New life for brands through storytelling

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Social media platforms are breathing new life into the art of informing an audience about your brand, creating a need to focus on content excellence. This means creating a space within business marketing and communications teams to develop ideas that are so contagious they cannot be controlled. Turning these ideas into effective marketing content is key to ensuring that what a business puts out into the public sphere is a success.

Content marketing is ad-free content that defines your brand and entertains or informs an audience. While brand recognition is a natural reward from advertising, if done well, content marketing provides better connections with consumers. Some of the world’s most successful brands have proven that storytelling is the most effective way of doing this.

Coca Cola provides a prime example of how to develop the incremental elements of a brand idea and disperse them systematically across multiple channels of conversation for the purpose of creating unified and coordinated brand experiences.

In the realm of social media today, Coca Cola uses a myriad of platforms in which content can be delivered. Content marketing uses the advantages of convergence media to integrate these stories, which are then expressed through every possible connection, including peer-to-peer connections.

Its Facebook page is used to tell a collection of stories about its products. The Coca Cola YouTube channel again does not focus on the company itself, but rather what it wants to stand for. The channel delivers inspiring visual stories of people undertaking acts of kindness and happiness to fit in with their tagline “Open happiness”. Tweets follow a similar line, providing suggestions about doing happy activities and brightening other people’s days.

To be relevant and get past the white noise clogging social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and the devices that support them including mobile phones, computers and tablets, each story must add value to be significant in people’s lives in order to become part of their everyday conversation.

Coca Cola has realised that happiness is relevant in everyone’s life and has based its whole content marketing strategy on stories about happiness. Importantly the company integrates social media use, constantly directing audience traffic from one platform to the next.

Moving past the noise to provoke conversation will allow a brand to control a disproportionate amount of industry space. Social media highlights that we live in a world of consumer empowerment with an on-demand culture. While this may be intimidating and confronting, content marketing is a powerful tool allowing businesses to capitalise on the control consumers have over the market.

Make use of interactive feedback tools such as Facebook and Twitter analytics as well as consumer comments. Work directly with consumers, as they have more stories or messages to tell about your product. Use these conversations and be inspired by them. Don’t move on too early from the conversation – fuel it, it’s all about two-way communication.

Most importantly be creative, embrace a culture of ideas to develop content and work with it from a top-down, bottom-up approach to hold your brand’s story together.

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