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1.  Craft an informative, relevant and entertaining brand story

All the technologies, websites and social networking tools are useless unless there is a compelling message.  Everyone has access to these tools, but it’s the understanding of these tools as they relate to your brand story that really make them valuable.  It’s also very important to know your audience and their threshold for total running time.  You can often get people to pay better attention and watch more of your content if you break it into smaller bite size chunks.  This will also help people distribute your content more readily if they like it.

2.  Know your audience and what brand messaging they respond to

There’s a growing sea of content and audiences continue to fragment.  While it may take some time and some leg work, you can now find out where your audience is viewing related content on different video platforms and social networking hubs.  Locate the passion centers that are relevant to your messaging and connect with these audiences by using familiar language and terminology.  Get to your audience at their time of need and you will have loyal participants for life.  Forget the ways of spam!  Now it’s about being personal and specific.  Find the relevant groups on Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube and Flickr and reach out to these people.  Engage them.  If it’s great content, they’ll thank you for it.

3.  Shoot in HD

TVs are already shipping with Ethernet ports and the days of Internet TV are upon us.  While it may be somewhat more efficient to shoot on standard DV for web use only, the name of the game today is future proofing your brand story and messaging.  Once your high quality content is in the digital ether, it will be there for years to come.  If you are shooting efficiently, there will be footage you may not utilize right away and can monetize through other channels and platforms.  Additionally, your footage you shoot for online use may eventually appear on a 42″ OLED in somebody’s living room.  The way to stand out, is to make sure you have a high quality story that is shot on HD so that you can maximize your budget and your brand’s reach.

4.  Utilize interactive storytelling techniques

TV audiences are considered “lean back” as they don’t invite participation (unless it’s high quality and emotionally charged content!).  The new “lean forward” audience DEMANDS to be engaged.  Now that you have an interesting story, what elements are you going to include that will allow your audience to interact with your messaging and play along?  Make a list of all the relevant social networking tools that can be used to enhance and amplify your brand messaging.  This may come in the form of a widget, Facebook application, or iPhone application.

5.  Craft a relevant distribution strategy

The Joe Digital equation: High Quality Content + Strategic Distribution = Loyal Participants was born out of the idea that all great content can and will resonate with audiences only if it’s brought to them at their time of need and on the appropriate platform.  You might think that making a video and putting up on YouTube is a distribution strategy, but think again.  By the year 2013, we will be drowning in video content.  Know your audience and research where they are interacting with your messaging and video content.  In some cases you can put your video up on the larger sites like YouTube, but you will have to do an incredible amount of marketing to drive the eyeballs to your video if your audience only plays on MSN or Yahoo.  In this new digital playing field, it’s not about volume, it’s about loyalty.  Find out where your audience lives, get to them at their time of need with something interesting, authentic and relevant and they’re yours forever.

Photo Credit: Rick M

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