Editor's note: The first installment in this series covered three content marketing mistakes, and the second tackled four others. The third and final installment, below, lays out the remaining three of the top 10 content marketing mistakes.

8. Your content doesn't tell a story

At some point along the way, we content creators forgot an important, universal truth: Story matters.

The idea of "being engaging" is beyond misunderstood; it's usually described with other clichés, too, but what it really boils down to is telling a better story.

That might seem obvious, but so much content lacks story (not that all content must have it). You see tons of tactics and "how to" articles, or theory and philosophy; but, without the story thread to tie it all together, the content has no soul.

The metaphor I use to describe the problem is the classic tale of the knight who slays the dragon—in step-by-step outline:

  • Step 1: Grab sword.
  • Step 2: Mount horse.
  • Step 3: Find dragon.
  • Step 4: Pierce through heart.
  • Step 5: Rescue princess.

Where's the struggle? Where's the love, the romance, the passion, the reason to care?

I'm not sure where the problem lies, but it could be that most "content marketers" don't understand the two basic types of storytelling: direct vs. indirect (just as in asking for the transaction).

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Tommy Walker is an online marketing strategist and the host of Inside The Mind and The Mindfire Chats, fresh and entertaining shows that aim to shake up online and content marketing.

Twitter: @tommyismyname
LinkedIn: Tommy Walker