Building a Content Brand

Ogden Workshop - Strategy

The Introductory Presentation

The Strategy Exercises

The Creative Exercises

Pitching a Content Brand

I want you to think like a television executive.

You're part of the program development team and they're looking for the next hit show. Except you aren't working on behalf of a network - like the Discovery Channel or ESPN - you're working on behalf of your niche magazine.

Your network is your magazine. What's your first show?

Exercise 1: Map Your Fractal Audience

I want you to start dividing and subdividing your audience. (Go too deep before you stop fractal-izing.)

Here's a helpful shorthand for defining your audience (but the tree will help you divide and subdivide your audience.)

For example:

  • Travelers > Business > Weekly > 2 Different Destinations > Public Speakers > Professional > 100 Dates a Year

That's shorthand for: "professional speakers who speak more than 100 times a year with an average of 2 cities a week."

Exercise 2: Write an Audience Empathy Statement

Leveraging the fractal you've selected, write an audience empathy statement.

Things to think about:

  • What's on their mind every Monday on their drive to work?
  • What are they challenged with every week, day or month?
  • What is their boss constantly challenging them to do?
  • What aspect of their lives do you wish they thought about more often and what challenges do they face?

Put yourself in your audience's shoes. What are they thinking about, concerned about, interested in every day?

Fold Factory's Audience Empathy Statement:

"You're working every single day to find new, unique, exciting, and effective ways to design your clients' direct mail pieces. They want them to be more cost-effective and just as impressive. You need to wow them with innovative new ways to fit more stuff in a smaller mailing package. You need constant inspiration."

Exercise 3: Choose a Micro Daypart

Put yourself in your audience's shoes. Define a time in their day, week, or month that you can (or want to) own.

Things to think about:

  • What media can you use to reach them? (Podcast, video, slides, images, text...)
  • What meetings do they have?
  • When do they start or end their day?
  • At what moments in their lives do you want to be relevant? (Why?)
  • When are they checking their e-mail?
  • Where are they when you want them to think about you?
  • How much time each month do you expect them to invest in your content?

Remember Say Media - "Friday is Venn Day. Get it every week."

Exercise 4: Attach Some Talent

In the digital world we live in - the most successful content brands are people-powered. Make sure you have a credible, smart, and hopefully charismatic personality tied to your content. It'll be much more successful and you can leverage their existing audience to make it a success.

Who is best-suited to identify with your fractal audience? Why?

  • Who's already sat in their shoes? Dealt with their problems?
  • Who has a unique perspective the audience would love to hear?
  • Who do you WANT to be trusted by the audience you're targeting?
  • Who, outside of your organization, already has this audience's ear?


Mythbusters is powered by Adam and Jamie - with over 50 years of special effects experience.

Good Eats is powered by Alton Brown's curious (and scientifically-driven) mind.

Note: Your talent will be crucial to getting creative with your strategy.