Grand Theft Content: Steal These 6 Ideas From Award Finalists

Grand Theft Content: Steal These 6 Ideas From Award Finalists

With its powerful story about the first African-American driver in the Daytona 500 since 1969, Behind the Wall: Bubba Wallace seemed like the kind of story audiences would rally around. Here’s the takeaway: Produce each content piece in part as an experiment – and give it all the promotional resources you can to help it succeed. Find the story inside the story Stolen from: Glenn LaFollette, JLL B2B marketers may assume stories touching people’s hearts abound for their B2C counterparts but are scarce in their industry. Glenn LaFollette, who leads brand strategy and editorial at JLL, helps his team find the magic in commercial real estate services, telling moving, impactful stories through text and videos on JLL’s Ambitions website. Focus not on the stories about the buildings but on the people who work and learn inside the buildings. Randi Bartelmie heads the team that produces Norton The Internet Security Center content, which helps people understand (and make informed choices about) digital security. Plan, but don’t be a slave to your content calendar. Each of the examples we shared of Jason Miller’s work at LinkedIn is impressive. Part of that meant letting reporters and other influencers see the products in action and hear the Xerox team’s vision in person. After working in content marketing for enterprises and startups for more than 20 years, she’s looking forward to exchanging ideas and lessons learned with other content marketing practitioners.

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So many good ideas get published on this blog in a year that it’s nearly impossible for one person to absorb them all.

Examples from 2018 Content Marketer of the Year finalists were so inspiring they stayed with me. When it came time to offer up our latest batch of ideas to steal, I found it hard to pick just one from each. But I made myself do it.

I looked for ones that can be applied in all kinds of organizations – B2B, B2C, big, small, and everything in between. Now I hope you steal at least one of these ideas – and then make it grand for your brand.

1. Use established channels to support experiments on new ones

Stolen from: Evan Parker, NASCAR

When NASCAR’s content studio sold an eight-part docuseries to Facebook for Facebook Watch, the social media giant’s new video-on-demand platform was in its infancy.

With its powerful story about the first African-American driver in the Daytona 500 since 1969, Behind the Wall: Bubba Wallace seemed like the kind of story audiences would rally around.

But rather than just expecting people to find it on the Watch tab, NASCAR and Facebook marketed where they knew their audience would learn about it. They took to Facebook Live and Instagram Stories, tapped other drivers and celebrities to promote, plus the series’ charismatic star made plugs in his post-race interviews.

The Behind the Wall With Bubba Wallace series had attracted more than 12 million views by the time we wrote about it in July.

Sure, you may not have the budget to produce an eight-part docuseries. That’s not the point. Here’s the takeaway: Produce each content piece in part as an experiment – and give it all the promotional resources you can to help it succeed.

2. Find the story inside the story

Stolen from: Glenn LaFollette, JLL

B2B marketers may assume stories touching people’s hearts abound for their B2C counterparts but are scarce in their industry. Sorry, B2B marketers, you’re not off the hook. You can find great, moving stories in any industry.

Glenn LaFollette, who leads brand strategy and editorial at JLL, helps his team find the magic in commercial real estate services, telling moving, impactful stories through text and videos on JLL’s Ambitions website. His secret? Focus not on the stories about the buildings but on the people who work and learn inside the buildings.

JLL’s Ambitions publication tells the story, for example, of the Detroit Institute of Music Education (DIME), where JLL helped turn an abandoned building into an inspiring and acoustically appropriate space for a music school.

The passion and commitment of the group’s founders and the JLL team supporting them came across on the page and came to life in an accompanying video.

Similarly, a story (and video) about the company’s first patent starts not with a description of the patent but with the JLL engineer behind it, as a little boy tinkering with parts on the floor of his dad’s electrical contractor shop.

Meaningful, human stories are out there. Glenn’s work reminds us that our job is to find them in the B2B community.

3. Create room to react

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