Content has always ruled my days and I love a good story as much as the next person. Even before writing Content Rules, my days were spent brainstorming and executing creative and strategic ways companies of all sizes could market themselves using content and storytelling. If you look at campaigns I did such as Frenzied Waters or Virtual Thirst you can see the importance of these elements in making them both highly successful marketing campaigns.
In the coming months I'll be speaking a lot more on the topic as we take the book on tour. This week I spoke to a few college classes and the questions I am getting are eye opening.
It seems most people embrace the importance of content, but many are having issues with the storytelling piece and that fascinated me. Every day each of us tells stories to coworkers and friends. We condense movie plots and breaking news stories into 140 characters and text messages. So why the confusion and doubt that brands need to figure out and share their stories?
In my mind the two have to go hand and hand. If your content is not helping tell your story, why are you creating it in the first place? Making a video in the hopes of it going viral or writing a blog post and praying it gets retweeted is not a content strategy. Hell, it isn't even a solid business strategy. YOU know your story better than anyone else and it is up to YOU to tell it to the world and allow others to be so turned on by that story, that they will retell it for you in their own words.
Look at someone into the book they are reading or their face as they watch a movie. Their attention is captured on what is right in front of them. When that trance breaks, if they have been touched by what they consumed they will want to tell others. Remember this as you go about pulling together a strategy and you'll go far. If the only person intrigued and excited by the story you are telling is yourself, then perhaps you have to find a better way to tell it.
My brilliant co-author wrote about this same topic recently so you can see I'm not alone in these thoughts.
If you want to be successful with content, you must have a story to tell along with it. One without the other is kind of pointless isn't it?