Content Marketing Conversations: Brand Storytelling Expert David Beebe

Christel van der Boom / September 28, 2017

Today, anyone in marketing or communications knows that “all companies are media companies—which basically means that any brand can be a storyteller. Branded Content Producer and Keynote Speaker David Beebe takes this concept very seriously. It’s even led to an Emmy for his role as a producer of “French Kiss,” a film he made for Marriott.

Beebe has raised the profile for Marriott through content that travelers enjoy engaging with, which won him many accolades. Aside from the Emmy, AdAge included Beebe on its “40 Under 40 Forward Thinkers in Marketing” list earlier this year and AdWeek recognized him as one of their “100 Top Creatives in Marketing” in 2015. According to AdAge, he turned Marriott into a content marketing Mecca so we were happy to have a chance to catch up with him at Content Marketing World.

Flipboard’s Mia Quagliarello sat down with Beebe to learn how brands can be premium storytellers, the topic of his session at CM World. Here are six highlights from the conversation.

1) This isn’t for amateurs: a brand that wants to be a premium storyteller needs to invest in a content studio and hire people who have experience producing content for TV or entertainment.

2) Ask yourself: “What’s the purpose behind your production?” Find the “why” of what you’re doing.

3) What you create needs to be entertaining or informing. It has to be one or the other for people to want to spend time with your content.

4) Always put the consumer first. Brands tend to be all about themselves, not just by talking about the features and benefits of their products, but when they are talking about content, they think of an internal audience. Instead of “what’s my boss going to like?,” think “what’s the consumer going to like?” Take off your marketing hat and ask yourself: “Would I watch this?”

5) Think about distribution. Where will the content go and how it is connected to everything else you’re doing? Those answers will also inform your storytelling choices.That will impact the audience for your content as well as how and where they’ll interact with it.

6) You find great stories through curiosity. 

I take this last one as a call to action: stay curious!

You can watch the full interview we had with David Beebe (on the noisy expo floor at Content Marketing World) for yourself.

~Christel van der Boom is reading Food Traveler