Why You Should Think Creative First, and Mode Second

The goal of content marketing is to produce valuable, relevant, and consistent content for your audience. For many marketers, this means a shift in thinking about “what type of media to create” to “what type of media fits the content we’ve created”. Let me explain what I mean.

I’ve never heard a screenwriter say, “I have a great idea for a film! It’s 2 hours long. It’ll be shot in 4K and have some effects. The film will feature 5 people and will have music. We’ll put it online when we’re done.” (Editor’s note: except maybe the pitch for avatar: “It will be ferngully in space but with technology that doesn’t exist yet, also biological USB hair”) Consider how strange it would be for an author to share their idea for a book as a number of pages or by the font typeface and size they plan to use. Yet, I’ve heard this type of request hundreds of times from well meaning companies and organizations seeking to reach their customers with a video, website, or some other marketing effort.

Old timey or hipster? Can’t she be both?

A 2-minute video is not what you need. It’s a mode of delivery. The mode isn’t the message, it’s just the mode. What you may need is a story that creates an emotional connection with your donor base and inspires them to greater charitable giving to your organization. There are many possible ways to go about telling that story. The creative process in marketing involves figuring out the best way to share that message using one or more of the many tools in your media toolbox. In the end, it may be that a 2-minute video is the best way to tell your story, but the messaging and creative concept should help you determine the mode, not the other way around.