Why ‘Let’s Make a Movie’ Is a Terrible Way to Plan Content

Do you end up planning the shape earlier than you develop the thought for content material?

Most of us do – it’s the best way we devour content material. When you are feeling impressed by a video or podcast, for instance, your mind will begin attempting to give you an thought to use in a film or podcast.

It is smart. You see a superb, artistic thought expressed in some type issue, and also you suppose, “That’s what I want to create.”  But it’s the container (the expertise) you need to emulate. You nonetheless have to give you a distinctive thought for that type issue.

It’s regular to create this manner.

Think about it. Did George Lucas dream up a story about a younger boy on a desert planet who reunites together with his separated-at-birth twin sister to save the galaxy from an evil empire after which determine his story would work finest as a film?

No. Inspired by the tv and film variations of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, he determined to make a film. The story for Star Wars got here subsequent.

Starting with the medium is smart for filmmakers, TV present creators, novelists, and others. But it doesn’t work effectively for advertising and marketing.

Container-first planning doesn’t work in advertising and marketing

Starting with the content material type issue could cause a heap of hassle in advertising and marketing for 2 causes.

First, advertising and marketing content material isn’t an endpoint – it’s a bridge to an endpoint. In different phrases, you aren’t attempting to optimize for the tip expertise. Instead, you’re optimizing to discover the individuals who need the tip expertise: our services or products.

Think about it this manner: People need to watch Star Wars. They don’t essentially need to discover your advertising and marketing content material. So conveying one story or thought in a number of containers offers you a higher likelihood to discover an viewers. You’re telling the story all over the place the viewers is somewhat than attempting to lure them to one piece on one channel.

People aren’t seeking out your marketing #content, so put it wherever they are, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

There’s one more reason to keep away from beginning with the container somewhat than the thought. Organizations want to categorical a lot of concepts. Some are small, and a few are large. If you propose the container first, you may find yourself placing small concepts into large containers and vice versa.

How many occasions have you ever seen full white papers devoted to a too-small thought? On the opposite hand, I’ve seen many concepts that ought to have been built-in model campaigns crammed into a single weblog publish. Why? Because somebody thought, “We need a blog post about this,” and by no means thought of whether or not it might flip into extra.

How to separate content material concepts from expression

Remember: People will devour the designed expression of your content material concepts (your web site, weblog, video, e-book, social media publish, and so forth.). But the thought conveyed in that expression will differentiate your work and decide whether or not your content material technique succeeds.

Star Wars wasn’t a hit as a result of it was a film. It succeeded as a result of it was a nice story effectively advised.

I’ve written about how planning and governance may help you prioritize content material tasks. Adding a step may help you be sure that your concepts find yourself in as many (or few) containers as you’ll want to discover your viewers.

Most of the content material and advertising and marketing groups I do know of use a content material consumption type that begins with the query, “What kind of content do you want?” A drop-down menu presents a collection of codecs (video, infographic, white paper, net web page, weblog publish, and so forth.)

Questions in regards to the content material for that format, the viewers, the journey stage, and so forth all the time come later. The course of goes from request to asset creation.

That’s the place the extra step ought to are available in. The story or thought creation ought to be a step of its personal – separate from the design and manufacturing course of.

Plan your #content story first – then decide what formats to tell it in, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

The course of I like to recommend appears to be like like this:

Create the story

Start by discovering or hashing out the compelling story (throughout the content material staff or as a cross-functional effort). Do the analysis, define the story, and determine how large the thought is.

Then, write the story. Create the world, the challenges, and the options. This is the uncooked content material that might (or ought to) reside in any expression of the thought.

Then – and solely then, transfer on to the following step.

Design the expertise(s)

Decide all of the totally different sorts of packages this story can reside in. Does it work as a video? Does it work as a white paper? Does it work as a weblog publish?  Does it work as a print advert? Could it work as all of these issues?

You don’t have to execute all experiences without delay. But taking the time to create the uncooked content material components at the start of the method permits you to rapidly create these issues if you’re prepared.

I comply with this identical two-step course of once I create content material. I plan the story and write these uncooked components first:

  • Content components (a draft of this column)
  • A bullet level model I can use on a podcast
  • Different paragraphs and variations to function on The Content Advisory web site
  • Focused messaging factors I can use to flip this into a presentation (or class or keynote)
  • All the hyperlinks and analysis I used to create this text (if any)

I file all this materials away and use it as I want it. If I want to create a presentation – I can look again to this doc and see which of my concepts are sufficiently big. I have already got a good begin on the content material I want to create it.

This strategy isn’t applicable for every little thing. Sometimes an advert is simply an advert, a video is simply a video, and an electronic mail is simply an electronic mail.

But for giant concepts (particularly those who impression the bigger group), begin occupied with creating the uncooked content material to your compelling story earlier than you determine how to design and produce all of the experiences that can convey it.

That manner, you may make certain your nice large concepts gained’t get trapped in too-small containers.

It’s your story. Tell it effectively.

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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute