How to Use Screenwriting Techniques for Content Marketing

We often refer to content marketing as storytelling, but Clay Hausmann, Chief Marketing Officer of Aktana and Founder and Principal of marketing consultancy treatment., takes that concept one step further.

It’s his contention that if you apply the principles of screenwriting to your brand strategy, you can successfully capture your audience’s attention and devotion. He should know because that’s what he does.

Though he’s been a career marketer, Hausmann spent several years learning and practicing the art of screenwriting. While he didn’t end up leaving marketing for Hollywood, he’s managed to merge the two worlds – with a unique perspective on how marketers can tell stories.

In marketing circles, we tend to rely on things like flow charts, diagrams, and pyramids. But according to Hausmann, that’s no way to tell a story.

“You wouldn’t summarize a trip by saying, I’d like to show you a couple of the key message points and summarize those for you in a beautiful pyramid and diagram,” he says.

To close the time and efficiency gap between the typical (and boring) marketing strategy language and creative execution, bringing a screenwriters’ toolkit into the process can make a world of difference, according to Hausmann.

At #ThinkContent Summit 2017, he provided step-by-step instructions for “brand scripting,” which he defines as identifying a company’s core brand narrative and building the story structure that aligns all executional efforts.
Phase 1: The Inciting Incident

“If you are a film school student, you know that moment in first 15 minutes of every film that disrupts the world of the characters. It provides that narrative thrust,” says Hausmann.

“Take Star Wars,” he continues. “When you meet Luke Skywalker, he’s a farm boy doing moisture farming – whatever that is – and gets a couple of droids to help. It seems like it’s not going to be a very captivating film until one of the the droids projects a hologram of a princess that needs help. Then off we go.”
Phase 2: The Controlling Idea

Marketers are quite familiar with mission statements, but Hausmann says they are often the most misused, self-absorbed, and over-engineered business tool. Instead, he says, you can keep it much more simple.

He cites Robert McKee’s screenwriting guidebook “Story,” which describes “the controlling idea” as how and why life undergoes change from one condition of existence at the beginning of a story, to another at the end.
How Beats Did It

Beats is able to sum up its controlling idea in one sentence: “Music is best enjoyed when it arrives exactly as the artist intended.”That one statement talks about the benefit for the consumer, and gives a peek at what Beats can do uniquely that other companies can’t.

Step 3: Characteristics

In films, the audience most connects with the characters. That’s why Hausmann says it’s vital to make purposeful choices in order to stand out.

Hausmann uses the example of how the makers of “Die Hard” shook up the typical 80s action movie genre. Rather than casting your average muscle-bound hero, the filmmakers went with Bruce Wills, an everyman. Alan Rickman played the villain so well that he got almost equal screen time as Willis – a rarity for bad guys. Plus, the film cast Bonnie Bedelia as a bold, independent female lead – also uncommon, at the time – and cleverly used Christmas as a juxtaposition to all the violence.

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Source: NewsCred Insights