Developing Creative Content Strategies
Did you forget something?
On a recent Spring morning at MultiVu's Manhattan headquarters on the 19th floor of the American Express Tower, a panel of communications luminaries assembled. They were there to speak to industry leaders about creative content production. Breakfast was served, acquaintances made, and then we dove in.
The panelists included:
Ryan Barr, Managing Partner, Financial Services Practice Leader, Finn Partners
Matthew Berritt, Vice President, EVINS Communications
Rum Ekhtiar, Founder, Rum&Co
Rich Harris, Former Creative Director, ARRIS
My appreciation for these communications practitioners has no bounds. They have lived it, breathed it, and can speak at length about creative content production strategies and engagement with an intelligence and frankness so often lacking. And it's that frankness that was most enlightening.
Brands need to be putting out consistent, targeted creative communications, and knowing your audiences and the channels your content will be distributed to are the critical assumptions. But there's more. There are subtleties involved that are often overlooked or never considered at all.
Here are 5 salient points. Add them to your checklist for creative content development.
1. Have a Clue
You cannot expect any creative provider to tell you what you should create without first revealing your goals and ROI. You need to articulate what you're trying to achieve. Is it raising awareness, spreading some news, or causing your audience to take some action? It is not the creative partner who dictates your needs. They're responsible for bringing it all to life.
2. Talent- the Frosting on Your Cake
Does your creative content need talent? Maybe a celebrity or influencer? Be certain your talent is genuinely passionate about your brand or topic. Do not hire a name or someone with a billion followers just because they're popular. You can't buy passion. You either have it, or you don't.
3. B2B and Middle Child Syndrome
Poor B2B's. And Internal Comms too. They're the odd man out when it comes to creative content. But at the end of every supply chain, product line or service provider is a real live human being and he or she is moved by emotion just like the rest of us. With internal communications, your employees are your consumers. Don't dismiss the potential to move them with creative communications. Besides, no one likes to be left out.
4. Let Your Internal Influencer Do the Heavy Lifting
A great creative concept may never get off the ground if you don't first secure influential buy-in. Get your sales leader excited about it. This person will champion your idea and want to see it brought to life. They'll go after their contact and sell it for you. Find your in-house champion and see your idea come to life.
5. Different Countries Require Different Approaches
From a global perspective - and who isn't selling globally these days - your in-your-face concept that played so well in the U.S. may very well be deemed offensive in another country. Seek out an overseas team member and ask how your concept will be received in their country. If you don't, you may cause irreparable damage to your brand and waste money and resources.
Creating content isn't easy. Not for anyone. Practitioners work hard to develop pieces of content that solve client needs in a way that causes the intended audience to pay attention and feel something- do something. At its best, it's highly targeted. Specific audiences are moved to action and a positive buzz is generated organically. Done wrong, well, you know what happens. Nothing happens. Target audiences are ignored, and you're left feeling disappointed. No one wants that.
Pay attention to the fundamentals and you stand the best chance for a creative win.
ABOUT THE EXPERT: Larry Cardarelli
Larry Cardarelli started in business news writing and producing for CNN's Lou Dobbs. He also freelanced for the BBC, Fox, and ABC News and several independent production companies. In 2004 Larry joined MultiVu as a producer. He was promoted to Senior Producer in 2007, and Executive Producer in 2012. As Executive Producer, he led the development of the Creative department as the PR comms industry was experiencing significant changes. In 2013, under his leadership, his team brought in $600k in net new creative production revenue. A year later, that number exceeded $2M. Larry was named Vice President of Production and Creative in 2015.
Larry's avocation is food and wine. He's worked in several New York City restaurants including the former New York Times 3-star March restaurant; he has written for Food Arts magazine; and attended the certificate program in Restaurant Management at The French Culinary Institute in conjunction with Cornell School of Hotel Management. Larry is a James Beard nominated TV food producer.
MultiVu, a Cision/PR Newswire division, produces and places compelling content strategically across multiple channels globally to deliver targeted results and drive desired engagement. Created in 2002 from network news veterans and media relations professionals, MultiVu has grown into a content creation and media strategy company, leading in the broadcast communications industry. More information can be found on www.multivu.com.