Storytelling Technique and Content Marketing are really good friends in the writing-for-business sphere. But like any friendship they may find themselves at odds sometimes, developing tension and yielding no results.  The reason being none of them really knowing why it is serving the other.

If you are producing content for the sake of populating your media channels, you might as well stop doing anything and save yourself some time and, possibly, some money. No matter how good a story is if it doesn’t have a marketing purpose behind it, it just won’t sell.

Hey, I’m all for writing. Write as much as you can, every day and anywhere. I’ve even written a mini e-book about routine writing. But, since you are putting in the effort, wouldn’t it be better if your stories actually got read by the people you were trying to reach?

The only way you can keep the friendship between Storytelling Technique and Content Marketing intact is by letting them know why they are feeding each other. Think about it, surely if someone at the office asks you to do something, you are likely to ask them why. You don’t just do things for the sake of doing them, do you? You think about it strategically: the goal, the benefits, the risks.

By asking why you are addressing three crucial components to story and content: Message, Audience, and Goal. Because there is no story if there is no point (message); there’s no point if there’s no reason (goal); there is no reason if there is no one who cares (audience).

So, before you start hammering those lovely laptop keys, take a moment to consider the ‘whys’.

The first question in Content Marketing you have to ask is: why are you telling the story? In other words: what is it that you want to reach and what’s your target?

Once you’ve got that clear, you can move on to ask the relevant questions regarding Storytelling:

  • Why is this story relevant?
  • Why should your audience care?
  • Why is this the best way (angle) to tell this story?

You may be wondering why is it that I’m focused on the ‘why’ instead of the ‘what’.

Simon Sinek explains the importance of asking ‘why’ quite well in an old Tedx about inspirational leadership. The ‘what’ is about selling a product or service, but the ‘why’ is all about inspiring your clients to acquire your specific product or service.

The ‘why’ provides an experience: it’s a revelation of certain values attained by you and your brand that go beyond materialism. It’s about connecting with like-minded people who want to be part of your dream.

Steve Jobs understood this quite well and it was this principle that led him to launch the Think Different campaign upon his return to Apple.

With ‘what’ you will make sales; but with ‘why’ you will conquer loyal followers who share your vision. And you know what those followers can become, right? You got it, brand advocates.

So, let go of the ‘what’ and embrace the ‘why’. After all, you’re here for the long run and your clients deserve better and more.

 

 

Five steps – that’s all it takes for you to blog effectively and put aside all that procrastination and frustration.

We are passed the personal blog era. Blogging is now an essential marketing tool in any company. It helps connect to your clients and establishes your expertise.

But often non-trained writers don’t know how to manage a blog, costing them time and energy.Here are five steps you should be aware of if you want to blog effectively.

Here are five steps you should be aware of if you want to blog effectively.

1. Know your Audience

Blogging for the sake of blogging gets you nowhere. You blog for a reason, and that reason has an audience. Whom you write for and what you talk about are key to your blogging success. You must feed the needs of your audience. If you have been blogging, check out the most popular blogs you’ve written and understood what they have in common – there lies the secret. If you haven’t written a blog post before, conduct a survey among your potential readers and find out what they would like to read about.

2. Set up a Calendar

Consistency is key. Even when people don’t set up an alarm to remind them of when your next masterpiece will pop up, they do expect a certain level of regularity. By creating a routine, you’ll attract more readers, who will start recommending your blog to their peers. Begin with one post a week.

3. Create a Content Pot

In order for your calendar to work out, you should have ideas. In fact, you should never run out of ideas. Anything can be the origin of a great post. Something you read, something someone told you, something people keep asking you about. Whenever that light bulb turns on over your head, write the idea down and save it to your content pot. It doesn’t have to be a physical pot. A note app on your phone, a folder in your laptop, or a notebook you always carry will do the trick.

4. Commit to Writing Appointments

So now you know your audience, have a bunch of ideas and a calendar – wow, that’s progress! All you have to do is sit down and write. Don’t find any excuses. Set up a writing appointment and honour it like you do with any other business meeting: you show up and you deliver. Dive into that content pot and write more than one blog post per appointment. Like this you’ll be able to pre-publish your articles, saving time to do other things. Think about it: if in one day you write three posts, that’s three weeks of blogging covered.

5. The Inspiration Fairy is Called SEO

The idea of a muse stimulating you to produce a great piece is very romantic but that is not what will get you to blog effectively. Instead of sitting around hoping for a wave of writing inspiration to take over, look at your content ideas and analyse their SEO potential. Your blog post should be found in the wonderful world of the web. And there’s only one way to do it: keywords. Find the terms that are relevant to your post and that your audience would search for. Include them in your writing (especially in your title, first paragraph, and url).

More importantly than anything else is that you start. Trial and error is what has led to some of the greatest discoveries of our world. You cannot assess success if you don’t take that first step. And once that is done, there are only four others to go.