How one image from Disney can change the way we approach content marketing

This week on Most Clicked, we are discussing a story from Disney around how best to look at your content marketing strategy.

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Transcription

Nathan Monk
Hello, and welcome back to Most Clicked. Every Monday we bring you are hot story from HE digital marketing and the surrounding landscape. But this week, we’re looking a little bit further out. So we’re actually here talking about something from Disney. So I’m joined by Kyle Campbell from Education Marketer. And I’m joined by Matt from SMILE. So Kyle, Disney, what’s going on at Disney that might be relevant to people in HE,

Kyle Campbell
Who knew? But actually, the thing I wanna talk about is from 1957, which adds another layer to it. So I think we all know Walt Disney, incredibly creative, had a unique way of looking at the world. So what he’s did was content strategy back in 1957, has he mapped it out visually. And you would think that some of that content strategy is quite a modern practice. But I found this image, I came across it in a book I was reading called Killing Marketing. And it looks at how brands can reimagine themselves as content and media properties. And this is one of the earliest examples of a brand thinking in that way. So it’s a content strategy as we know it. But we have it mapped out here for us and how everything interconnects. So Disney always viewed his talent and his practical films at the heart of this content engine. But you can see how he’s got all those different areas and media properties laid out and how they all interconnect with each other. So you can see, for instance, how something like theatrical films, link into TV, comic books, and then how comic books feedback into other things. So it literally does become an engine for generating interest and growing audiences. It’s a fascinating look at how you can lay out your content strategy and think about content in a new and refreshing way.

Matt Lees
Yeah, I think for me, it’s really cool piece and, actually really quite reassuring. Because at SMILE, we’ve done a bunch of work earlier this year in terms of picking out the various sales tools that we’ve got, and understanding the relationship between them. And for that, we used a tool called Miro, for visually mapping that out. So it was, it was reassuring to look all the way back to 1957. And to draw comparisons between us and Disney. But Kyle, in your original piece, you had talked about how it changed your approach to creating a content strategy, I’m interested to hear what changed, and, you know, are tools like Miro, something that people should be looking to use in order to map those things out.

Kyle Campbell
Yeah, I think you’re 100% right, on the visual element there. There are two ways to me, I think there’s a temptation to approach a content strategy, almost like a marketing plan, where you, you follow the SOS tap model, and you cascade yourself down to the end result from strategy down to tactics, etc. But a lot of the time when, when you think about content, you do need to think a bit more like a publisher. And that’s more in the space of regular publishing, Cadence, growing audience. And it’s very hard to capture that in a more linear document. So for me, it’s helped me for my own business, see how everything fits together. Because I think when you’re a creator, and you’re putting out content regularly, you need to have a bigger picture of where you’re going with it. Otherwise, you’re just publishing for no reason, you don’t see how things connect together. But also, I see this through the lens of universities as well. And if you think of like Disneyland as an element, and when you compare it to like a university campus, you know, quite different. But you can see how a university could have a content map like this. So you’d have like your content team, and your students at the heart of it, your marketing team at the heart, and your various academic talent. And then you build your various properties around them. So one of those might be your Open Day event that will be one hour on this diagram. And you might have your student blogs or your various social media channels mapped on this, but the really clever thing about it is when you map how those channels relate to each other, and what they feed each other and how they provide and then overall, how this content plan strategy grows in influence. And just looking at it through this lens will automatically help you think about it in a different way. So it’s a good approach if you want to perhaps review how you’re doing things and, and maybe explore how you can do this with your team in a new way.

Disney Disney,Marketing

Nathan Monk
I think the whole process visualisation approach it’s useful for so many different areas of the HE thing. In my role, I deal a lot with the more technical side of things and I have been known to draw these sorts of things out for systems and how systems interact with one another. And you know, where data gets pushed to. And I think that’s pretty common. But then there’s also how marketing could leverage that and see the process between admissions and marketing and that then is almost like student journey mapping a little bit. You know, this is something that many, many people have tried to attempt to with the user journey mapping exercise that universities have no doubt attempted, but I think there’s just, there’s no better. I’m with Matt like I’ve used Miro, obviously, as Matt alluded to, and I love Miro, it’s really good for kind of formalising those processes and remote work and stuff like that. But I think a lot of people will really enjoy getting into a room maybe around a whiteboard and just whiteboarding out, you know, this is kind of thinking out loud. But I also think there’s a great part of that process, which is formalising that thought process, and having a visual that you can reference rather than just a boring Word doc, you know, like, it feels so much easier to understand. I don’t know whether you agree with that.

Matt Lees
Yeah. 100%, and just those relationships between different parts, and you know, some of the arrows in the Disney go backwards and forwards. So to understand how individual elements can power one another, I thought that was quite interesting.

Nathan Monk
I think like, with tools, like Miro are so great because they can be contextual. So if you need more information about a certain activity system, a piece of content, whatever it is, you know, can link off to that. So having a digital document that you can share might actually improve that might take it from Mr Disney’s hand-drawn approach 50/60 years ago, and kind of elevate that to the 2022 version,

Kyle Campbell
I think is a good way as well to get beyond post-its on walls. And I think we’ve all been in situations like that. And I remember once at a university I worked at, an agency came in and helped us map our student journey. And it was a large project was across the university, which I thought was quite interesting, rather than just focusing on the marketing team, which I thought was a good call. But by the end of the session, I’m not even joking, like that, a whole length of a room’s wall with caked in post-it notes. And I get it for idea generation and things like that. But if you’re gonna take that, and then map it into something, I don’t see how you can do it. And I’m sure there’s a better way to map out that. But ultimately, I think these things usually end up in the same way don’t they, it’s like, you come in and try and map it out, you realise it’s far too complicated to map out in that manner. And then the work doesn’t reach its full potential, but seeing something like this where, you know, rather than necessarily focusing deep down into the journey, necessarily, you look at what sort of content you want to be publishing regularly, it might be a different way into that. And obviously, the journey is still important, but you know, thinking about your content, and thinking like a publisher is probably an easier way into these more complicated problems that come a little bit further down the line.

Nathan Monk
You know what, though, as well, like, those exercises that you’ve talked about? I’ve heard about those before, and it always feels like they try and crack it in an hour or in a half-day session. It needs to be a living document. And some that I think that’s why the post-it thing always seems to fall down is because unless you dedicate a wall to post it’s forever. That’s not a living document anymore.

Matt Lees
It turns into a photo in people’s Camera Roll, doesn’t it?

Nathan Monk
Exactly that, it stays in their phone and it never really gets used or referenced ever again. So one of the things that we’ll be sure to do is, in the blog post for this video, we’ll link off Some tools that people can investigate as well. But I mean, thanks for bringing this one up, Kyle, because when I saw it, I actually saw it on LinkedIn. Straight away, I shared it with Matt. I was like, this is really cool. We should totally do this for that thing that we’re trying to do recently, and I hope that when some of our audience is looking at it now, they’re thinking the same too. So that just about wraps up today’s episode of Most Clicked. If you’ve enjoyed today’s content, don’t be afraid to drop us a like, and yeah, we are live every Monday, with new episodes, come and check us out on YouTube. And see you next week.

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Elliott Barnicle

Lead Designer