Your business is sitting on stories, but are you staffed to tell them? / by Ian Paynton

63% of marketers in a recent Contently poll said they do content daily, but more than half admitted creating stuff that draws customers is 'a challenge'. 

Too right it is! And this stat makes me think: if you're not drawing customers with your daily content, what are you doing with it? 

It's fair to say that creating content to draw customers takes experience in a bunch of different areas, including strategy, production, distribution and measurement - and generally just knowing what the real stories are, rather than the stories marketers are told to write, to support the brand or its products

There's a risk of content marketing resulting in content dabbling if it's put entirely on a marketing manager who's a) new to it, and b) already stacked until 9pm each night.

To create and own content that brings real value - so much so that your audiences want to hear more from you - it will need to be led by the right people from the very start. People with time and experience to really unearth your stories, tell them, and make sure they get seen.

So who are these real *buzzword* storytellers ?

Enter marketing hero Seth Godin, who I think nailed it when he said:

you need editors, not brand managers, who will push the envelope to make [a brand media property] go forward

We would widen this to digital publishers, journalists, magazine makers and video producers. I touched on it in a earlier post about investing in content, but here's why we think hiring brand 'storytellers' for your first content marketing meeting is a really strong move.

1. They’ll uncover the real stories your business is sitting on

Publishers, editors, writers and video makers have always crafted stories with one thing in mind: audience engagement and growth. They'll know what content plans could help you meet your long term goals. Give them the stakeholder objectives, an idea of what success looks like (key results and KPIs) and lock them in a room. We bet they bring back fire. Or at least the tools needed to start one. 

2. They’ll do content to brief and at the best time

Once they're embedded in your business, give your content staff the room they need to get creative. Listen to their ideas with an open mind; they may have some views on how to meet your marketing objectives tactfully, with content that probably won't put your key messaging first. 

To really get the best out of storytellers in the digital age, avoid slow-moving approval chains so your content can move like "Right Time Marketing" should it need to. If an outside event warrants social content or conversation from your brand, the last thing you need is three days tweaking it!

3. They’ll worry about evolving your content so you don't have to

Content creators are always changing. The ability to adopt the latest technology to improve their stories and strategy comes as part of their package. As does their understanding of analytics and measurement, which will help your content evolve with the growth of your audience and the always-changing internet.

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