Win With Content- Be Fascinating Says Digital Storyteller Hans Heesterbeek

Our ongoing Social Content Expert series travels to Netherlands today. I spoke with Digital Storyteller Hans Heesterbeek, a Rotterdam based digital storyteller about his experiences with what makes for winning Content Marketing strategies. Hans has been creating authentic and passionate storytelling experiences using different media for the last 30 years. As brands get more interested in Content and brand experiences, there’s no one better than Hans to tell us that to win with content- be fascinating and most of all create authentic stories from your heart. Keep all your storytelling antennas up for this one…

Win With Content- Be Fascinating Says Digital Storyteller Hans Heesterbeek

Social Expert Speak: To Win With Content- Be Fascinating

Brandanew: More recently, there seems to be a surge in firms pushing for strategic multi-channel content. On a broader level would you consider branding (awareness/recall) as the top reason why firms are pushing for a strategic content focus?

Hans: First of all I think we have to look at what kind of firms. There are a few how we may call early adopters – trendsetters and followers. The latest, a least a lot of them, really don’t know what it is and just copy what others do or are using. That’s when we see a lot of strange content or non-content as I’d put it. Firms which know already use multichannel content. They only way to reach your audience is to focus on content, even non-branded content supported by “Content is king” and if you want to succeed you need to focus on content.

Brandanew: If there are multiple consumer segments potentially consuming the content, during the creation phase, would you go with a segmented approach or optimize on the ‘mass majority’?

Hans: Creators are on the top of the pyramid. There are more consumers, as in readers or others to distribute. Look at this pyramid:

Win With Content- Be Fascinating Says Digital Storyteller Hans Hansterbeek
Image Shared By Hans Heesterbeek

At the top are the consumers (at this moment) who will use the content for creating digital content. So I will go for the segmented approach.

Brandanew: In terms of content distribution, do you think social is the single biggest channel out there? Or do you think with so much social media out there, direct company onsite content or even micro-sites and other digital installations stand a better chance?

Hans: This also depends on the kind of firm. Whether it’s a multinational firms with various consumer products or presence only in a niche market. Every firm and or product needs ambassadors. But a chocolate brand, consumer product, need another kind of approach than a mere video-editing software. Look at the KLM as an example. Social presence, mobile presence and onsite content. I think the bigger the company the more different kind of distribution channels they need.

Brandanew: Would you think content creates a way to upsell products and services? How would you usually measure the success of your digital content?

Hans: If the content is made for “hard selling” it should perform. What is the expectation and what is the briefing? If the target is set you can measure the result. If you don’t know were you are going you can never can take the wrong road, isn’t it? I have the feeling that making great content can help building the image far easier than just selling.

Brandanew: In your observation, what are the top reasons that make consumers and readers disengaged?

Hans: Absence of appealing content, content not relevant for the consumers and not being authentic. If you don’t mean what you say, if the content isn’t authentic and does not stand for the heart and soul of the company or firm than at the end, the consumers will disengage. And another reason at least I think is being bored. You need a lot of content and changing or new content to keep the audience enraptured. Be fascinating.

Brandanew: What do you think of negative responses on content? How must a content creator / firm react? Defend its position, ignore it, or continue building content because it’s not possible to please everyone?

Hans: It is not possible to please everybody. But it is wise to listen to your audience. It is even better to build the content together with your audience give them a say in the content. They will be the best ambassadors.

Brandanew:Who does Content Marketing well?

Hans: KLM, Coca Cola, BMW, there’s a great shoe brand with cool video on Youtube, Apple Facebook, Red Bull, American Express

I’d like to personally thank Hans for taking time out and sharing so many wonderful storytelling insights with us! If you have more questions, do not hesitate to get in touch and let us know!


Win With Content- Be Fascinating Says Digital Storyteller Hans HeesterbeekAbout Hans Heesterbeek: Hans started his own company in 1986 making storytelling his core business. These stories were made across media including video, film and slide presentations. Later he also expanded into events, conferences, TV productions, digital media and trans-media storytelling. According to Hans, “Storytelling in whatever form has become a personal voyage of discovery. I love telling stories, stories that inspire, fascinate, motivate and touch people. I thoroughly enjoy creating a gripping experience that moves people.”


Upasna Kakroo

Upasna co-founded Brandanew in 2014 for the sheer love of storytelling and authentic connections. She has been blogging and documenting digital stories since 2003.