Live from DIG South: Content in Context

DIG-SOUTH-Logo-RedContent in Context: Creating Branded Content That Works, by Melanie Deziel

Branded content: it’s contextual.

Context = to weave together

Contextual content weaves together what the organization knows and what the consumer wants.

Find the Power

74% of people trust educational content from businesses – on their area of authority. For example: a recipe on a food box is “trustworthy” because it’s in the company’s area of authority.

Pre-strategy: find where your area of authority is. Once you find that product, identify the role it plays in consumers’ lives, and the emotions and thoughts it provokes. Identify content that speaks to those emotions and plays to your strengths.

Know your People

What are your people doing? What keeps them awake at night or thinking?

We don’t care if they have 2 kids or make $150k. We want to know what impacts them daily:

  • What challenges can we solve for our consumers?
  • What do they like, comment on, share?
  • What editorial insights can we take from our top content? Why does it speak to them?

Respond to what they’re asking for. Answer the questions they’re putting out on social media. *Listen*

Find the Place

Put it somewhere people will find it. There are a TON of options. Here’s how to find the right place:

  • Where do people look for this type of content?
  • Which publishers have content on this topic?
  • Which social networks have conversations on this topic? (i.e. don’t put dating advice on LinkedIn!)

Dress the Part

In other words, figure out content type: image, video, text, infographic, graph, etc. For B2B companies, some stats from Nov 2015:

  • 81% of B2B companies use articles on their sites
  • 76% use videos
  • 62% use infographics
  • 61% use webinars
  • 22% use podcasts

These can turn into more content opportunities – reuse content from a webinar.

But what are people looking for/engaging with?

  • Which format is most organic for the story?
  • What’s the right voice and tone for the environment?
  • What will make for an organic/optimized experience for the user?

Case Studies: Netflix

Content about TV streaming:

  1. The power: they know about streaming, TV, media
  2. The people: visually driven tech enthusiasts
  3. The place: Wired (Netflix already has a relationship with)
  4. Dress the part: interactive article in Wired and live data showing how much content has been streamed in the time since the user opened their browser

Takeaways from the case study:

  • It’s something people think is cool and interesting
  • It’s not specific to “watch our show”
  • It connects to what people are doing today, how they’re taking in media

Show-based content from OITNB:

  1. The power: Prison life
  2. The people: entertainment/humor seekers
  3. The place: Buzzfeed
  4. Dress the part: GIF list (obvious for Buzzfeed!) with a fun, outrageous tone of voice


  1. The power: Prison life
  2. The people: people interested in current events and prison life
  3. The place: NY Times
  4. Dress the part: article exploring the affect of the male prison model on women inmates, including pull quotes, a photo gallery, and audio to hear the stories of the women interviewed

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