Encourage your readers to share your content to spread your brand

Write it, shoot it, film it

Squeeze every last ounce out of the opportunities you’re presented with.

Three years ago Redwood’s Land Rover One Life magazine team decided to drive a Range Rover Sport down the world’s most dangerous road in Bolivia.

While they were going they decided to also film the adventure to run on Land Rover’s new IPTV channel Go Beyond TV. Now the One Life magazine team film all their features, sending a camera crew with the magazine’s journalist and photographer. It’s time consuming to organise, but not prohibitively expensive and creates fantastic online content.

Haven’t got a trip to Bolivia planned? Even ‘just another fashion shoot’is an opportunity not to be missed.

We had Ruby Hammer doing the make-up on a recent Oli fashion shoot, and asked her to describe how she’s doing this season’s make-up while she demonstrated on the model. Then when the autumn/winter make-up colours come out, we have a great piece of video for Oli.co.uk already in the bag.

Think about how your audience consumes content

For Royal Mail, we have tapped into the trend for lunchtime video snacking. For the newly launched Smart website (aimed at Royal Mail’s small and medium sized enterprise customers) we created ‘One-minute mentors”, which is a series of video vox pops from business advisers and successful entrepreneurs giving advice on all aspects of business.

Inspire action

Use paper and website to get your readers to interact with your brand in several ways. For example, the NSPCC magazine Your Family, which is all about positive parenting, suggests ways that you can reward good behaviour in your children. Rather than just repeating the feature on the Your Family website, it sends the readers to nspcc.org.uk to put their child’s picture on the ‘Well Done Wall”.

Be intimate

Use the second person – ‘we’and ‘you’– online just as you would offline. Even better, if you can, personalise. For example, the Your Family digital nanny sends you apparently personalised advice about your naughty ‘little Kevin”.

Make it snappy

Just as with all good editing, give your web copy and assets the time and space they’re worth. The American Society of Magazine Editors does ‘The ASME Awards in a Minute”. Genius.

Keep your tone

Just because the medium tends to be straighter it doesn’t mean you have to lose your tone. When you’re commissioning for the web think of your blogs and video as being great opportunities for reintroducing tone.

Commission web exclusives

When you’re commissioning, don’t think about the web as just an add-on to your paper product. Again, for Land Rover (gobeyond.landrover.com) we research, create, edit and post a unique collection of stories from adventurers around the globe who share their personal experience.

Among the collection so far we have ‘Surfing a glacial tidal wave”, ‘Going to the edge of space’and ‘Paying to stay in prison”.

None of these stories appears in One Life, the Land Rover magazine. And we encourage viewers to ‘go beyond’themselves and upload their own adventure stories.

Learn to share nicely

Yes, the content is lovely, you commissioned it, it’s precious and it’s yours. Now give it away. The successful growth of the internet is due largely to the ethos of sharing – be it code, traffic or content. If you have great content on your site make it available through aggregators and RSS channels.

Let your readers play too

Encourage your readers to share your content too. They may love it so much, that they can’t wait to tell their friends. Make it easier for them by adding social-networking bookmarks to your content and spread your brand to the widest audience.

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