Living the story

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Content marketing. Storytelling. Being authentic. Connecting with our audiences. All of these are current marketing terms and we might even call them buzzwords.

It’s no surprise that I care about all of these, practice them and think that they can help organizations, groups and people all be more successful.

They work, but they work best when they are not thought of as a marketing technique only. They work best when they are part of the organizational mindset. Yup, that’s harder than just “creating a piece of content marketing.” It’s a habit.

They work best when people in the organization live the story and that story is then mirrored in the pieces that are publicized through content marketing, storytelling and so on.

But what if the story lived by staff or the story about the product is different from what’s being shared in our marketing messages? Well, then that wouldn’t be authentic.

I’ve seen the best content marketing initiatives start and take off when a content marketer would go to the subject matter expert and ask if he or she would consider publicizing his or her knowledge and stories.

The subject matter experts and people who truly are living their stories often hop right on board and are happy to do so. It’s what they do anyway and now they can raise awareness to a potentially wider audience.

Usually they love it. The biggest hurdle often seems to be the extra workload and questions about how all of this content marketing and storytelling can get done. (You could hire help, for example.)

What about the people that don’t want to do this? Or can’t do it? Some people are more interested in traditional advertising and not the latest techniques. Since I’m so deeply involved and invested in content marketing and storytelling, it would be easy for me to say that those people are wrong. They should just get over it and hop on the latest trend. I’m not saying that, though.

There’s a place for that group of people, too. It’s probably not content marketing or authentic storytelling but it might be advertising or working for a newspaper. As much as many of us don’t like advertisements and maybe have stopped reading the newspaper years ago these two items will likely not go anywhere tomorrow.

In true content marketing, however, we live the story that we are sharing. We are what we are and we care what we care about. There’s no work-life balance. There is work-life integration.

We are living our story. We are part of it. So are the people around us. Not everyone will love us for it, but – and I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news 🙂 – not everyone loves us already anyway.

So what’s your story?