When I tell people I’m a content strategist and storyteller, they often pause, narrow their eyebrows and say, “Oh, so you’re a writer?”
That’s partially correct. I am a writer, but effective content strategy involves much more than the ability to tell a compelling story. An experienced content strategist will help you create a measurable plan for publishing content that supports your business goals. That requires expertise in communications, marketing, advertising and data analysis, as well as project management and resource allocation.
The key word is “measurable.” Content strategists use a variety of tools to evaluate what works best in engaging and motivating your audiences. A strategist will also ensure that all of your content – regardless of where it’s published – reinforces your brand tone and key messages.
Who Needs A Content Strategist?
The short answer is pretty much everyone. Every business and organization – from the large corporation to the local nonprofit or mom-and-pop small business – is a publisher of content. Your website = content. Your Facebook page = content. Your email newsletter = content. Your blog = content. The power lies in developing and executing a plan for using all of this content to tell your authentic story and to develop relationships with your audiences.
Here are a few examples of the types of solutions content strategy offers:
A nonprofit wants to cultivate better relationships with donors and encourage future giving. A content strategist develops a quarterly newsletter that features stories of impact that inform donors about how their generosity is changing lives.
A medical center is offering the latest treatment option in cardiac care and wants to educate its audience about how the treatment works and who can benefit from it. A content strategist develops a plan for producing a series of videos, blogs and social media posts that lead audience members to a landing page where they can submit questions and their contact information for follow-up.
A small business owner wants to establish a larger and more engaged following on social media, but faces resource challenges. She isn’t sure who within the organization should be responsible for posting to social media or where the content will come from. A content strategist helps her develop a plan that identifies roles and responsibilities, reliable sources of content and a strategy for incorporating paid advertising.
Those examples come from my experience and from other professionals I know, but the possibilities are endless because your unique story, challenges and business goals drive the strategy.
Storytelling + Strategy = Success
Content strategy and storytelling work hand in hand. You have to have both to achieve extraordinary results. Facts and figures do not move people to action. Only stories have that power. Through storytelling, you hone in on your impact – the reason you exist.
Storytelling isn’t traditional marketing. It’s not about selling, but rather, offering your audience something of value through content that engages, inspires, entertains, educates or simply makes people feel good about doing business with you.
If all of this sounds like a lot of fun, it is. It’s also fascinating. Because of advances in digital technology and social media, businesses and organizations today have more opportunities to tell their own story without going through a traditional gatekeeper.
With an experienced content strategist on your side, you can take your story directly to your audience and see immediate impact.