Intel & Insights


Are You Missing Important Aspects of Brand Storytelling?

Are You Missing Important Aspects of Brand Storytelling?

An organization’s messaging is one of the most important ways consumers identify with a brand. If the messaging is stale, how do you expect the consumers to react?

Developing creative messaging through storytelling is a fantastic way to engage consumers after the first interaction, and also how an organization can retain consumer attention for the long term.

Gini Dietrich, author of “Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age”, illustrates five important aspects of brand storytelling your organization may be missing.

1. Passion

“Your passion lies in how your product is created, your office culture, the one thing your organization truly cares about that makes it valuable to the world around you”

2. The protagonist

“The protagonist is you, your company, your product, or your service…look for themes or strong responses [from your organization], and combine them into a clearly defined description of your protagonist’s attributes.”

3. The antagonist

“The antagonist is the villain. It’s often the most overlooked part of an organization’s story. What is the enemy of your success? Think about it as an issue or challenge you solve.”

4. The revelation

“Unexpected twists and turns help make fiction compelling. Readers enjoy the surprise…your organization’s story should share something unexpected with customers and prospects.”

5. The transformation

“The final part of your story is the transformation: the thing that is different about the way you do business…tell the story from your point of view, and no one can copy it.”

Your brand’s story may not be as interesting as your favorite story as a kid; but then again, why shouldn’t it be? Explore your own creative avenues and craft a story that distinguishes the brand from everyone else. If you craft messaging using creative storytelling that captures the consumer’s interest, the groundwork is set for a long-term relationship.

Source: 5 aspects of storytelling brands often miss
What is Content Value Exchange and 7 Reasons Why Your Audience Cares

What is Content Value Exchange and 7 Reasons Why Your Audience Cares

Want an engaged and loyal audience? You need to give before you get.

That’s the premise of the Content Value Exchange: If you deliver content that serves your audience by educating, entertaining or otherwise providing value, they’ll give you something in return, like their attention, advocacy, contact information or, ideally, their business.

One of the earliest examples of an effective content value exchange is the Michelin Guide, first published in 1900. Designed as a handbook with useful suggestions about where to stop for gas, lodging and food—more travel sells more Michelin tires, after all—the guide took on a life of its own and is now the most prestigious restaurant rating system in the world.

You don’t have to create the next Michelin Guide, but before your organization develops a content piece, it’s important to make sure that it will provide something of value to its intended audience. CSG has developed the 7-point guide below to help you determine whether a content piece is adding value.

If, while walking through the questions above, you have trouble identifying the value you’re providing to your audience or find that your messaging is too sales-centric, you likely need to rethink your content piece or conduct further research to better understand your audience.

The content value exchange is meant to nurture long-term relationships, not short-term success. In order to execute an effective content marketing strategy, organizations must understand their customers’ needs and interests as well as the values they share with their target audience. Then, they must use that knowledge to produce consistently useful content pieces over time. This approach demonstrates to prospects and customers that you’re a trustworthy, knowledgeable partner who aims to help—not just sell.

Marketing and communications professionals should continually evaluate the results of their content efforts. How is the content being used? Is it being shared? Strategies should be readjusted if the content isn’t connecting with the right audience or evoking the intended response.

Identifying themes or topics that will present the greatest value to your prospects can be challenging. Conducting keyword research will provide a deeper understanding of search trends and help identify content ideas while guiding keyword optimization. Persona research can also help illustrate who your customers are and the interests and values they hold. While personas are certainly helpful, it’s important not to make assumptions or overgeneralize your target audience.

Finding the right content mix can take time, and it varies from organization to organization. Depending on your brand, your target audiences, and your business goals, you might create the most value with blog posts; other companies might better connect via e-books, videos or case studies.

The customer lifecycle or conversion journey should also play a role. Certain content formats are more appropriate for building awareness while others are more effective for fostering engagement or generating leads and conversions. Your content strategy should address all stages of each persona’s journey, guiding the consumer to the next relevant step.

The content value exchange can play an integral role in establishing and strengthening relationships between an organization and its stakeholders, using thoughtful, high-value content development and distribution to connect all parties around a set of shared values. 

Navigating Negative Waters in the Sea of Social Media

Navigating Negative Waters in the Sea of Social Media

Negative comments are going to surface when you’re managing a brand’s social media presence. No matter the platform, social media gives customers a voice and for better of for worse, that voice is heard.

The very worst thing you could possibly do when approaching a heated conversation about a client’s brand is deleting negative comments. Instead, we prefer to diffuse tensions by addressing concerns in a calm, cool manner and asking the dissatisfied influencer to discuss their issues further, offline. That way, the rest of the brand’s social community observes that each voice is taken seriously and addressed, without allowing the discussion to get out of control while public facing.

Check out this infographic from Be Digital Giants for more tips on how to manage negative social media comments!

Source: PR Daily: How to deal with negative social media comments
Consumer Packaged Goods Brands Leading The Way in Digital Impressions

Consumer Packaged Goods Brands Leading The Way in Digital Impressions

According to Videology research, consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands lead other industries in digital video ad impressions and views. In Q1, 2015, CPG brands out-performed restaurant, automotive, alcohol and financial services brands in total digital impressions.

Other data collected by Sizmek suggests that despite the impact in digital impressions, CPGs struggle to engage digital ad viewers - the average viewing time is approximately 11 seconds. Despite this, eMarketer estimates the industry will pump $840 million into digital ads in 2015. 

CPGs can get the most bang for their buck by clearly and efficiently communicating their messages - in the first 11 seconds of their digital ad.  


Source: eMarketer: How CPG Advertisers Stack Up for Digital Video
Finding the Perfect Headline

Finding the Perfect Headline

Compelling content is vital to business success, but how do you get people to click through and read the content you create? The key is a headline that entices, connects and gets people to want to read more. Headlines have to grab attention and should be the most important consideration with every piece of content. In fact only two out of ten people actually read the content, even though eight out of ten read the headline. Those aren’t good odds, but they can be improved.

Source: How to write headlines that make people click
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