Reading the room: how to make your brand story relevant

Globe Content Studio taps newsroom skills to elevate content marketing
Passion & Persistence is a sponsored series that Globe Content Studio created for American Express Canada, which profiles Canadian entrepreneurs, like chef Nuit Regular, and their unique experiences running a business during the pandemic.

Passion & Persistence is a sponsored series that Globe Content Studio created for American Express Canada, which profiles Canadian entrepreneurs, like chef Nuit Regular, and their experiences running a business during the pandemic.

Over the past year, finding new ways for brands to stand out in a crowded digital marketplace has been key. Consumers haven’t really changed – they still need products and services, and expert advice to help them make purchasing decisions – but over-the top pitches just felt tone deaf. What was required was a more honest and nuanced approach. What was needed was some great storytelling.

The Growth Effect is a new podcast sponsored by HSBC that delves into what it’s really like to launch and scale a business, featuring candid conversations between host Sarah Stockdale and the leaders of some of Canada’s top growing companies

The Growth Effect is a new podcast sponsored by HSBC that delves into what it’s like to launch and scale a business, featuring candid conversations with some of Canada’s top growing companies.

“Content marketing isn’t the same as [traditional] marketing,” observes Globe Content Studio head Sean Stanleigh. “It’s not just about the client. It’s not just about selling a product or service. It’s about putting a positive halo around your brand. It’s really more about the top and the middle of the funnel. It’s about creating awareness and consideration. That’s what content marketing does best.”

And that’s where Globe Content Studio comes in. Stanleigh describes the Studio as being guided by the principles of curiosity, diversity and honesty: the curiosity of a team raised in the newsroom; a diversity that reflects the Canadian experience; and an honesty that comes from being closely related to an historic and trusted platform. Together, the Globe and Mail print and digital formats reach over six million readers every week – consumer and business readers who come for content they can trust – and Globe Content Studio shares those standards.

Globe Content Studio played up readers’ passion for food with the relaunch of the iconic PC Insiders Report. From a ‘Next in Food’ trend feature from Galen Weston, to videos on how to ‘Work With What You Got,’ to Spotify-inspired recipe playlists, it’s a complete digital reimaging of an established brand.

Globe Content Studio played up readers’ passion for food with the relaunch of the iconic PC Insiders Report. From a ‘Next in Food’ trend feature from Galen Weston, to videos on how to ‘Work With What You Got,’ to Spotify-inspired recipe playlists, it’s a complete digital reimaging of an established brand.

The team’s ability to tell elevated stories was clearly evident in a recent campaign for Travel Alberta called ‘The Art of Winter.’ As everyone knows, travel has been a category hard hit by the pandemic, and Travel Alberta understood its limitations. So, the remit to the Globe team was to tell the story of the province without it becoming a hard pitch from a tourism board.

In addition designing a print feature, Globe Content Studio created a micro-site for Tourism Alberta's 'Art of Winter' campaign, housing the 10 original artworks curated to inspire thoughts of travel, so users could explore the different pieces as if in a physical art gallery.

In addition to a print feature, Globe Content Studio created a virtual gallery microsite experience for Tourism Alberta’s ‘Art of Winter’ campaign, curating original artwork designed to inspire thoughts of travel.

“They recognized that travel wasn’t possible,” says Stanleigh. “But, at the same time, they didn’t want people to stop dreaming. They didn’t want people to stop considering Alberta as a place to travel in future.”

To announce the brand’s industry leading commitment to sustainability, Caudalie partnered with Globe Content Studio for a print and digital feature including beautifully styled custom photography

To announce an industry-leading commitment to sustainability, Caudalie partnered with Globe Content Studio for a print and digital feature including beautifully-styled custom photography.

With the client looking for the creative to take centre stage, Globe Content Studio commissioned nearly a dozen artists from a variety of disciplines to reflect on what winter meant to them. The end result was something unique. “It was a super-cool, creative execution,” he recalls. “Highly designed, beautiful to look at and obviously engaging – because it was artists that were at the heart of it.”

When MINI wanted to make inroads into the creative community, Globe Content Studio showcased four Canadians in ‘fun’ industries – a toy maker, escape-room designer, comedian and ski guide. The ‘Business of Fun’ series pushed readers to MINI’s site for more.

When MINI wanted to make inroads into the creative community, Globe Content Studio showcased Canadians in ‘fun’ industries, and the ‘Business of Fun’ series drove to MINI’s site.

The campaign exploded onto social. Artists talked about the work they’d done. Stories were passed along, with hundreds of positive comments and thousands of shares. It resonated, earning high visibility and engagement, and a significant organic response.

While Stanleigh is quick to point out that you can’t guarantee success on social – it’s called ‘organic’ for a reason – by being open to the possibilities of the creative and allowing the team to do what it does best, clients can go where normal advertising can’t.

Currently the Globe team includes content strategists, designers, video and podcast producers, and expertise in data, social and influencer campaigns.

For RBC InvestEase and RBC Direct Investing, Globe Content Studio created a six-part podcast series called Money Moves that shared investment best practices and personal finance advice from Melissa Leong and other industry experts.

For RBC InvestEase and RBC Direct Investing, Globe Content Studio created a six-part podcast series called Money Moves that shared investment best practices and personal finance advice from Melissa Leong and other industry experts.

Stanleigh says the team is always pushing into new places where audiences are congregating – and he advises marketers to also explore where and how their brands can find new ways to engage consumers.

“As a brand, you have to be willing to be bold in those spaces,” he notes, “just in the same way that you need to be bold in your creative. And that’s why we’re here. We know our audience.”

 

CONTACT:
Sean Stanleigh
Head of Globe Content Studios
sstanleigh@globeandmail.com / globecontent.studio