âContent is kingâ has become a mantra for many social media marketers and website creators in todayâs online environment. While this has become an undisputed point, two questions inevitably follow: what kind of content is best? How do you create content about which people will care? Here are the top two discoveries social media evangelist Ron Ploof made at 2011âs Confab: The Content Strategy Conference when he asked the 60 content creators in attendance for their top-three things they wanted to learn:
- Storytelling is top â When asked what they wanted to learn from the Confab session âContent Rules: How to Create Content People Really Care About,â the No. 1 response from attendees was âFinding and Telling Stories.â Combine those votes with the ones for two additional story-related categories â âConnecting Stories to Businessâ and âVoice: Brand/Content Balanceâ â and 61 percent of the attendees wanted help with storytelling. This is no great surprise. People are wired to connect better with stories than with abstract principles. As Ploofâs said before, people have the attention span of a gnat online. However, if you find a way to present your companyâs story that will captivate the audienceâs attention and imagination, connecting with them in a real, personal way, then you can extend that gnat-like attention span. âThe best online content creators combine the power of storytelling with education to tap into a reservoir of dormant attention,â Ploof said.
- Executives need educatingâ Those in social media circles tend to think that by this point in time, the benefits of social media are a given. However, the audienceâs desire for help with convincing executives that social media is an opportunity instead of a burden shows thereâs still a need to show why it matters â it was the second-most requested topic from attendees. The questions they asked are enlightening as well. Ploof lists a few, including how to âfocus execs so they/we can prioritize which story to tellâ and âhow to get execs to respect content development as a skill (and non-execs too)?â Content creation is a craft and skill that requires patience and creativity â it canât be churned out, but itâs worth the wait when executed well. A large part of content creation is storytelling, as mentioned above. It seems like executives will either say they have no real story to tell or theyâll want to tell too many stories at once â famine or feast, so to speak. Help them learn to pace the process, prioritizing on what story is most important to tell the message and get the results they want right now.