The newsroom approach to brand storytelling

The eternal appeal of storytelling is easily explained: our brains are wired to follow narratives. As such, we can engage an audience of any size when we manage to grip them with a compelling story that unravels over time through an emotive plot.

The application of storytelling skills is widespread in the marketing industry, as brands seek to make connections with consumers. 70% of consumers prefer getting to know brands through articles rather than ads, so it’s an effective strategy to pursue.

But the digital marketplace is flooded with content noise and it’s really difficult to cut through and tell a compelling story to captivate your audience. The adoption of a more journalistic, or “newsroom mentality”, combined with the use of barrier-less technology, can facilitate enduring content marketing experiences through the immortal medium of the beloved story.

Content produced in collaboration with Brightspot

Technology plays a fascinating, pivotal role in the development of modern storytelling.

Always the enabler, technology – and more specifically, the best web publishing CMS platform – serves to quickly and easily get your most truthful and relevant stories to market.

The old days of content publishing headaches, and being held back by technology, are truly over. Now, real-time, in-context, and almost immediate publishing integrated with social media, video, digital asset management and global communities is here.

Multi-channel, multi-lingual experiences is a given. We all know the average consumer uses more than one device to access the Internet and will frequently move from social media to search, across apps and browsers.

This new reality creates a more fragmented ecosystem and contributes to shortened attention spans. In fact, the average attention span is said to have reduced to just 8 seconds, from 12 seconds as recently as 2000.

That context is coupled with a rise in consumer expectations. Audiences no longer accept disjointed messaging from a brand across different platforms, as the new normal is to receive seamless messaging in terms of both content and tone.

The newsroom approach to brand storytelling

Technology has been a driving force behind these trends, but it simultaneously helps us to deliver on those heightened expectations.

Brands need to create real, true and authentic stories that resonate with people, while also ensuring that their story is told cohesively across all media formats. That task may sound daunting, but it is no longer an optional undertaking.

To deliver a cohesive and effective brand story, businesses must balance the demands of numerous internal departments and find a common identity to communicate. To achieve this change, buy-in is required from senior leadership. In that regard, it is certainly encouraging that 90% of CMOs believe custom content has a positive impact on their audience’s impression of the brand.

Progress has been made, but obstacles remain.

Siloed technology stacks, along with outdated organizational structures, can limit a brand’s ability to tell their story with conviction.

New ways of thinking are required, as are more cohesive and integrated technologies.

The Newsroom Approach

The appeal of storytelling in just as potent as it ever was, but its application must be adapted to suit the modern audience.

We can take lessons here from the industries that have always depended on understanding their audience and delivering the right content. Newsrooms and journalists function in an agile fashion, synthesizing multiple topics and events to produce high-quality content on a very frequent basis.

The newsroom approach to brand storytelling

Brands that optimize their time to market for new content and obsess over the details that make each channel unique can have an advantage to connect at an authentic and emotional level.

Taking a newsroom approach also means collaborating more efficiently.There are five stages to this collaboration process:

  1. Research and ideation
  2. Prioritization of efforts
  3. Content production
  4. Content storage (e.g., videos, images, articles)
  5. Publication and promotion

At each juncture, organizations need to ensure that the right people (i.e., writers, editors, journalists, freelancers) are involved and that they have productive, repeatable ways of turning ideas into great content.

Technology ties all of these threads together and empowers modern brands to take a newsroom approach to their digital storytelling efforts. By using one, centralized platform for all 5 stages of this process, businesses can develop both the consistency and the quality they need to resonate with the modern consumer. Given the quantities of data now at our disposal and the requirement for expediency in content production, this of stress-free, user-friendly, yet powerful technology has become essential. Moreover, content must be amplified with accuracy to gain all-important audience attention, which can only be achieved through a scalable, highly performant solution.

To learn more about how technology is enabling new approaches to storytelling you can sign up here for a webinar on March 22, filled with insights from Brightspot, Johnson & Johnson, and ClickZ.

The webinar will discuss:

    • Why Storytelling Matters
    • Enable a Newsroom Mentality
    • Three Obstacles in Digital Storytelling
    • Technology that Facilitates a Newsroom Approach

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