Storytelling Through Content Strategy

By David J. Verjano, Founder, Verjano Communications  – and NCA Coffee Summit 2016 speaker 

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Today we are more connected than ever thanks to technology and the internet. But with more connectivity inevitably comes more clutter. As a brand, the question then becomes, “How do we stand out from the crowd?”

The simple answer: Content.

Not just ordinary content, we’re talking unique, creative and captivating content; something that tells your story in a memorable and impactful way. That’s where having a content strategy comes in.

Whether you’re pushing this content via your website, social media or other channels, there needs to be a cohesive plan for telling your story. When done right, you will not only gain the attention of potential customers but keep them coming back for more. This is a brief breakdown on the factors to consider when creating your content strategy.

Choose Your Channels Wisely

In most cases, having a website is a no brainer. However, picking other channels should be done much more carefully, so that you can focus your efforts effectively and not spread yourself thin. Before the selection process, you must know two things:

  1. Who is your audience?
  2. Where do they spend their time?

When it comes to social media platforms, Facebook has the largest audience ranging across a variety of demographics; young and old, local and international, and everything in between. You’ll find most businesses on Facebook – even B2B companies – not just for the large user base but for its robust ad platform. Facebook offers highly targeted options to reach your primary audience – something that traditional platforms can’t really offer.

Instagram and Snapchat are two other popular options, but they have a younger, smaller user base. You must also decide on the platforms that are not worth your time (at least to start off). Is it worth spending time and resources on Twitter? Pinterest? LinkedIn? For some, the answer is yes because their target audience is active on those channels. Just be sure to do your homework before taking a full leap.

Tailor Your Content to the Channel

Each channel is inherently different, which means users behave and consume content differently from platform to platform. For instance, the way people use Snapchat is different from the way they use Twitter. Take time to analyze what types of content work well on the platforms you decide to use.

Generally speaking, video is the best performing content type at the moment across the board. Video is receiving more reach and engagement than photos, links, and text-based content. Not to mention, video on websites tend to keep users on your web page longer, which is one of the major ranking factors for search engines today.

It’s good to be aware of updates on each platform as well. For example, Facebook recently embraced vertical video, which is also popular on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Knowing these kinds of developments will help you tweak the content you create to get optimal results.

Make the Most of Your Content

Let’s say you’re filming a one-minute video to share on your website. This same piece of content can potentially be broken up into two 30-second videos or even four 15-second videos, which can then be shared on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Think about how you can spread your content to be used in various channels as opposed to just a single use.

You might even consider creating a series of content. This will help establish a consistent flow of content that your followers can associate with your brand over a longer period of time. After all, building brand loyalty is a marathon, not a sprint. Think three laps ahead to ensure you stay in the race.

Test Different Storytelling Techniques

One of the biggest questions that also must be answered in your content strategy is, “How will I tell my story?” There are a variety of storytelling methods that can be leveraged, it just depends on what message you’re trying to get across. Some useful techniques include:

  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • “A day in the life” content
  • Personal stories
  • Exclusive promos
  • User-generated content

Consider what your brand tone and message is when using these techniques. Pick the ones that match your voice best and help you carry that message to customers in an authentic way. If you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to test different methods. What works for some doesn’t work for others, so don’t rely on “best practices” all the time.

It’s your story, tell it how you want it to be told.

 

David Verjano is a social media consultant with a passion for developing Miami’s creative culture. 

Interested in learning more? Join David for his session, “SEO and Digital Marketing to Increase Visibility,” at the NCA Coffee Summit Oct. 26-28, Miami, FL. 

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