Creating content: The art of knowing and telling your stories

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In some respects, it is easy to create compelling content. Just put your stories — the ideas you express naturally about your business, clients, and their experiences — into words or video or (better) have your clients tell their thoughts?about how you served them well (testimonials). In most cases, slickness isn’t necessary. A testimonial shared with a cell phone camera will be far more effective than a professionally produced narrative video where you describe all of your business accomplishments with the stereotypical marketing platitudes.

For professional businesses, providing useful information about your speciality, in the form of white papers, reprints of published articles by your experts, and other resources, can provide evergreen content and generate credibility.

Finally, of course, there is the blog, which combines some degree of personalization and human touch with the ideas expressed above, with some regular frequency — perhaps once a week, or maybe more often.

You can contract with professional writers/videographers to produce the content and this may be a worthwhile budget item, funded by diverting advertising dollars you might have spent on other media.

(Did I say that? Our business earns the bulk of its revenue through advertising sales. However, we provide an integrated service, with advertising, content, and effective curation and placement advice in social and other media as well as our own publications. If you are in Canada or one of our regional US markets please connect with me at for more details.)

There are three fundamental rules regarding content creation.

Make sure it is consistent with your brand. This doesn’t mean straightjacketing your words into “brand-approved” clich?s. More, it means that the ideas should reflect your true underlying values and vision.

The content should be client rather than self-centred. Yes, you can brag about your accomplishments to some extent; it is okay and human to be proud of genuine accomplishments. But no one really wants to hear about your marketing message. Everyone wants to hear about themselves.

Finally, while the content doesn’t need to be technically perfect, you should have the basics right. The grammar should be good and (unless you are serving a niche where inappropriateness is truly appropriate) you should ensure it is family friendly. It is wise?to have someone with good English knowledge to proofread your words.

Note that the content you create won’t necessarily have immediate impact. It can take search engines time for the word to spread, and in any case, you aren’t trying to rush a “buy now today” message here. Rather you are demonstrating expertise, empathy, and trustworthiness, the key elements in successful ongoing marketing initiatives.

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