Annie Granatstein on Powerful Brand Storytelling #CMWorld

Interview with Annie Granasteing of The Washington Post

We are all merchandise of our environments, and the experiences we stock are invariably influential to the best way we strategy and take into consideration our jobs. 

Recently we shared an interview with Margaret Magnarelli, who spent practically a decade as editor earlier than shifting right into a content material advertising and marketing management position. With her background in journalism, she gives essential perspective for entrepreneurs all over the place.

The identical is true for Annie Granatstein, who lives on the middle of the convergence between investigative journalism and model advertising and marketing. Annie runs The Washington Post’s BrandStudio unit, which takes The Post’s award-winning proclivity for immersive digital storytelling and leverages it on behalf of manufacturers and advertisers.

Peruse BrandStudio’s archive and also you’ll discover a variety of multimedia strategies utilized to deliver tales to life. These embody 360-degree environments, photograph excursions, augmented actuality functions, choose-your-own-adventure journeys, and extra. With the theme of this yr’s Content Marketing World being show-stopping experiences that delight our audiences, the work being carried out by Annie’s workforce deserves our full consideration.

She was one of many CMWorld audio system who contributed to our interactive convention preview expertise, the place she proclaims that participating our audiences emotionally ought to be an utmost precedence. 

The Greatest Content Marketing Show on Earth

In her prolonged interview with TopRank Marketing, Annie elaborates on how BrandStudio is pursuing this goal, with loads of examples and insights as an instance.

Annie Granatstein on Immersive, Emotional Content Experiences

1. What do your day-to-day duties as Head of WP BrandStudio entail? 

I oversee a multi-disciplinary workforce of content material strategists, writers, editors, interactive designers, builders, program managers, producers, and social media and onsite efficiency strategists. We work collectively to conceive, create, and promote branded content material packages for Washington Post advertisers which are story-first, data-driven, technology-forward. On any given day I transfer between pre- and post-sale, and likewise between high-level administration and hands-on artistic oversight. So I’d spend a while creating enterprise technique or strategizing workforce construction after which transfer to enhancing an article, giving notes on a video reduce, or offering artistic course on proposals.

2. Compelling tales are desk stakes for content material entrepreneurs today. To stand out, we have to elevate these narratives by extra immersive and fascinating experiences. How can all of us higher embrace this central philosophy of BrandStudio?

The key to creating extra immersive experiences is collaboration between various kinds of expertise. As a content material chief you need to discover methods to constantly encourage and enhance that collaboration. One means we’ve carried out that is by creating multi-disciplinary initiatives corresponding to our Emerging Media Taskforce. 

This group of about eight creatives from throughout the Studio’s disciplines will get collectively as soon as a month to debate which improvements in storytelling are most promising, plan for researching and prototyping them, and report again to one another. Innovations corresponding to in-browser AR and improvement of proprietary emotion recognition know-how arose out of this Taskforce. We then can use these improvements to create out-of-the-box content material for advertisers. One instance is we used the emotion recognition know-how in a 360 marketing campaign for Mike’s Hard Lemonade the place our viewers was capable of see how excellent news impacts their feelings in digital content material (see The Good News Effect) and at an thrilling experiential occasion.

In addition, it’s important to make use of information to point out advertisers the ROI of immersive experiences. For instance, we’ve discovered that immersive experiences are inclined to drive larger time spent, and we’ll present this information to advertisers to encourage them to spend money on the sort of content material. 

The key to creating extra immersive experiences is collaboration between various kinds of expertise. @anniegranat Click To Tweet

three. Your workforce makes use of a wide range of multimedia strategies to deliver content material to life, together with 360-degree experiences, photograph excursions, movement graphics, illustrated articles, and extra. Which codecs and options do you see as most promising and versatile within the advertising and marketing world?

It’s all about what works greatest on cell for the reason that majority are participating with content material on the small display. Certain interactive experiences are actually mobile-friendly and even mobile-first corresponding to 360 experiences which could be navigated together with your finger or by shifting your cellphone. 

Augmented actuality remains to be fledgling however thrilling because it’s actually mobile-first, and up to date technological developments have allowed for the experiences to be out there in-browser (versus in-app), reaching a bigger viewers. For MGM National Harbor, for instance, we enhanced an article about cherry blossom season with an AR expertise of cherry bushes blossoming by your cellphone (open Hanami at Home on your cell machine). As we made this expertise out there in browser we noticed 4x the size of AR experiences solely out there on the Washington Post app. 

Custom podcasts are additionally an effective way to achieve individuals on cell—deeply. We’ve had a variety of success participating audiences for lengthy durations of time with a wide range of podcasts, together with a number of seasons of a private finance podcast for T. Rowe Price, The Confident Wallet, which garnered six-figure downloads and four.5/5-star common rankings on Apple Podcasts.

Custom podcasts are an effective way to achieve individuals on cell—deeply. We’ve had a variety of success participating audiences for lengthy durations of time with a wide range of podcasts. @anniegranat Click To Tweet

four. Given the range of subjects you cowl, what are some steps BrandStudio takes to raised perceive particular audiences, and what would possibly resonate most with them?

So many! Understanding The Post’s completely different audiences is a primary precedence for the workforce. The higher we all know our viewers, the higher we will create content material that resonates with them, offering extra worth to our advertisers.

We faucet into many information sources, like content material efficiency and viewers curiosity surveys. We check experiences in our UX Lab. We derive insights from this information to grasp what is going to resonate with completely different audiences. We additionally consider our viewers in three classes — client, enterprise, and thought chief — and use these insights to dive deep into the traits, pursuits, and content material habits of every. We then use these insights to tell the story, content material sort, and distribution ways.

5. Can you cite one or two of BrandStudio’s most profitable and well-received packages, including your perspective on what made them pop with audiences?

For Optum, a well being providers innovation firm, we created a multimedia investigative characteristic on the opioid disaster, Working to End the Epidemic, that blended instructional parts corresponding to infographics and interactive maps to tell our viewers of the scope of the epidemic with emotional, human parts corresponding to video interviews with recovering addicts and therapy suppliers. 

The program was extremely profitable, garnering excessive time spent, a flurry of social media exercise (together with natural tweets from essential influencers corresponding to Katie Couric), earned media (named to the highest of Ad Age greatest branded content material partnerships checklist), and awards. This mix of instructional and emotional parts on a urgent matter resonates deeply with our intellectually curious and extremely smart viewers.

6. Which audio system and/or periods are you most wanting ahead to seeing at this yr’s Content Marketing World?

I’m all the time to listen to the views of oldsters main content material inside manufacturers because it’s the flipside of my perspective operating a publisher-based content material studio. So, actually wanting ahead to talks from execs, corresponding to:

  • Maliha Aqeel, Assistant Director of Brand, Marketing & Communication, Ernst & Young
  • Carlos Abler, Leader of Content Marketing Strategy, 3M
  • Ann Bakuniene-Milanowski, Director of Editorial, Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic can also be a valued, long-term accomplice of WP BrandStudio and The Washington Post general. We have created actually modern and essential content material collectively corresponding to this multimedia characteristic on treating mind issues as we age, Keeping Your Mind.

More Memorable Stories Await

You’ll be capable of witness loads of of immersive storytelling on-stage at Content Marketing World 2019, and also you’ll undoubtedly need to take a look at Annie’s session on Sept. four at 11:20 a.m.: Speaking Their Language: How to Engage Different Types of Audiences with Content that’s Uniquely Meaningful.

Until then, you’ll discover loads of uniquely significant content material (plus a few enjoyable video games to play) in our interactive expertise, The Greatest Content Marketing Show on Earth!

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