Marketing is a fun place to be these days, isn't it? New tools and new technologies and new platforms are giving businesses interesting opportunities to connect with customers in inherently more meaningful ways.
Of course, that's put new pressure on marketers and layered new requirements onto Marketing. Our newly social Web is requiring brands to bulk up their content creation muscles and inject themselves with a kind of social steroid.
It's not enough to simply be creating content—to be publishing blogs and newsletters, and producing webinars and podcasts. Instead, brands have to be consistently creating and sharing really great stuff—not just stuff that's merely good enough.
In content marketing these days, either you rock or you suck. This new era isn't about storytelling; it's about telling a true story well.
Brand Journalism on the Rise
Some companies are looking toward traditional journalism to fill the gaping content maw, hiring those trained in J-school tactics like reporting and storytelling as in-house "brand journalists."
A brand journalist or corporate reporter works inside the company, writing and producing videos, blog posts, photos, webinars, charts, graphs, e-books, podcasts, and other information that delivers value to your marketplace.
Such content creators will convey your company's true story in a compelling way by uncovering the stories about your brand and how your customers are using your products and services; narrating them in a human, accessible way; and sparking conversation about your company, customers, or employees.
Ann Handley is chief content officer of MarketingProfs, author of Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Ridiculously Good Content, and co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing, Content Rules. Ann co-founded ClickZ.com, one of the first sources of interactive marketing news and commentary.