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Six surefire tips to kickstart brand content marketing

By Louis Eksteen

Brand content marketing is quickly becoming the marketing jargon phrase du jour. Since The Coca-Cola Company’s public declaration of its brand content intent, marketing directors everywhere have been scrambling to include “content” in their 2013 vision statements and even into real plans.

But for brands and companies not familiar with brand content it’s often difficult to get going. 

They realise the importance of brand content and that they have to include it going forward. Reality bites though and many are unsure of what the first steps should be. After all, in the new world of marketing communication where all brands are content brands, a certain level of knowledge, experience and understanding of how owned media works is required.

Here are six specific and actionable ways to kickstart your brand content efforts, now!

1. Allocate budget

Without the line item “brand content marketing” in your marketing budget you’ll have to repurpose budget allocated for other activities. This usually results in uncoordinated and unofficial brand content creation and execution. It will not receive serious attention as an unlisted activity and will probably not be tracked with the same vigour as other line items such as publicity, activation and advertising.

The owners of these regular budget line items will also not be happy to “donate” some of their allocated spend to a new, rebel cause.

To get brand content listed in your new budget you’ll have to provide a thorough strategy and action plan plus, ideally, some real world examples of the best brand content practices around the world. (Oh, and possibly a brand content investment return forecast.)

For examples of spectacular brand content success, start by searching for “Burberry” and “Angela Ahrendts” via Google. You’ll also do well to investigate what Red Bull has been doing. There are other examples of excellence in brand content, but these two very different brands are the best.

2. Appoint a chief content officer

The American Content Marketing Institute’s magazine is not called Chief Content Officer for nothing. This title implies seniority, experience and that the company takes content marketing seriously. It’s advisable to have the CCO report to the marketing director, as all content efforts should have specific marketing objectives.

But what you’re looking for in a CCO is someone experienced in two critical areas combined; journalism and marketing. These two worlds existed completely separately previously, the church and state in Time Inc’s parlance. Grey areas abound today though and thorough knowledge of how both media and marketing work is essential to drive successful brand content.

Read the rest of Louis's article online

Louis Eksteen on CNBC
Twisted Toast On Air!

It's been a busy month for Twisted Toast on air, as MD Louis Eksteen was interviewed on CNBC Africa on the Facebook IPO, and on Talk 702/567 Cape Talk The Money Show on Facebook advertising.
Nature's Health
Nature's Health Portfolio

Twisted Toast was contracted by Nature's Health to develop a Prezi retail presentation and a bespoke WordPress website. Check out our Portfolio of work!  
Kim Browne, CEO of Twisted Toast
Musings from Kim, our CEO

Mid-winter hunger pangs!

June has been a great month at The Toast. We continue to beat our monthly and YTD budgets and with four months of this financial year in the bag, we’re in a good place. That doesn’t mean we’re not hungry... we relish opportunities to pitch for new business.

Dedicating resources to get signed business out of the door is always a delicate balancing act, which we aim to master. This month we achieved an excellent equilibrium. We’ve established a good run rate so far and managed to add a few additional clients to a growing list, now at 18. We also completed new projects for existing clients, building on previous work.

Twisted Toast has experienced renewed interest from media agencies who look to us to deliver strategic brand content insights and inspiring creative ideas for their clients (and themselves). This is a promising sign! Then there’s our architect client who tasked us with delivering a bespoke print brochure in 48hrs (yes, we did it!)

So June has not been without challenges. We had a quick turnaround job to deliver every week this month, resulting in a number of fast food lunch orders; Nando’s, Steers, curry take-outs anyone?

We’re continuously challenging our own boundaries and remembering forgotten skills. Work at The Toast is diverse and loads of fun. For instance, we’ve delivered a myriad of print products (business cards, folders, corporate greeting cards, brochures), prepared bespoke sales tools, created strategy documents, attended radio and audio recordings, handcrafted motion graphic animations, created HD presentation art and developed brand new websites.

And the toast of this month? A delighted client telling us on the day his new website went live that he had received his first promising international lead for his business as a direct result of the work we’d done for him. It simply doesn’t get better than that. Happy, successful clients have a wonderful way of soothing our hunger pangs, because we just know they’ll be back for more!

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