Curated by KOTAW Returns!
If you’re wondering why it’s been a little bit quiet here on the KOTAW blog, the answer is because it’s been very noisy (and chaotic!) in the KOTAW household. My KOTAW Girl Gang (daughters Bri and Kelsey, Brand Ambassador Pit Bull Ivy, Poodle Doodle LuLu, Kitten-Cat Doosis, and me!) has been invaded (in the most loving way possible) by (gasp!) a BOY!
His name is Nooby and he’s been our houseguest for over a month. Soon there will be a blog in his honor on storytelling here on the KOTAW blog (did I mention Nooby’s a dog?!) but until then, I am honored to curate a KOTAWesome podcast from Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute.
But first I have to give credit to my wonderful social media friend Alisa Meredith of Scalable Social Media (one of the Superheroes of the KOTAWesome “Superheroes of Marketing” podcast) for suggesting I publish on the KOTAW site the comment I left on the Content Marketing Institute after I listened to Robert and Joe’s podcast, This Week in Content Marketing: Is Google+ Finally Dead? Well, Not Really.)
It made my day when Joe answered me to say that what I wrote was the “Best Comment Ever!”
And it made me giddy when Alisa wrote me privately about my comment on the CMI podcast to say “You put the whole thing into words so well (no surprise)” and then suggested I republish what I said on my website!
So stay tuned for lessons in storytelling inspired by the one BOY in the KOTAW Gang!
And for now, I give to you, my thoughts on Robert and Joe’s must-listen-to podcast!
Does Google Need Lessons in Storytelling?
Podcasting is the trendy new thing in digital marketing, but buying expensive recording equipment and microphones does not a podcast personality make!
It takes maybe ten minutes to read your blog but half an hour to an hour to listen to your podcast, so you really better make make it worth our time, and as always, CMI does just that!
Here are my favorite take-aways from a funny and brilliant podcast:
“Google is not telling their story.”
Says Robert, Chief Strategist at the Content Marketing Institute.
And I say, what a PERFECT way to put it!
There was this “breaking news” last month that Google Plus is dead, then articles that are vague at best as to what the new Google Plus plan (or lack thereof) is, and then it just seems like there was never any news to begin with and everything is business as usual on Google Plus because, as Robert Rose said, there was no actual story!
And having no story doesn’t really create the mystique that Google may or may not have intended. It just kind of leads to apathy and (another great quote of Robert’s) “letting the story write them,” which as he says, is “just bad marketing.”
We Want a Story and We Want it NOW
In the digital marketing age, the public wants to know what’s going on — and we want immediate answers.
Google may get away with not providing the answers right away because they’re Google, but any other corporation that doesn’t have immediate answers to customer questions (i.e.: Why is my dog food brand being pulled off the shelves? What is the danger?”) is simply not going to survive in an age where customers instantly tweet and post that their dog got sick from the food before a memo has even been circulated around the entire corporation, before the company even knows what the problem is.
The public wants answers as quickly as it takes to send a tweet — and we want the story. If a company is not providing us with quick answers and a story, we switch to a company that will.
Again, Google can get away with more of their “mystique” than other companies could, but a lot of big-name corporations are going under because they simply weren’t able to tell their story and adapt to the “instant” needs customers in the digital age now have.
And smaller companies who are telling their story and telling it well — AND being instantly responsive to customer needs on social platforms, are taking the business from the big-name companies who haven’t adapted.
Justin Bieber versus The Beatles: Who Has the Better Content?
Robert and Joe had me laughing out loud with their Justin Bieber and The Beatles comparison — more people are searching online for Bieber right now, but does that mean he has the greater musical talent, does that make him more relevant?!
I think the Bieber/Beatles comparison is the perfect metaphor for popularity versus good content that is evergreen.
If only everyone could realize like Robert and Joe that it’s the “best content, not the MOST content” that matters.
People churn out awful content every day in the name of content marketing, people share this awful content every day in the name of content curation, and most people never read the garbage before sharing because it’s too awful to get through. Yet the cycle continues.
Content Marketing is a Product
Says Joe — and I am in LOVE with his analogy.
So many people think they can just develop a great product or idea and suddenly they should be millionaires (these are the clients I no longer take on here at KOTAW Content Marketing, because they just don’t “get” the process!)
Everyone should quote — and put to action — Joe’s “treat content marketing like a product” analogy because it epitomizes what content marketing is.
Like Joe so eloquently said, you don’t just create a product and then expect people and money to come to you. You have to come up with who your audience is, come up with how to distribute it, and then how to market it.
I was smiling from ear-to-ear as I listened to Joe say that if you develop a product, you invest in it for the long-haul.
Yet people want instant results with content marketing.
And often instant does happen (in three days of taking on a new client my KOTAW Girl Gang got this client listed as the “top” company in a prestigious publication simply by having a conversation over Twitter… and this kind of thing happens all the time) but anything good in life requires you to be all-in for the long-haul, and the same is true for content marketing.
Stop Writing Like You’re an Expert!
I have one more rave: Joe saying what a turn off it is when anyone writes like they’re an “expert.”
His advice for a much better way to get your content shared is fantastic: “Write like someone passionate about searching for the truth.”
So tell me, friends, what is YOUR truth? How long do you think Google can get away with not telling their story? DO YOU have a story to share about a positive or negative experience you’ve had with a company because they did or didn’t tell their story? If so, please share your tale with me in the comments section below! You know how much I love a good story!
PS: Are you looking to add storytelling to your business or personal brand? Check out my Content Marketing Institute Online Training Course, Living the Fairy Tale: How to Think Like a Storyteller (it includes my sweet pittie Ivy — and a horse too!) Or send me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org