Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

[STORY DEVELOPMENT] The best stories can come out of casual conversations

Disclaimers: The information provided is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Links in articles maybe affiliate or sponsored links.

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Do things with a purpose.

Follow the process. 

What’s the plan? Follow it!!!!

Blah, blah, blah. I’m all for doing things with a purpose. Seriously! But, it’s a fact that some of the best stories – whether it’s in journalism or content marketing journalism come out of casual conversations with subject matter experts. 

Recommended reading: The role of content marketing journalist

One of the best ways to get stories worth sharing out of people who lived those stories is by having a relationship with them. And once we have a relationship we can have a conversation that isn’t hindered by politics, fear of mispeaking or a related disease that can prevent authentic story sharing.

That means:

  • The interviewee likes you. 
  • Trusts you. 
  • Wants to talk to you. It doesn’t even feel like an interview. 
  • Enjoys the conversation.
  • (Subconciously) thinks their story adds value to your experience of life. And it does. 

Sharing is caring. OK, that’s enough cliches. Ha.

Seriously, good stories can come out of formal processes but even better ones come out of informal processes. For us storytelling teams the trick is to make the process (because there’s one) seem as informal to the interviee as possible. Processes that are too apparent can distract the interviee. Keep in mind that some interviees like processes, though – usually that comes out when it’s time to approve written content. At that stage, the process might help to be front and center and explained.

Recommended reading: Storyteller over content creator

Great journalists and content marketing journalists can create this relationship experience authentically in seconds and build relationships for the longterm. It helps them get those stories that people care about and it makes those telling the stories feel valued. 

It’s okay to have a process, just don’t burden our interviees with true behind-the-scenes stuff. They mostly just need to know that you will tell their stories accurately. 

Recommended reading: Having a ghostwriter does not hurt authenticity 


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Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe and I'm the Vice President of Content Marketing Strategy, Americas, at ScribbleLive, which is based in Toronto and is a global content marketing software company. Before I started at ScribbleLive I was VP of Content Marketing and Conversion at MedTouch, a Boston-based company that helps healthcare organizations with digital marketing. 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 ctrappe@christophtrappe.com 319-389-9853

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