Article

Victoria Greene
Victoria Greene 29 August 2017

The Key To Successful Branded Content: Experimentation

The number one content marketing enemy? Boredom. It’s important to keep your brand from stagnation by embracing creativity and experimentation. New content formats and platforms are constantly springing up and making headlines, but businesses often sadly lag behind current trends.

It’s a crying shame to let content agencies and freelancers have all the fun, so here are some ways that brands and businesses can mix things up a little bit more in their corporate content factory. Whether you’re selling products online, or peddling ideas to the busy bluechips — experimentation will help you launch into a new era of content success.

Try new formats on a regular basis to drive online sales

If you don’t try, you’ll never know, right? It’s important that brands remember to step outside of their comfort zones every now and then, instead of reaching for those default design templates. Yes, it can be exhausting to try new things — but if you just keep churning out an ebook like clockwork every quarter, where is the room for disruption and creativity? Is anyone even paying attention anymore? Do you still rely on outdated PDFs?

  1. Brands should regularly try new formats in order to find their own ‘content sweet spot’. (What’s a content sweet spot? Content that is cost-effective to create, and has high levels of engagement and uplift).
  2. Social media platforms are constantly giving us new ways to share brand stories — so why not test out a Facebook Live or an Instagram story at your latest awards show, as well as the usual blog post? Brand stories are especially great for ecommerce businesses who need to work hard to humanize their products
  3. How to experiment cost-effectively? Repurpose. Don’t re-invent the wheel for every channel, but use the same design assets, words, and content themes and transform them into a whole plethora of content products. An ebook can be broken down into a series of blog posts, which can also be made into a podcast, which can then be condensed into a series of tweets or an Instagram post. Try out these free content creation tools for size — content experimentation doesn’t need to be costly and time-consuming.

Divorce content from the inbound funnel for more freedom

Gulp.

I am not saying that you should reject or scrap your inbound marketing strategy (quite the opposite). What I am saying is that if you go on creating content like drones, following your editorial calendar to the letter, you will miss out on key opportunities to create wonderful, creative things. You need to allow your content team to put down strategy for a few seconds, and create content that will capture people’s hearts, as well as their minds.

Using YouTube’s help, hero, hub content framework can help teams organize their ideas into different content tiers. It’s a great catalyst for having braver and more deep conversations about content.

Get different people involved so that teams don’t ‘coast’

Who manages your content production? Is it always the same member of the content team or freelancer who wields the mighty pen? You might need to mix things up in the team in order to properly shake things up. Manage the transition with tact by getting content creators to collaborate with and interview different parts of the business. Your content team will still feel empowered and in control, but the content will have a different spin and flavor to it.

One of the biggest B2B content marketing challenges is getting the the C-suite to engage with the big questions of the day, or even just show up for a blog post interview! The best brands and businesses have taken on board the serious need for expertise in content marketing, and harness top exec power and experience in the knowledge marketplace.  In order to compete, you need sign-off and content buy-in at the highest possible levels of the business. Content needs to start in a business’s beating heart.

Reduce silos and feedback

Working in a content production silo is like trying to write with your hands tied behind your back. In order to succeed, content marketing needs to happen in a fully non-siloed way, allowing teams to easily collaborate and feedback on each other’s work.

Waiting for feedback on content campaigns from legal or compliance teams can take all the fun out of marketing, so brands should only exercise sign-off if it’s actually needed. Remember, the most important feedback will be coming from your audience and the marketplace, not senior management — so take their suggestions with a pinch of salt.

Embrace reactive content

Reactive, newsworthy content is a great way to push the boundaries of branded content. If you can get your business out there, commentating on news events or industry trends live, you will quickly see engagement levels and traffic soar.

Jumping on things and being the first to market with an explainer video or blog post means having a content production process that’s flexible, fast, and streamlined. Allowing people to work in a more journalistic style is a surefire way to ramp up your digital storytelling strategy, and is something that tech and ecommerce start ups are making the most of.

Branded content is a great way to generate leads and build a receptive online audience, but brands need to experiment and test, rather than rinse and repeat. Shaking up your content strategy might be the best thing you’ll ever do online...

julia morrison
julia morrison

It is good read for me

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
Customer Journey Mapping: A Real-Life Approach to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Customer Journey Mapping: A Real-Life Approach to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

As financial services and insurance (FSI) companies strive to deliver the seamless multi-channel customer experience, the traditional marketing model has been radically reimagined. Innovative institutions are showing how cross-functional teams focusing on the customer journey can work to develop a single view of the customer – an approach that can bring tangible rewards. Yet research shows that large institutions still have some way to go in maximising the return on their investment in this area.

Aoife McIlraith
Aoife McIlraith 18 September 2017
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
10 Marketing Lessons From Apple [Infographic]

10 Marketing Lessons From Apple [Infographic]

The 10-year-old kid, selling ice cold fresh lemonade on the street corner in your local neighbourhood had it right. He or she may not have realized it but the simple marketing strategy that they accidentally and innocently came up with works perfectly on the people strolling by on their daily walk.

Ellie Summers
Ellie Summers 19 September 2017
Read more
10 Features You Must Have in Your Marketing Automation Platform

10 Features You Must Have in Your Marketing Automation Platform

There is no doubt that marketing agencies have the skillset and expertise to do high-level work, manage a multitude of platforms and campaigns, as well as the small tasks like data entry. But a crucial part of running a successful agency is knowing when it is best to leave complicated and repetitive tasks to a software that is tailored for just that. In the end, it is more feasible and effective to leave it to an automation software, so agency staff can focus on other endeavors within the business.

Richard Fallah
Richard Fallah 18 September 2017
Read more