Posts Tagged ‘storytelling’

Content Rules Unplugged: Can Any Company Benefit from a Content Marketing Strategy?

Podcast of Content Rules Uplugged: Can Any Company Benefit from a Content Marketing Strategy?

On November 3rd, I got together with Junta42’s Joe Pulizzi at OpenView Labs to talk about content marketing and content marketing strategy for a new project Joe is working on.

I know it was November 3rd, because (as it happens) it was my birthday, and after all my haranguing Joe for pony for weeks (“Buy me a pony! Buy me a pony!”), he actually came through, delivering a compact little four-legged plastic bit of My Little Pony horsiness. Her name is Scootaloo. You can see her photograph alongside this text.

OpenView’s studio space, overlooking Fort Point Channel, is both stunning and inspiring. With its sound booths, video studio, radio talk-show setup, and audio equipment that is so sensitive I swear it could capture the sound of hair growing, the OpenView space is a kind of Nirvana for content creators like us. And so after we finished up Joe’s project, we spontaneously recorded an unplanned, unscripted podcast to get Joe’s thoughts on content, marketing, and to answer the question: Can any company benefit from a content marketing strategy? Even a really silly, simple one? Even a ridiculous one? Like… say…. Scootaloo? (more…)

What Does Storytelling Have to Do with Business?

A few weeks ago I gave a presentation at ExactTarget’s user conference called Content Rules: What Stories, Blogs, Video & More Should Be Doing for You (and Your Clients).

The upshot was how content (like stories, blogs, videos, and so on) should be a cornerstone of any brand’s marketing, and I talked to an audience for the first time about some of the concepts C.C. and I explore further in our book. (Which was cool, by the way.)

The following day, a panel of marketers representing companies of all stripes—from the long-established (Kodak) to the hip upstart (Threadless), and a few in between (Virgin America, Benchmark Brands) offered up their take on trends in marketing and business, like: What’s the role of a marketer in an organization? How have social media and technology altered the evolution of that role? And how do you get your customers (and would-be customers) to engage with your brand and the products you sell?

One of the major themes that emerged there was (surprise!)… Content! And specifically, what stories, blogs, video and more should be doing… Yeah. Like I said.

It was gratifying to hear some of the same themes I talked about the day before reinforced by the CMOs of some pretty smart companies. I’d like to think it was just because they all attended by presentation the previous day (ha!), but the truth is that producing great content is something so many companies are increasingly embracing; I loved the panel’s comments around the idea of “storytelling” as a cornerstone of what they’re doing to market online.

So what does storytelling have to do with business?

“Storytelling” is one of those works that I always find impossibly squishy in a business context. For me, it always conjures up more performance art than industry.

But the idea of storytelling as it applies to business isn’t about spinning a yarn or fairytale. Rather, it’s about how your business (or its products or services) exist in the real world: how people use your products—how they add value to people’s lives, ease their troubles, help shoulder their burdens, and meet their needs. Think in those terms when producing customer stories, case studies, or client narratives—so that people can relate to them. In that way, your content is not about “storytelling,” it’s about telling a true story well. (more…)