What makes good content? It’s a perennial discussion and having worked as a journalist and editor for 20 or so years in my first career it’s one I like to have! A short thought paraphrased from the American Press Institute sums up my stance pretty well.
A good story is about something the audience decides is interesting or important. The reader decides it’s a good story because they read past the intro. A great story is often both because it uses storytelling to make important news interesting. In journalism a reporter uses verification and storytelling to make a subject newsworthy. In marketing... a skilled writer matches the words that make a business interesting to the desires of the customers who read it.
In journalism a skill with words and syntax makes newsworthy readable, enjoyable and compelling... Storytelling for businesses requires the same skill with words, judicious editing - plus a desire to write for the reader, not the writer or to just use clever words.
As a reader of journalism, marketing or business copy you don’t notice syntax, seeded SEO keywords or correct sentence construction. You just read from start to finish, and you may note that a story reads quite well along the way... Poorly written words jump off the page at us whereas well-written copy glides.
Compelling marketing copy is as serious about the words it uses as the journalists and subeditors who write headlines. It uses narrative to bring the reader alongside without realising where they are being taken. Brilliant, readable copy inspires, ignites and compels readers to become - and stay - involved.
This is not marketing for a quick win. It’s a long game full of beautiful words. It’s a narrative that is that is expertly planned so that a meaningful relationship may blossom and flourish. From one chapter to the next.
Stories inspire some of the best conversations and I think we’ll all agree that nothing kills a conversation quicker than a flash of an offer or a SALE notice. So, if you want to talk with and listen to your customers, if you want to learn about them, build a relationship with them... and learn why they choose to buy from you and your business, then yes you do need content marketing.