Thursday, April 14, 2011

5 Questions Help Filter and Align Social Content

Anyone managing a brand's robust social media program knows the pressure of pumping out continuous content.  There are lots of ways to feed the content pipeline, like generating original material, re-purposing old content, tapping syndicated sources, re-tweeting, commenting on forums, posting news links, etc. Being flush with content isn't enough, however. It's important that every bit of content that feeds out connects back to the brand in a meaningful way.  

One way to keep content on-strategy is to use a brand filter against which all content - original or borrowed – can be judged.

Filtering brings focus and discipline to content management and an effective filter can simply pose five key questions:

  1. Does this content accurately position the brand?
  1. Is it relevant to our target audiences?  What value does it provide?
  1. Does this put the brand in proper, authentic context?
  1. Will it have traction in media channels that reach our targets?
  1. How does this content tie back to the business?  Does the message leverage brand news, a competitive attribute, keywords, or promote a measurable call-to-action?

 How do you align content with your communications and business strategy?  Do you use a filter? 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mens e-tailer crafts smart content to cultivate luxury tastes

I’m not much for clothes shopping, but I have a particular disdain for shopping suits. I find the experience numbingly dull, offline or online. 

So I have to hand it to, the recently launched men’s luxury goods website that makes shopping seem like a stroll through a smart lifestyle magazine.

The website’s design is downright serene – spare and neatly organized around a mix of product and editorial pages. Instead of over-the-top fashion layouts Mr. Porter puts “style” in reasonable context with intriguing stories, informative videos and sharp features about real men of taste and substance. Indeed, the site succeeds at being relevant and "aspirational."   

The marketing folk at Mr. Porter use email well, I think. I receive several each week that simply flag something new about the site. It's all very low-key and since I like the website I generally save the latest e-mail to open at the weekend. 

Mr. Porter is doing many things right. Yes, the website is properly optimized but what's more the site's content is extraordinarily sticky. According to visitors to devote roughly four minutes per visit, viewing 5.5 unique pages on average and spending roughly 41 seconds per page view. Wow!

I tip my hat to you Mr. Porter, sir. Well done.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Transmedia storytelling engages audiences who want to be heard and validated

Digital Media Wire recently posed five questions to  Jeff Gomez, CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment and a leading figure in the emerging field of cross-media storytelling called "Transmedia." 

DMW’s Q&A is a very good read; here’s a sampling of what Jeff said:

“For me, transmedia narrative is a kind of subset of cross-media content. It's the technique of conveying messages, themes and storylines across multiple media platforms in a way that is both artful and coordinated with care.

With transmedia you're not repeating the same story on a movie screen, a TV screen, a novel and a videogame. You are using each one to tell a complete piece of your story, and combined they can all become a deeper, richer and more immersive experience.  Different aspects of the story or story world are created to play to the specific strengths of the medium.

From a business standpoint, much has been said about how transmedia can help build franchises and maximize return on investment for entertainment properties. The toughest aspect of getting transmedia right is that you have to build two-way communication into the apparatus of your narrative.

Everyone talks about Star Wars to exemplify good transmedia, but I love talking about Glee, because what makes transmedia so unique and relevant is that it is fundamentally about telling stories to a generation of people who want to be heard, and who are used to being validated for their participation. That's what interactive media is about in essence: response.

On April 25th in Los Angeles, Jeff Gomez, together with Digital Media Wire, will host the first in a series of transmedia workshops on how to use and leverage the most effective transmedia techniques.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Peter Gruber's new book about the "Hidden Power of Story"

Great video Q&A courtesy of Harvard Business Review: Peter Guber, chairman and CEO of the Mandalay Entertainment Group, explains how to establish an emotional connection with any audience. His new book Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story (March 2011, Crown Business) is sold on Amazon.

Incidentally,clicking the anchor text above will take you to my new Storyful page where I took a crack at curating material for this post. I must say, excited as I am about the storytelling potential of curation services like Storyful and Storify I've yet to find one that is easy to use. It's surprising that Storyful does not offer a quick tutorial because the site is not very intuitive in my opinion. I'll continue to putter with it to see what I can do with a bit of practice.

Are you using curatorial tools and if so what's been your experience? Any recommendations?

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