Content marketing is about telling brand stories. This was the main theme of yesterday's third annual International Content Marketing Summit in London. Here are the top 10 most memorable simple truths and a few surprises, in no particular order.
Top 10 content marketing storytelling tips:
1. PEOPLE TRUST OTHER PEOPLE THE MOST
Jon King, Story Worldwide, cited a Nielsen survey that asks consumers which media they trusted most. The top three answers were people you know, people’s opinions published online, and editorial. Therefore, write stories that will make people “talk” about them, and don’t ever underestimate the power of user testimonials.
2. SIMPLICITY RULES
Dave Trott, CSTTG, was blunt: “Stupid people think complicated things are better.” Well, they’re not, they only drive people away. Therefore, simplify to attract and to be understood, no matter how complicated your products or services may be.
3. WHERE’S THE BEEF
Content without strategy is just stuff, said Arjun Basu, Spafax. As I wrote earlier this year, content without context is hardly a king. Make plans. They’re a nuisance, but they exist for a reason – to be effective in the long run.
4. DON’T DO IT JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN
“Just because it’s there, you don’t have to have it,” said Basu. True marketers become very anxious when a new tool comes out, either Pinterest or Instagram, etc. First, you have to figure out whether a new tool/channel makes sense for you to join. If it doesn’t, then you DON’T have to do it.
6. BE AUTHENTIC
“People like authenticity,” said Melanie Stubbing, Weight Watchers Europe. Don’t fake it, use real stories by real people and you’ll see how your readers/consumers will respond favorably.
7. C=4m + 3v – 2(i-f) – 2a
This is a formula for conversion by Catherine Toole, Sticky Content.
C = conversion
m = motivation
v = value
i = incentive
f = friction
a = anxiety
8. WHO ARE THEY?
Do you know who your customers/blog readers are? Do you know what they’re REALLY thinking? Well, you should, according to Sara Cremer, Redwood. Only then you can write the right story at the right time to make it effective.
9. WHAT IS ENGAGEMENT?
I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s heard the word engagement plenty this year alone. But what does it really mean? Canvas8 and Weber Shandwick investigated the science of engagement. Check out their report. It’s awesome.
10. STORIES, NOT FACTS
Cremer: “People remember stories, not bald facts.” That’s why they’re so powerful.