Content marketing needs more storytelling

When my career was first starting, I had the opportunity to work on a product introduction that included  a minor innovation for the category. Actually, it solved a problem that the customer didn't view as a problem. So there were some challenges to overcome. The client believed that all messaging should just state that the product now had this new feature. Looking at the competitive environment, I feared the messaging would get lost if it did nothing but state the feature. We worked hard to develop an alternative approach that went beyond the feature to demonstrate how it could impact the prospect's life. In short, we told a story.

A troublesome tale

Storytelling is the most powerful means of connecting with others. And it's been around forever. History was told through stories. First as an oral tradition, and later through the written word.

Today, we're in the midst of a content marketing boom. Organizations all over are posting and publishing. It reminds me of the social media explosion. Companies were enamored with the social networks. But very little thought was given to why a prospect would want to connect. And very little thought was given to what could be offered that would have been valuable to a prospect. It seems like history is repeating itself. Companies and marketers are rushing  to take advantage of the content marketing buzz. They're buying libraries of "content". They're hiring third-party journalists to generate articles, posts, etc. They're curating content from others.

Companies are creating content, but missing the real opportunity. Storytelling.

The moral of the story

Storytelling offers the opportunity to find the point behind the information. To find the insight that informs and educates. Storytelling can go beyond "content" to deliver real value to the lives of your audience, and give them a reason to stay connected to you. It can be the gift you offer to your prospects.

By the way, the product I was telling you about at the beginning of this post enjoyed a successful launch. In fact, the effort exceeded expectations. And the work we created even won a few creative awards. Best of all, it gave the company a great foundation that they could build upon in the years that followed. So the tale continued. And that's the best part of the story.