Narratives and Content Marketing Strategies

I may have mentioned this before, but content is where it’s at. Content is becoming so important that the content associated with a good or service is as important as the actual good or service.

It seems truer now more than ever that people want to get a sense of who a company is based on how they sell their products. Sure, we all know the history of the famous Sears catalog, and we know how instrumental that catalog was to Sear’s brand.

But what is it about content that reels people in?

Part of the discussion has to do with competition. If two companies are selling the same product, they have to find a way to get their product noticed. Sure, companies can rely on the quality of their product, and perhaps even word-of-mouth, but that may or may not get people through the door initially. Further, that does not guarantee customer loyalty.  This is where a sound marketing strategy comes helps.

What matters is the narrative a business creates about itself, and the narratives a business can generate for its customers. Content is not just about the object or service on sale. It is about the culture created based on the content of the narratives created.

Advertising is a brand of storytelling.
Advertising is brand storytelling.

The latest round of posts will feature students diving into this storytelling schematic.

For this new assignment, students were asked to create a content marketing strategy for a local business here in Gainesville, Florida. This will be a multi-faceted approach to marketing that will feature a long piece (800 words or more), a short piece (think press release), and a presentation. The end goal is for students to come up with creative and topical ways to sell a business via a stratgic-content campaign.

Our class blog will feature some of their long pieces. It will be interesting to see what kind of narratives they create.

-KRW

P.S. feature image is Photo by Kaboompics .com

What We Do

Content is king! I’m sure everyone has heard this little pearl more than once from a variety of sources. The idea is a staple of marketing firms and news organizations across the globe. Bill Gates famously penned an essay about it in the naught ages of the 1990s.

“Content,” he writes, “is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the internet, just as it was in broadcasting.” He was right.

In the early days of the internet, having something to write or promote promised you popularity and financial success. Now, not so much. In the age before social media, content was king; now, it has been demoted. We are living in a time where we are saturated with content, and not all of it is good.

Content can range from very informative to very ridiculous. In between that, you have multiple people peddling the same content over and over again. So, who, or rather what determines the winners and the losers?

Move over content; here comes the Queen: Branding. (Queen B!)

Branding makes all the difference. Think about it: How many lifestyle blogs are there? Why do some deserve our attention and others deserve, in the parlance of the day,  “to be paid dust?”

Branding.

How many ways can you make guacamole? Far fewer ways than there are blogs about it, but there are still people willing to read specific blogs that tell them how to do very generic things. It’s all about the spin.

This blog will not follow that trend. What we will do is observe how it’s done. We will look at various branding strategies and analyze, comment, and, in some cases, critique those strategies.

Since this is a class blog, it will feature posts from people working out what works about marketing, advertising, and branded content, and what doesn’t. We will take a critical approach to understanding the relation between product/idea and consumer.

Hopefully, what we all learn from working on this blog will help us to create and promote branded content that is both useful and beneficial.

Upwards and onwards!

-R