Creating Great Native Ads: The 'Think, Feel, Do' Content Manifesto

Behind every great native ad placement is a meaningful content strategy. The process of developing a great content strategy is often overcomplicated, but actually quite simple. First consider what you would like people to think, feel and ultimately do.  Work through these intentions until you are able to state them succinctly.  Don’t worry about what the content will cost, who will produce it, where it will live, or what form it will take until you can state a simple “think, feel, do” content manifesto.  This will be used as a north star in creating critical content briefs, deciding what platforms best support the intentions, and facilitating quick and painless evaluations of vastly different content options with a solitary and shared lens.

A content strategy will allow you to look at two types of content that are “on brand” and make the call about which one will be the right horse to put into the race because it accomplishes the needed “think, feel, do.”

I often hear folks refer to a “brand ethos” powering content strategies, and I think that’s both right and wrong. A brand ethos, a brand persona or a brand voice is work that should be done way before you get to the point of developing a content strategy. What does the brand stand for, how does it communicate, and how do you want to be seen are critical business-building filters that should surface within all organizational capabilities from product development to marketing and beyond. Important to consider when building a content strategy, yes, but not a content strategy in and of itself.  

The focus on “think, feel, do” is intrinsically linked to the platforms you choose to develop content for as well. Don’t make the mistake of trying to develop a content strategy that lives across every platform your brand has a vested presence on. Each platform may ultimately be able to support the strategy, but many good content strategies get tossed away because they are perceived as not being broad enough. A great content strategy might be perfect for just one platform, and works so well on that one platform that it surpasses the potential reach and impact of all possible platforms combined. In other cases, a content strategy might have to play out across a few platforms to fully pay off on the “think, feel, do” with the various platforms serving to deliver different components of the strategy.  

If you specifically know, for example, you have a need for an Instagram content strategy, you should still start with the “think, feel, do” and then consider if the platform can support those needs given the format and behavioral usage of the platform. You may arrive at the conclusion that a further investment in a platform may not be warranted because it ultimately can’t deliver your needs well. Being purposeful in your platform selection as it aligns with your desired “think, feel, and do” intentions will allow you to deliver valuable content every time.

1 comment about "Creating Great Native Ads: The 'Think, Feel, Do' Content Manifesto ".
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  1. Sid Raisch from Advantage Development System, December 4, 2014 at 2:22 a.m.

    Think, Feel, and Do is a brilliant story finder. They go along well with "Feel, Felt, and Found" that is a great sales story such as, "You may be feeling the same way that our other clients did before they began working with us. Some of them felt that they could do it themselves for less. What they found is that the time that they saved and applied to other activities allowed them to gain far more from those efforts than the small cost of having us handle this for them." Combining these efforts will produce magical results.

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