“Content Marketing is a strategy focused on the creation of a valuable experience. It is humans being helpful to each other, sharing valuable pieces of content that enrich the community and position the business as a leader in the field.” This opening thesis from the book Managing Content Marketing by Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi is exciting to content marketers, like myself, who have spent way too much of their career pushing overly clever content out into the flotsam of advertising surrounding consumers.
Can businesses build content to rival media companies and act as publishers as well as marketers? The answer in Managing Content Marketing is “yes,” – but with the right strategy in place to help transform prospects into customers and customers into evangelists.
Apple is a prime example of an organization that is so focused on creating a valuable brand experience that it enables a cadre of evangelists to build fans sites, blogs and social media experiences for them. For those companies still building their brand equity, however, Managing Content Marketing has practical tips for taking control of their story (and becoming the hero in it).
Almost every creative writer I know has read The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler that outlines the 12 steps of the Hero’s journey based on Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces. In Managing Content Marketing, the authors tailor the hero’s journey to help companies build their own mythic story and explain the value of building editorial calendars to map this story across different channels.
They also suggest that every organization should have the roles of Chief Content Officer and Managing Editor in order to build a 360 workflow where they can view (with web analytics) and listen (via polls and conversations) to their customers to make sure that their content provides value.
For those of us who have worked with content their whole careers, this transition to companies becoming storytellers and publishers as a mechanism to find and retain customers is no surprise. It’s human nature, after all. Companies that provide value – in their products and in their content – will be at a distinct advantage in being authentic and driving engagement with their brand.