Here’s Why Your Marketing Needs A Story

ziploc broken ankle

[credit provider=”Amanda Maksymiw”]

This past weekend I sprained my ankle.  I shared the news with the world by posting a picture to Instagram. Almost instantly Corey O’Loughlin and Ann Handley of MarketingProfs wanted to know the story. 

Once I divulged that it was no big deal and that I just tripped on the stairs, both Ann and Corey chimed in that I needed to work on my story (thanks ladies!). 

(For the record some suggestions were crazy matchup at Roller Derby, twisted my ankle after trying a trick on the slopes, and that a ghost pushed me down the stairs).  The silly banter on Instagram reminded me of a critical component to a successful content marketing program — THE STORY.

Why Have a Story?

So many companies seem to be diving into content marketing rather than taking a step back to ensure that there is a program in place in order to achieve success in content marketing.  From the start true content marketing is more than writing blogs, sending tweets, creating videos, and releasing ebooks.  It is not about creating content for the sake of content.  Content marketing is about developing a connection with your customers and prospects within your target segments in order to deliver a valuable and compelling message.  Your content marketing efforts will likely go to waste over the long term if there isn’t a story behind the whole program.

Learn How Better your Marketing Storytelling
Storytelling isn’t necessarily something you must be born with.  There are a few tricks of the content marketing trade in order to create a story for your company or brand.  Here are some thoughts from the experts:

  •  Find your story by executing against a content marketing strategy.  In this video, Joe Pulizzi shares at a high level how marketers can start developing the content marketing story by documenting editorial plan, strategy to support the overall marketing plan, and how you are going to achieve that program.
  • Learn to fascinate your audience.  Author and speaker Sally Hogshead urges people and brands alike to work towards fascinating your audience.  Her book breaks down the 7 triggers (including lust, alarm, prestige, and others) that lead to fascination –  and can inspire any content marketer to think more creatively.
  • Pay attention to the movies. Robert Rose, chief strategist at CMI and speaker at our recent Content Marketing workshop, encourages marketers to learn from Hollywood.  The key point to remember your customers and prospects are the ones who are taking the journey – they aren’t the heros and neither is your brand!

So, what is your story?

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