All posts tagged digital story

Are they called the Playstation generation these days?  Or has that been superceded by a new hybrid of Apple-obsessed-Minecrafters?  Whatever you choose to call them, in so many ways they are so lucky.  And yet, I find myself pitying my kids and their absolute inability to do nothing.  Or more to the point, I pity their lack of understanding of how it feels to have nothing to do.  Strange, but true!

The summer holidays of my youth were filled with rollerskating, playing on building sites (health and safety was clearly not a priority in those days), mammoth hide and seek marathons and endless outdoor adventures.  All of which were interspersed with that all familiar child-of-the-80s mantra of “I’m bored”.

Apple have single-handedly killed that mantra.  Kids are subconsciously drawn to their ‘devices’ like the proverbial bees to a honeypot. They don’t experience boredom as they are too busy gluing themselves to a screen.  And here lies the crux of the problem.  Kids might not be ‘bored’ but if they are overly reliant on technology, they’re definitely not living their lives to the full.

Digital natives often eschew the great outdoors in favour of screen time.  It’s a frustrating, yet understandable, consequence of modern life.  But for those of us not content to sit back and watch this happen, what is the solution?

The Wild Thing Project, was founded by filmmaker and father of two, David Bond, who after monitoring his 5 year old daughter’s movements, discovered that she spent a mere 4% of her time outdoors.  He decided drastic action needed to be taken.  He appointed himself Marketing Director of Nature and spent 18 months visiting UK schools, promoting the Great Outdoors to children.

The Wild Time app is an offshoot of this project.  It suggests outdoor games and activities, according to the time you have available, from 10 minutes, to half an hour per day.

The National Trust is also keen to battle what it terms ‘nature deficit disorder’ in kids. Its list of 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾ suggests things that we old-skoolers may have taken for granted, but that our kids might not have tried.  Playing Pooh Sticks, whittling sticks and skimming stones are all on there. Other online resources in the same vein include:

http://www.scvngr.com/ (scavenger hunts)

http://www.projectnoah.org/ (explore and document wildlife)

http://www.toywheel.com/ (fun activities for children)

These apps see technology resonating with nostalgia.  Why Don’t You? (#memories #kidstv) presenters of old used to ask “Why don’t you just switch off your television set, go out and do something less boring instead? This is the modern day equivalent, speaking to kids in their own language; using technology to encourage offline engagement with the Great Outdoors…and it might just work.

Content-Marketing-Image-Credit-ADMA-Blog

Step 1

Write your content (or get someone to write it for you if you’re short on time or writing just isn’t your thing).  Make sure it’s written well, as poor copy can seriously damage your prospective customer’s perception of your brand. Which leads me seamlessly into a little plug.  If writing isn’t your forte, do think about outsourcing it.  Our team of experienced marketers can write killer copy for your brand for a lot less than you imagine.

 

Step 2

Make it great – your content that is.  By this I mean take care to ensure it is well written, engaging, informative and up-to-the-minute. The internet is awash with mediocre content and in order to win the attention and engagement of your target audience you need to do better. When it comes to content marketing, you need to bear in mind that you’re competing not just with brands with a similar offering to  yours but with everyone who is creating content that appeals to your target market.  I realise this can be make it  extremely daunting. Your content needs to be first rate….which leads me back to that plug!

 

Step 3

Vary the format of your content. A picture speaks a thousand words.  As does an infographic or a video. A well-chosen visual can enrich your content offering no-end. The key to success is to offer a well-rounded mix of different content themes and formats. Test these different content types and themes to see which work best for you.

 

Step 4

Create something new.  Or if that feels a bit too impossible in your field, at least make sure that your spin on the topic is fresh and adds value.

 

Step 5

Create a likeable and engaging voice for your brand. To be honest, getting this step right can often help you simultaneously conquer Step 4. It’s often not what you say, but how you say it that attracts followers, fans and other types of loyalty.

 

Step 6

Be consistent in providing frequent updates.  Once you commit to content marketing there’s no looking back.

