve homelessness at the same time.
The Colorado Health Institute new media trends changed the way the results of their research were being talked about. So we helped them create a strategy to organize their content and present it online. Their new site’s navigation and layout brought clarity and understanding to their research efforts without hiding too much of the wonk, and the new data presentation leads with sharable key insights while allowing the Institute’s various audiences to dig as deep into the research as they’d like.
And context doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply knowing why your audience appreciates a “Made in America” product and engaging them in the process of development can go a long way. When we developed a custom hard copy book to tell the Farm Credit System’s story of “Producing Excellence” (stories about System member-owners and their businesses), we made the book from materials that came directly from Farm Credit members, thus truly giving the book a for the System, by the System feel.
These are just a few examples of how layering context on content makes it more powerful. Audience insight is the key to making each piece of your content strategic.