Why a Content Playbook is Key for Your Entertainment Brand | Insights

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Why a content playbook is essential to keep brands connected with fans

March 2023

  • Justin Renvoize, Creative Director

Whether your brand is launching a new title, updated console, or other next-big-thing in youth entertainment, you know the right campaign is critical. You need to tell the right audience what you’re offering, when it’s available, and how to get it. And the clock is moving fast toward the big launch day.

But even after you land on the right advertisement to display on the most precisely targeted channel, we have some news: It’s not enough.

The internet is a hungry place, and advertising no longer ends when you find a campaign to move the needle for your brand. Fans are accustomed to the always-on rhythms of social channels, and they expect a constant dialogue. If you want to earn their loyalty, you need content that will keep them interested and engaged.

You need to rethink your marketing content from a one-and-done sales pitch to an ongoing, potentially life-long relationship with customers. In short, your brand needs more than an ad. You need a content playbook.

How a content playbook extends the reach of digital advertising

Advertising is no longer built around a single ad to tell the story of your product and how to buy it. Meaningful, audience engagement comes from consistently releasing content that serves multiple purposes and primes the pump. That way, when your brand publishes the ad about buying your product, your customer is ready.

That means you need to publish a lot more content up to and after your launch. This is where a content playbook comes in. This working document gives your team an extensive roadmap to better foster engagement and get your audience excited about your next release.

But a content playbook is more than a campaign-based marketing plan that outlines what your brand publishes and to what channel. It combines three elements:

  • Editorial calendar: Sketch broad ideas with deadlines as far out as a year. Include the kinds of content needed along with deadlines for production, review, and publication.
  • Content strategy: Understand your customer and their motivations to dictate the kind of content your brand needs to produce.
  • Measurable goals: Evaluate the success of your efforts through predefined metrics such as channel subscriptions or audience engagement numbers.

With a playbook in place, you’re able to plan for the new features you need to produce while measuring content performance. That way, you can make adjustments to the playbook and fix whatever isn’t working to keep your brand on track toward its goals.

Creating a content playbook shifts your advertising beyond creating a broad, one-and-done sales pitch to customers. It becomes an evolving, ongoing plan that extends the conversation between your brand and its audience.

Successful content playbooks incorporate multiple sources and purposes

Thorough research into your customer and their needs forms the backbone of any content playbook. Your customer is more than an age range; they’re a collection of shifting motivations and desires. So in order to reach them with your content, you have to approach the audience from multiple fronts and capture your efforts in the content playbook.

For example, if your audience skews especially young on YouTube, your brand’s playbook should consider incorporating influencer content such as unboxing videos. For other audience segments, UGC creators and distributors provide a means to boost your marketing. Enabling your audience to remix your content is just one way to empower them to continue engaging with your brand. Whatever routes you choose, they become part of your brand’s playbook.

Fundamentally, your content playbook should strike a balance between two goals:

  • Promoting your brand
  • Nurturing your relationship with fans

Producing content that elevates your brand comes naturally to any marketer. But applying your content playbook to nurture your audience doesn’t necessarily come down to offering discounts or inviting user participation. Ultimately, you can nurture your customer relationship by incorporating guides to how to get more from using your product.

For example, imagine you were the brand that creates those portable backyard fire pits that were all the rage during the pandemic. Obviously, you’d create an assortment of social content encouraging your audience to buy the product. But the journey doesn’t have to end once your viewer becomes a customer.

You could post videos about how to use the portable stove to create the perfect s’more. Or, you could offer guidance for how to best travel with the stove and better enjoy the outdoors. Whatever route you choose, you have multiple forms of content to produce and keep your customer engaged. Otherwise, they’re likely to forget about your brand and what may have been an impulse purchase.

How to populate a content playbook for your entertainment brand

The need to maintain an always-on connection with your audience is daunting. After all, there’s a big difference between asking your team to create an ad for the quarter and needing to produce six new videos on YouTube each week.

Fortunately, fulfilling the demands of a content playbook isn’t an effort you need to take on your own. With the right digital agency partner, you can operationalize a plan to create the content to satisfy a channel’s ever-demanding algorithm. Plus, your content will strike the right balance to serve the needs of your audience and your brand.

Content playbooks thrive with supported messaging from your brand

Imagine you have a handful of eggs. If you toss them to someone all at once, chances are they won’t catch any and you’ll make a big mess. The same goes for your content. If you hand it out over time — and, ideally, on whatever channels your audience prefers — all the vital details about your brand and its products won’t get scrambled on delivery.

Being intentional about when and how you deliver content can make mapping out and keeping pace with a content playbook sound like a never ending task. However, you can fulfill the demands of your audience and the channels they use by applying lessons from more traditional advertising practices.

When you only have 30 seconds to tell the story of your product, many brands will want to include as much messaging as possible in an attempt to appeal to customers. But if you’re not careful, the ad will wind up a muddled mess. If you keep the ad simple, however, you have all these details leftover that are still viable to use elsewhere. Those extras should all be mapped out in your content playbook and become part of the conversation with your digital audience.