Stand Out and Set Trends: How to Enhance Your Multimedia Content

February 4, 2019

[the image bank]
[the image bank]

By Kevin Volz and Jerred Ziegler

In today’s world, consumers have grown accustomed to finding content at their fingertips, when and where they want it. They’re using nontraditional sources like Twitter and Facebook to immediately access everything from news to viral videos.

How can you cut through the clutter? Have a story to tell.

At MediaSource, we approach our stories like journalists to find topics that interest consumers. By connecting these stories to relevant topics or trends, we ensure timely content finds the right audience, earning the exposure that brands crave.

Here are some content essentials that will help get your brand stories noticed:

Determine the audience.

When developing a story, think about the audience first. What does your audience care about, and how will they benefit from hearing this story? Answering these questions also helps establish your story’s tone and angle.

If your audience is young and tech-savvy, for example, then the story might reference pop culture trends and celebrities. You can also measure the story’s engagement on the social media platforms your audience uses. By pinpointing your audience early, you can tailor your message to reach those who would benefit from it the most.

Find a voice; keep it simple.

Keep your story simple and to the point. Regardless of the topic, always avoid “technical talk” or industry jargon. Speak your customer’s language. If your audience isn’t familiar with blockchain technology, for example, break the concept down into simple terms for them. Clear messages go further and become evergreen for future content needs.

Be credible.

In an era of “fake news,” always keep credibility in mind. Even for small or new organizations, tying stories to national trends or integrating third-party statistics will make the messages more relevant by placing them into the context of larger conversations.

Think visually, and un-brand your content.

The most memorable stories arrive via engaging multimedia content. But it’s necessary to plan ahead to develop that content. Whenever we start developing a story, we think of an iconic image that will drive our storytelling — what we have to include visually to make the story work. And then we begin building original content around that central image.

Avoiding branded content is the key to content marketing. Your story should seamlessly weave in your brand presence without feeling like an overt advertisement or sales pitch.

Choose the right visuals.

On social media, content with visuals is more likely to be shared than text-only posts. In a world where audience engagement can make a huge difference for client goals, visuals give content more exposure. 

It’s easy to hear the word “visuals” and think of photos or video, but your multimedia toolkit should contain more than just these essentials — such as virtual reality images, infographics and motion graphics. Your visual content won’t be one-size-fits-all, so pick the best option for your story.

Your story might have one visual element or many, but whatever visuals you choose should enhance the story by emphasizing a point, demonstrating a concept or adding backstory and context to a scene. Choosing the right visuals with the right stories reinforces a brand’s message across platforms in new and interesting ways.

Use Visual T.R.I.C.K.S.

When creating multimedia content, incorporate these T.R.I.C.K.S. to boost your confidence and help you nail your visuals every time:

  • T — Think ahead. Being prepared promotes your confidence and helps maximize your time. To stay on track and capture an important image, plan a list of photos or videos you’d like to shoot. Have a backup plan, too. Weather doesn’t always cooperate and batteries may die, so you should know what you can capture if your Plan A doesn’t work out.
  • R — Reserve space. Find available rooms and book space for your photo shoots as needed. Scout locations beforehand to make sure there won’t be too much foot traffic or noise in the background. Determine ahead of time whether you’ll need to fill background spaces with props. Arrive early to set up and adjust your shots.
  • I — Insist on perfection. You only have one chance to get it right. Don’t turn on the camera and then tune out. Watch closely for little things you otherwise might not notice in the moment, but which would throw off the entire video once you’re back in your office. During the shoot, make adjustments if necessary. Your interviewee may be in a hurry, for example, but if her desk is a mess, she won’t be happy to see it later in the photo or video. She will appreciate you taking the extra minute to make her appear more professional.
  • C — Create a look. Put on your producer hat and think creatively. Establishing a consistent visual identity for your brand or client is crucial to your job as a storyteller. Again, make sure you understand your audience. Put yourself in their shoes — what do they want to see, and how do they want to see it? How will they react to the content? For your brand, can content be lighthearted, or should its tone be more serious?
  • K — Know what gear to bring. You don’t want to arrive on location and realize you have forgotten important gear such as headphones, microphones or lights. Even if you don’t have access to high-end production equipment, affordable options such as portable mics, small lights, stands and even the camera in your cellphone can make your visuals look more professional. If you plan to bring gear with you, practice setting up and breaking down the equipment before you’re in the field, so you know how to troubleshoot any problems that might arise.
  • S — Sound like a pro. If you’re shooting video, make sure it’s in a quiet space. Use headphones to listen for room tone. If you’re interviewing someone, for example, don’t place them directly under an air vent. The microphone will pick up the noise. If you’re not sure whether the camera is picking up sounds, don’t be afraid to play back the video before you wrap. If you have to reshoot, it’s better to do so right then and there. 

Using these storytelling essentials, combined with the right visuals and strategy, your multimedia content will stand out and set trends, not follow them.

Kevin Volz, strategy and analytics manager, and Jerred Ziegler, content manager, work at MediaSource, an award-winning creative agency that specializes in content-focused public relations, content marketing and national media exposure for major brands.


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