Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

The No. 1 trick to grab (and keep) people’s attention in content marketing [EXAMPLES]

Christoph Trappe

September 4, 2016


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IMG_6154“Daddy, look at that skywalk,” hollered my eight-year-old at me as we were strolling through the streets of downtown for the Cedar Rapids Farmers’ Market. Of course, she wouldn’t point out any old skywalk. Something had to be different. Different things catch our eyes and attention.

This skywalk was displaying some colorful art on it and, of course, since it was new and we hadn’t seen it that caught her eye. New things do that.


Recommended reading:

Stories have impact when they are unique or when you are first – or both!
Farmers’ markets build community

Side note: We hardly ever buy produce at markets but the girls end up getting, oh, I don’t know, half a dozen or so different balloons. Yea, we go there for the balloons and to spend quality time together. #dadlife

This also reminded me about a visit to Men’s Wearhouse when I was getting some dress shirts that were not white. White dress shirts seems to be what most people are wearing. So, I figure that wearing different colors can actually be a differentiator. As I was checking out, another employee even said:

“That’s a great shirt.”

“Thanks. I bet you wouldn’t say that to people buying white dress shirts.”

“Probably true.”

This also reminded me of the color orange and Content Marketing World, the annual global conference in Cleveland. Founder Joe Pulizzi wears orange all the time and it’s his thing. It’s one of many ways that make him unique. And now his followers wear orange, too. In fact, before and during the annual conference many take and post photos of them wearing orange. I wonder what new orange thing he’ll be wearing next.

Recommended reading:

Hospital Content Marketing Lab at Content Marketing World 2016

When to curate content and when to create it

Getting attention doesn’t equal keeping attention

While creating and sharing new things does get us attention, it doesn’t always keep people’s attention. For example, that skywalk. We looked at it, enjoyed it and then moved on walking through the farmers’ market. There was no more context for us to get on the display, no next step to take – even if we wanted to. It was there to be admired and that was it. I’m pretty sure I know which organization led the way to the get that skywalk beautified, but I couldn’t say for sure. I think they are a nonprofit and with that would certainly be open to donations and volunteer time. But we had no way of knowing for sure or digging deeper right then. Even a Google search didn’t get me the info I was looking for. Had the organization blogged about it, I may have been able to find out more. (Hey, another reason how blogging can help us! Online and offline connect!)

Recommended reading:

What’s a call to action?

How and why to go story shopping!

Don’t get stuck in Approval Hell!

Good news is worth sharing!

How do we keep people’s attention once we have it? Easy breezy. Well, at least in theory. To keep people’s attention, we have to continuously present and share new and relevant information. Think about it this way: New stuff gets attention. So the ongoing presentation of new stuff keeps attention. That sounds easy in theory but is hard in practice.

But the good news is, in any good authentic storytelling content marketing strategy and project, new things that are worth sharing happen all the time! Just go story shopping and empower others to do the same.

This is only hard to do when people are stuck in an older school model of marketing where everything needs to go through 12 rounds of approval hell and needs to be planned out months at a time. I’m not opposed to planning at all, but don’t let that stop the immediate publishing of worthwhile stories. It’s the only way to keep up a high volume of new and relevant content and stories. I’m not just talking about the constant pushing out of crap and marketing messages here – for the record!

I hope you’ll join me. Let’s be relevant together!


Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life!

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I’m Christoph Trappe.

I’ve written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs.

If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I’m always happy to chat!

Thanks for reading!

– Christoph

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why content marketing projects should be fun


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