There are three tiers of content to be created by brands: Product Content, Culture Content, and Community Content.
Most brands never really create anything beyond the first, even though they, and their agencies, would likely argue that culture and community are the most common things they discuss.
Product Content is about what you generate. It answers questions like: what is it, how does it work, how is it made, what is it for, why is it interesting.
Product content is easy to do poorly, and hard to do well. A commercial is basic and flawed product content, usually. There’s a difference between making something to be entertaining in its own right, and making a marketing message. People often stop here because it answers the obvious questions: what it does, what (and therefore who) it’s for, and unique selling proposition. That’s fine for marketing. But it’s just a base layer for content.
Culture Content is about how and why you create. It answers questions like: why did you make it, what inspired it, how did you work on it, who worked on it, what motivates you to make it, why do you work together, how do you work together.
Culture content is the space where the most socially adept companies tend to spend a lot of time. Talking about vision and mission and process and values. This content is created, often, as part of a customer focused marketing strategy, but it’s valuable when taken into forms beyond text on a landing page. Culture is also the biggest source of non-product related ideas - talking about where ideas come from, where passion comes from. An example of culture content would be interviewing a product designer about his inspirations, his heroes. This is the content that gets people engaged in the reality of a company.
Community Content is about what the things you create mean in the context of the world. It answers questions like: who cares about it, why do they care about it, who uses it, what role does it play in lives, how do people feel about it.
Community content is about the intersection of a company and the audience it develops. Most brands try to skip right here, without building meaningful product or culture content. Community content isn’t asking people what they’re doing this weekend, or posting a Facebook poll asking which product feature is someone’s favourite. A good example of community content is the Trapped in the Tumblr Closet series of videos - showing how a product takes on new and unexpected meaning when it hits the hands of an engaged audience.
This isn’t a list, this is something that has to build - you can’t create meaningful culture content until you’ve actually delved into your product, understood it, and communicated it. You can’t build community content until you’ve expressed your culture, ideas, inspirations and motivations in a way that gets people attached to what you’re doing, and what you promise to try to do later.
Brands are publishers, with a very specific mandate. This is a framework that should help you develop your internal communication priorities, and your long term content planning.
Not to reblog myself constantly, but if you could tell anyone you know who works in branded content about this, it might help the whole area suck less.@8 months ago with 13 notes