Masters of Content: Why Creative Constraints Are Problems Worth Solving

By Molly Bennett  |  February 4, 2022

masters of content webinar publishing

MSPC’s recent Masters of Content presentation to the Content Marketing Institute showcased three projects that met and overcame challenges—and produced fantastic results. Here, MSPC senior content director Molly Bennett shares a recap of the webinar.

Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like a problem (or a challenge, if you want to be all glass-half-full about it). And one of the great joys of working in a creative industry is that there is always something to learn, always something to test out and—yes—always a problem to solve.

That was the theme of a recent Masters of Content presentation that Erin Madsen, VP of content; Kate Rogers, VP of digital strategy; and I gave to an audience of 900 folks on behalf of the Content Marketing Institute. We walked the audience through three case studies of projects with creative constraints, showing them how, working in close collaboration with our clients, we broke through these constraints to produce effective, polished content that delighted our clients and got noteworthy results.

Here’s a bit about these projects. If you’d like to watch the presentation on demand, you can register here.

Project: Patient testimonial videos for Biologics by McKesson, a specialty pharmacy focused on cancer and rare diseases

Creative constraints: Pandemic restrictions meant we needed to conduct and film the interviews remotely via Zoom, using the patients’ own devices instead of professional equipment.

Our solution: During the pre-screening and pre-production calls, we addressed many factors that could be barriers to a stress-free filming day, including device compatibility and quality, noise pollution, lighting and WiFi connections. After we’d made adjustments to accommodate these factors, we provided each patient with a crib sheet so they had all the information they needed before and during the shoot. These patients had powerful stories to tell, and we didn’t want anything to get in the way. Watch the videos here.

Project: Internal communications for 3M manufacturing and supply chain employees

Creative constraint: Most of these employees have no or limited access to email and digital channels at work, resulting in less connection with 3M as an employer.

Our solution: We met the audience where they are. We launched “The 3Mer,” a high-quality print publication that is mailed to production employees’ homes. It surfaces content they were missing out on due to a lack of access to corporate email, showcases new content tailored to their roles and improves retention and engagement with the broader 3M culture. And despite the fact that the first issues of the magazine were in production at the height of the pandemic, the team stayed flexible and nimble, adapting story ideas to our new reality and navigating pandemic safety protocols to produce polished photo shoots.

Project: A content campaign for Small Business Week featuring small-business customers of U.S. Bank

Creative constraints: The seven selected business owners were located across the U.S. and worked in a variety of settings, from brick-and-mortar to online-only. Despite that, all images needed to meet U.S. Bank’s new visual guidelines and standards for photography.

Our solution: We decided that Instagram was the most effective channel to host these small businesses’ inspiring stories. After identifying what made each business unique, we interviewed the business owners and scheduled photo shoots using photographers and videographers in their local areas. We successfully managed many moving pieces, with interviewees and vendors in seven different locations across the U.S. The client was thrilled—so much so that we created another Instagram campaign later in the year looking at how small businesses navigated the challenges of COVID-19.

Read next: How to Be a Great Digital Content Marketer: 9 Pieces of Unsolicited Advice

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