It’s the Story, Stupid: Content Marketing

I’m back home after spending a couple of days at a content marketing retreat on Whidbey Island hosted by the Langley Center for New Media.

Storytelling was the kernel in every presenter’s session—from the mechanics and psychology of storytelling to measuring its impact. Forget key messages and feature-benefit adspeak—it’s about the story, stupid.

For a pithy round-up of key ideas, see Kathy Hanbury’s blog post 28 Content Marketing Tips from the Content Marketing Masters. Or take a look at Drew Davis’s adept curation of the retreat’s key tweets, presentations and pix via Storify.

Storify screen shot
Screen shot of Storify created by Drew Davis

I peeked over Drew’s shoulder a few times while he assembled the page on Storify. “Note to self,” I thought, “look up this tool.” So when I came home, I read Storify Wants to Pull Stories from the Stream, a review on GigaOM.

Funnily, I think Storify neatly captures the mood of the retreat and our hyper-focus on storytelling. “Turn what people post on social media into compelling stories,” reads the tagline on Storify’s homepage.

Co-founder Burt Herman adds, “We’re coming at it from the point of view of story-telling — it’s about creating a really rich experience about an event. There are all of these real-time updates, so many that we are drowning in them. This is about finding relevance in the noise.” (Source: GigaOM)

Aggregating, curating and creating content are top of mind for many professionals these days. For me, Storify is emblematic of the zeitgeist, a reflection of how journalists (and marketers) are re-inventing how we tell stories in a digital age.

So are you a believer or is this just a new round of gurus, books and webcasts?

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14 thoughts on “It’s the Story, Stupid: Content Marketing

  1. Hey Tracy,

    Thanks for the ongoing dialog about the Content Marketing Retreat.

    Want to know why I’ve been such an ardent proponent of Content Marketing?

    It’s because our entire portfolio for B2B/B2C, Non-profit and Government has been based upon storytelling as a key component of contemporary communications. That’s been our passion since we started in 1999.

    However, as you heard Drew point out, there’s no “content” slice on the CMO pizza. Knowing what we know about content’s ability to “inspire, inform and influence” this has been our greatest source of frustration in bringing on new clients for the past 10 years. The understanding of content – and as an extension, story – has just not been understood or trusted.

    So, in order to get clients to engage in “story,” and similar content, we’ve had to
    work hard to educate the market on the merits of Content Strategy and Content Marketing.

    Results, of course, are what matter. This is why I focused a part of my Content Strategy presentation on the Dive Rite Customer Success Story. We absolutely need to see more case studies such as this so that more professional communicators add the “content” slice gets added to marketing and PR budgets.

    If you haven’t seen our portfolio, you should check it out!

    Thanks again for joining the Content Marketing Retreat!


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