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Brand Storytelling: Thinking Outside of the Blog

Date published: August 25, 2014
Last updated: August 25, 2014

Content marketing has gained a lot of steam over the past few years, with new brands jumping on the bandwagon every day.

There’s no doubt that an effective content strategy can benefit your business. Through your content, you can tell stories that connect your values to those of your customers. When done effectively, your marketing can appeal to both the head and the heart of your audience.

Unfortunately for brands that are new to the game, there is more and more content being produced every day. With the sheer volume of stuff out there, it’s going to be hard to be heard above the noise.

It’s now more important than ever to create something that’s meaningful and memorable to your audience, so you get noticed.

Brands that do this well are thinking far beyond some of the basic content marketing ideas. Blog posts, Instagram accounts, and podcasts are all good ideas. But with all of these channels accessible to anyone with an iPhone and an internet connection, they are no longer groundbreaking.

To get noticed in today’s saturated market, you have to think beyond the blog post.

Create An Experience

Duracell has created some amazing stories through their marketing in recent years. They partnered with the NFL for a series of videos that included deaf Derrick Coleman’s “Trust Your Power” Ad.

But their most memorable campaign in recent history is called “Moments of Warmth.” Duracell Canada built a bus shelter, outfitted with heaters that provided warmth in the middle of the Canadian winter. The bus shelter worked much like a battery in which the positive and negative connections needed to be completed in a circuit.

The catch? The missing piece of the circuit is human connection.

Lesson: By creating an experience that promotes an interactive human connection to their product, Duracell Canada is able to tell their brand story in a meaningful way without resorting to a sales pitch or fabricated ad.

Build an App

Another way to create an interactive experience between your customers and your brand is through an app. While it may not work for every business, one shining example of this is Chipotle and its Scarecrow game.

The Scarecrow is a remarkable animated short film with a striking message that closely aligns with Chipotle’s own: Help bring real food back to the fast food industry.

Not only did they produce an Oscar-worthy short film for this campaign, they also created a full-fledged interactive game and recorded an original song with Fiona Apple. And, to tie this fictional story back to the real world, all proceeds from the app benefit the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation.

Lesson: Chipotle is educating people about their deeper purpose and finding a way to help their audience connect to that story through the app and their foundation.

Think Like a Media Company

The most successful content marketing comes from brands that are moving away from traditional advertising campaigns altogether.

Companies like Red Bull and Lego are producing content on such a grand scale that they resemble media companies more than the B2C manufacturers that they are.

Lesson: Know what you stand for and go to great lengths to communicate your message. Dig deep into your core values to develop a compelling, meaningful message that aligns with your brand and fully commit to a well-developed strategy of innovative content creation with that message at its center.

Content marketing is not about blogging, podcasting, making videos, or shooting photos. It’s about telling your story in a memorable way. You don’t have to stay within the constraints of what you think a marketing campaign should be. Instead, let your brand and its audience dictate what content marketing has the potential to be.

By creating a memorable experience for your audience – be it in real life or through the creation of an app – you are doing more than selling them a product. You’re making an emotional connection and cementing your place in their memory bank.

How are you and your company going beyond the blog?

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