Justine Ragany Justine Ragany

Content director, collaborator and moderately sceptical of business speak. I’m here to support my team to do its best work. You'll also find me at every ideation meeting – creating strategies and content that get the right results for our clients.

Content strategists: are you ready for the Experience Age?

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Welcome to a four-part series looking at how brands can ensure they are part of the Experience Age.

Unsurprisingly, we are going to say that it fits in rather well. If empathetic design is the way forward for developers, then for content creators, it morphs into empathetic ideation. If brand storytelling is all about sharing a palatable truth, which is going to get the potential customers all mushy and happy about a brand, then observing those customers before doing the strategising is going to be crucial for content agencies to deliver in this Experience Age.

This is one of the reasons why influencers have been so successful. Sharing their experiences in real time (or as near as, dammit) has given a truthfulness and immediacy that no shiny advert can ever do. The best influencers are raw, make mistakes, are vulnerable, so that when they do fall in love with something, their whole world of followers does, too.

Want to see an example of Experience Age content? Speedo, in its current strategy of reaching out to fitsters, getting them to add a swim to their fitness routines, is using influencers to achieve this. When the brand wanted to promote its Make1KWet campaign – encouraging potential customers to replace a 5km run with a 1km swim – Sonder proposed challenging influencers to swim 1km in the time it took for them to run 5km.

In our Make 1k Wet Challenge video, of the three runners we filmed, two succeeded and one didn’t. Now, the gauntlet has been thrown down to runners to try it for themselves. It’s all about being able to join in. To be successful in ideation in the Experience Age means crafting digital stories that encourage the viewers to the experience.

Storytelling has the power to make people feel things. When we feel strongly enough, we do things. When storytelling connects humans across the globe with shared emotions, hopes and fears, it creates shared experiences and understanding. So, content creators and strategists need to prioritise establishing context for their audiences. This will entail understanding human motivations and psychology to discover the right stories to tell, people to interview and the skills to tell those tales with wit and aplomb.

Sitting at the top of that funnel, brands have to speak to hearts and minds without – primarily – the need to receive an immediate return. And then repeat. And, potentially, to repeat again. Be the brand that gives and gives and gives. And when the customer gets, they will engage and share the experience.

Quick, quick, publish. Then, the quicker these stories can be surfaced and shared, with opportunities for customers to join in and contribute their own stories in words, pictures, videos, etc, the more relevant brands are going to be in the Experience Age.

This feature is a true collaboration. It was inspired by Paul Gataaura’s attendance at FITC Amsterdam X, which he wrote about on Medium, the highlights were identified by Kirsty Spencer, who passed it on to Justine Ragany, who researched, added to and styled it all up.

Everything at Made by Sonder is made by all of us. Makes what we do good (and fun).

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