 

Step 7

Create a content calendar.  No successful content marketing strategy is complete without an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar formalises your plan to regularly output quality content. This consistency is the key to SEO-friendly, effective content marketing. You want Google and your readers to anticipate your content – creating an editorial calendar, and adhering to it, means you never disappoint.

 

Step 8

Create viral-friendly content. Although I’m not convinced there is a bona-fide formula for creating viral content, there are definitely ways to improve your chances.

 

Step 9

Last but not least…Promote your content.  There is absolutely no point whatsoever in following all the previous steps to creating great content, if you don’t tell anyone about it. Social media is a great forum for this.  Social media and high quality content work hand in hand to increase engagement and drive traffic to your website, where you can then start to convert it into customers.

 

Step 10

Marvel at the increased engagement levels and sales that are the natural result of a successful content marketing strategy.  Not technically a step this one, but a ten-step guide feels much more aesthetically pleasing than a nine-step version…don’t you think?!

 

I may be a bit behind the times here (it wouldn’t be the first time), but I’ve just discovered the Suspended Coffee Campaign.  Born of an Italian tradition, the ‘caffe sospreso’ is a cup of coffee paid for in advance as an anonymous act of charity. The tradition began a century ago, in the working class cafes of Naples, where someone who had experienced good luck would order a sospeso, paying the price of two coffees but consuming only one. The remaining coffee would remain suspended for a poor person to claim later.

This heart-warming practice has been championed successfully on social media, igniting social consciences globally and subsequently being adopted by communities around the world. Suspended coffees represent an affirmation of the old English adage ‘Charity begins at home’ – supporting the ‘down on their luck’ people within your local community.

So far, about 150 British cafes have signed up to what has become a formal scheme, with coffee giant Starbucks recently signing up for the initiative. Ian Cranna, vice-president of marketing at Starbucks UK told Marketing Magazine the campaign “will provide warmth and comfort for those looking for food or a hot cup of coffee.”

The only problem I can foresee is that of the target audience (vulnerable people) feeling ashamed to pop in and ask for the off-chance of charity.  Some cafes across the UK have pre-empted this barrier, adopting the initiative in different forms, with some donating cash equivalents to local homeless shelters or providing tokens to be discreetly donated to those in need.

On a (frivolously) political note, if this is an example of what the EU brings us, who can knock it?

 

Yes, this is as crazy as it looks. Strongbow – the masters of deliciously sweet commercial cider – have taken drinking your favourite tipple one step further with StartCap

Utilising RFID technology, the StartCap can be set up to an antenna and used to trigger anything you connect it to… The technology can get the music playing, turn the lights on (or off!) set off confetti cannons, or turn the tv channel over!

Strongbow’s genius idea can really get the night going. Still in prototype form, but looking to feature around events very soon. Not that we’re supremely lazy, but RumbleChat will definitely be keeping an eye out for it!

What do you think? How would you put it to work for you?

David Meerman Scott has written an interesting piece on why brands should create original content rather than taking a strategy of “content curation”.  Content Curation is where you point to good content and add value by removing the noise ever present on the web.

David’s overall point is valid, but it is important to implement a strategy that is right for your business.

For the food food businesses we work with, I always recommend a strategy including content curation.   Creating really good original content is a great way to deliver value but it is also often very expensive.  It is also not always the right thing to do for your business.

As a restaurant, you’re primary job is to deliver an exceptional experience, with exceptional food every time.  As a food producer, your job is to deliver an exceptional product that excites your customers.  If you run a digital food business, then your primary job is to deliver exceptional original content.

Delivering an exceptional website and letting your service slip – Simply not acceptable.

However, something I always try to stress, is that if you’re delivering an exceptional food experience you will be doing things along the way that can be turned into digital stories that people will love.

We work with a coffeeshop, who are so particular in the quality of their coffee, they make modifications to the grinder!  That is a beautiful example of a story that should be told digitally, and can e very cheaply!

So then next time you’re working on the project, think about whether it would make good content, and take lots of pictures if it will!