This is the first of a three-part series I am writing for Fast Company. Enjoy!
The executive editor of a popular online news site recently uploaded a photo of a poster to Instagram that read, “I’ll be interested, if you’ll be interesting.” The photo caption explained that this sentiment echoes her “operating policy.” There you have it--a simple, yet impactful peek into the mind of an editor-in-chief.
Nowadays anyone can publish, but not everyone is interesting. As the proverbial cloud gets cloudier, companies are challenged to emerge above the turbulent noise of online chatter to the sunny calm where brands, media, influencers, and consumers work together to create meaning, value, and connection. These days, developing a successful online presence requires approaching traditional digital efforts like link-building, web traffic, lead generation, and sales from a decidedly more editorial, content-rich approach: a hybrid marketing and storytelling strategy that drives customer actions by creating, documenting, distributing, and optimizing content. Some companies have created their own internal content development departments or are working with agencies to create everything from infographics to documentaries that highlight where the values, interests, and personality of brand and customer overlap. Coca Cola believes so strongly in the power of content that they are relying on this approach to help them double the size of their business by 2020.
While your office probably looks a lot different than a newsroom, approaching content strategy by thinking like a magazine publisher or a television producer is an effective way to approach content development and promotion. Utilizing influential voices to develop and promote content can help ensure that you meet the first requirement of securing readership and viewers--be interesting.
This is absolutely where a journey into the content sphere begins. No matter what you do, do this first:
Designate a leader: Content naturally comes from multiple departments and can work in service of a multitude of business goals, but you need a content captain, a creative champion within the organization to provide overarching strategy, work with internal and external teams, and, if needed, be the brand voice when it comes to social media conversation. This leader and his/her support staff will help to train your organization to capture content, and to help them promote and place the latest great story. As the only acting conduit and connector between your brand and the masses, it’s critical that he/she is a skilled editor, a trusted communicator who loves language and who appreciates the fun of a well-placed pun (a little rhyming doesn’t hurt either).
While the thought of adding on tactics like video or even Pinterest may seem like daunting tasks, and difficult to prioritize, the good news is that there is already a powerful ecosystem of influencers connected to your brand that can help support your efforts.
Read the rest of the article, "Channeling Anna Wintour: When Creating Branded Content, Think Like An Editor-In-Chief ," on Fast Company.