There I was, coming around again (as Arlo Guthrie might say) and bone dry. I needed to write my blog post early so I could leave for Florida before the next [$@#*&%] snowstorm hit New York, and nary an idea in sight.
So I did what anyone under 85 in 2013 does: I trolled the Internet for inspiration. And boy, did I find it. Or rather, it found me.
"Why is what you are working on important?”
“How are you improving lives?”
“It’s not about you: How do you help others do something in a compelling way they could not do before?”
“Story is a defensible business strategy.”
“Narrative is the supporting infrastructure for your brand.”
“Why matters: Storytelling, having a voice, and the ongoing narrative is a reflection of your company’s heart and soul.”
“It becomes the body of work that helps you recruit talent, attract investors, customers, build partnerships, and be discovered by the media.”
“The media is your first market … to share and tell your story. So the media is your customer.”
And there it was: the essential values, the strategies, the tactics and the raison d’etre of content marketing, wrapped up in 108 words (643 characters, with spaces), extracted like DNA from a brilliant 79-slide deck and the proteins recombined by me into the flow above. Sure, it’s cryptic. But if you don’t grok it—if you can’t fill in the blanks—just get another line of work. You’re not likely ever to achieve authentic, inspired branded content. Find another mission that does inspire you.
Best of all is the serendipity, value and power of great content in social networks that this incident represents. This inspirational reminder of why I do content marketing for activated companies arrived in my email inbox at 4:16 p.m. last Sunday afternoon, literally while I was Googling around for branded content inspiration. I received it because I’m Facebook friends with Alan Weinkrantz, who presented the aforesaid deck on March 20, 2013, at a conference in New Orleans and decided to upload it to SlideShare. Social networking algorithms did the rest.
Alan’s deck rocks, with more sage advice than I can fit in 10 posts, in brief axioms bursting with clear purpose. If you do content marketing, if you oversee content marketers, if you’re in any business and want to connect better with customers, investors, the media, I strongly urge you to follow that link, as I did, and get sucked in.