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Category Archives: Brand Storytelling

Brand Story: Do we really write the last line first?

By | May 14, 2013 |

Start With the End The other day, I had lunch with an enthusiastic startup CEO; she really wanted to talk content strategy. She has an amazing product and goals, and clearly, she could take her brand — and content strategy — in many directions. Is her brand a supportive best friend or an influential adviser? Loud and enthusiastic? Quiet and wise? This will really influence her content strategy as a whole. As she told me about her company, I could see that she had lots of ideas, but no idea where to start. I asked her, “How does your brand…

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How do we make our brand’s personality more authentic?

By | May 8, 2013 |

When you’ve worked with the same brand for a while, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, writing the same things the same way for all your messaging — whether it’s website content or marketing copy. Your brand has a personality, and as a personality, it should be alive and respond to different situations, places, and things. I know this is hard, especially for large brands with Compliance processes and strict brand style guides. But I’m not talking about changing the brand’s established voice, or expressing a message in a way that’s contrary to brand principles. I’m talking about…

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Do I need a video content strategy before writing?

By | April 25, 2013 |

“Video today is like desktop publishing was 15 years ago — everyone thinks they can do it,” a colleague said recently. And the fact is, anyone can create a video. A video worth watching? That’s a whole ‘nother story. I recently wrote a one-minute video script for a brand introduction video. It included voiceover, visual text, and descriptions of imagery for context. I admit, I had more fun than I’ve had creating content in a long time. The voice, the rhythm, even the

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Should Pinterest be part of our content strategy?

By | February 27, 2012 |

Pinterest is a fabulous concept. User-curated content? Brilliant. The ability to collect and share images in meaningful themes? I love it. And for businesses, it’s another vibrant way to enrich your brand story. So why don’t I recommend it as part of your content strategy?

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How do we send a truly personal message to masses of people?

By | January 9, 2012 |

I’m getting ready to discuss content strategy for the communications of a CEO of a large organization. How will this strategy capture his personality, his voice, his mission? How will each person who receives the communication — thousands and thousands of individuals — feel like this is a personal letter and be compelled to respond?

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How do we build trust with our audience?

By | May 9, 2011 |

Trust me. That statement doesn’t inspire trust at all, does it? But trust is something valued highly by … just about everyone. For a company, trust means: Belief. Your audience is more likely to believe you without having to dive too deeply into supportive evidence. Reliance. Your people are more likely to turn to you in times of need and expect you to be there for them. Word of mouth. Your customer is more likely to remember and pass along information. Recommendations. Your audience is

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Do I need a video content strategy?

By | September 7, 2010 |

With digital video cameras now so easily accessible and usable, just about anyone can create video content for their business — but, clearly, not everyone is considering video content strategy or video production best practices. Interview with Bekah Christie, video producer. This article is part of a series called On Content Strategy: Real-World Perspectives from Niche Industries by Shelly Bowen.

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How do we maximize Twitter for business?

By | February 1, 2010 |

A quiet or nonexistent corporate Twitter account is a disappointing sight for a potential client or customer. Somewhat like an empty, abandoned shopping cart. But how do you keep up? Option 1: Hire or Assign a Dedicated Person or People to Manage One Corporate Twitter Account An impersonal corporate Twitter account, one that’s under your brand name with no “real” person identified, can prove successful if you provide useful company information, such as exclusive deals, product info, sales, and events. Take a look at The North Face, Merrell, DWR, Modernica, Piperlime, Dell Outlet, Amazon, and Sephora. Option 2: Give Each…

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How do we get people to fall in love with our product?

By | August 26, 2009 |

Content Marketing Works … When People Fall in Love With Your Story Every year I search for a pair of summer sandals that are: A. Stylish enough to wear with a sundress B. Comfortable enough to wear all day at Disneyland (Not that I do either very often.) And every year, I fail. Except this year. This year, I found myself at REI — originally surfing the camping gear — in the hanging flop aisle. Sporty flops. Shower flops. Surf flops. No Shelly flops. About to

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