The best storytelling... "expose[s] real struggles" and "passionately-held beliefs about how to solve them.” I call it “Invested Storytelling,” content that conveys the substance and commitment arrived at through thought leadership goals that are defined by customer concerns.
By Jinnean Barnard
Commenting on the recent trend at a variety of corporations, publishers and PR firms to hire Chief Content officers, digital advertising/media analyst Rebecca Lieb asks what skill sets will be the most desirable in “the next crop of content hires.”
Until recently, she points out, the mantra has been “hire a reporter,” as organizations looked for people to blog or write for social media.
But while blogging remains, the content marketing arena has changed. As Lieb says, “…content strategies are more technologically complex and digitally convoluted (converged media, native advertising, video, mobile) than ‘just writing’.” PR firms are duking it out with agencies -- Lieb quotes a PR exec who calls it a ‘dogfight’ -- to provide content while brands themselves have stepped into the publishing fray.
So what are the skill sets? And where do you find those people?
Journalists will still have a role. But sophisticated content executions on multiple platforms are, frankly, major campaigns. They require a mix of writers – journalists and also copywriters whose storytelling is influenced by marketing know-how and the ability to create an emotional connection – and a slew of other specialists: writer/art director pairs who create concepts for video as well as infographics, SlideShare presentations, Prezis and whatever new visual storytelling media make their appearance; developers who can take content and make it work on digital publishing systems for mobile and tablets; community managers who can leverage the campaign in social media; media folk who can plan innovative methods of distribution; and strategists and planners – along with the Chief Content Officer – who figure the whole thing out.
While ad agencies, PR firms, content shops and corporations jostle to provide the best content, it’s clear that the skill set needed has widened: it's no longer enough to shout, “hire a reporter,” the call is to “hire a team.”
Note: I've quoted Rebecca Lieb's article, "6 developing trends in content marketing" published on imediaconnection.com on April 09, 2013.
By Jinnean Barnard
One thing I've recommended to clients is creating “evergreen” content – content that answers questions that people always ask about your brand, product, or organization, or that provides useful information that doesn’t quickly go out of date. The great thing about evergreen content is the number of ways in which it can be parceled out. Evergreen content can be leveraged and repurposed within your digital social ecosystem – as tweets, Facebook posts, short edited versions of longer videos, infographics, etc. – all linking back to the original evergreen piece. To be successful, evergreen content must be credible, interesting and genuinely useful to users.
In November 2012, Digital Agency 360i published a Content Marketing Report I recommend reading. The report describes the importance of a “solid content marketing strategy that factors in both low and high-investment content” -- flow and stock. The authors quote media inventor and theorist Robin Sloan, who says:
“Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind people that you exist. Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the content you produce that’s as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today.”
The 360i report goes on to explain how to achieve a balanced content marketing strategy that includes both stock and flow, via curating and creating content.
Whether you call it evergreen – connoting freshness, or stock – suggesting quality and tangibility, good content with a long shelf life is a significant element of your content mix.