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Six steps to brand content marketing success

By Louis Eksteen

Brand content marketing is quickly gaining traction amongst the world’s top marketers. Apart from Red Bull, which is already the gold standard in brand content marketing, other companies such as Coca-Cola are rolling out excellent content marketing initiatives.

In a innovative recent example, The Coca-Cola Company has re-created its well-known company magazine Journey as a totally committed brand content corporate web site. Check it out, it’s a lesson in how brilliant brand content strategy can come to practical reality via astute, significant investment. It’s clear Coca-Cola brought magazine and digital content expertise in to help it in its brand content quest. (Note the new site runs off the coca-colacompany.com domain, hence it’s now the corporate Coca-Cola company entrypoint. Compared to most other corporate sites, it changes the rules completely.)

If Coca-Cola can re-imagine itself as a magazine-style, engaging content blog, instead of a boring “About us” old-style corporate digital presence, so can you. Here’s how to do it.

1. Create a brand content vision

Today all companies, brands and marketers are content creators or publishers, if you will. This means brand content marketing has become a crucial part of any marketing mix, plan and execution strategy. Without professional content creation brands and companies find themselves in a digital wilderness … a lonely place when everyone’s connected.

This reality means a brand content marketing vision is nowadays as important as the brand’s overall vision, or reason for existence. Brand content speaks to the inherent qualities and interesting aspects of any brand and company. Being less reliant on external media to tell your brand story is great for brands, but if you don’t tell your story in line with a clear vision, things can go awry as brand content can be created off-brand.

2. Use experts to do what they do best

Just like most marketers use advertising agencies to create commercials, brand content agencies can assist with the professional planning, scheduling, creating and dissemination of brand content. As all brands are content brands, all brands need to act just like media do when it comes to the creation of content. Get the experts to help, preferably from your brand content strategy stage right through to execution. (Real brand content marketing experts understand the importance of visual brand content storytelling, so an early indication of proper ability is the emphasis they place on design.)

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Musings from Kim, our CEO

The year that Gotye!
 
Those who know us well aren’t surprised that we like things twisted at The Toast. And there’s nothing quite like a challenge to stir us up like an extra foamy cappuccino. Looking back, as we approach our second Xmas at The Toast — we’ve had quite a year so far...
 
Time has helped us find our twist — we are a hybrid marketing services and brand content marketing agency. We don’t see brand content marketing as a flash-in-the-pan trend but as a significant, authentic long term communication movement, which is going to play a significant role in marketing brands. The Coca-Cola content 2020 mission and vision remains a firm favourite example of brands that are shaking things up, get it and get us.
 
Being evangelists for something new is never easy — and year two has been challenging in many ways. You do need faith! There's the usual stuff that comes with being a small business in its second year of existence (according to many the most difficult year of all) and with marketing budgets under seige, due to the way the economy was in 2012 — clients are extra wary of anything, really, especially change.
 
Call us crazy, but now is the perfect storm for something new to invigorate tired same-old marketing strategies. Operationally, just cutting back on one magazine ad, TV spot or radio ad can provide a monthly retainer to start something authentic and new. You need commitment though.

Like an engaging conversation or storybook, brand content marketing is continuous, but not repetitive like the Gotye hit single that went from awesome to boring (by being played all day, every day for the greater part of 2012).
 
Read Kim's musings in full on our website.
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