People need a break from the monsoon of pitches, pop-ups and 30-second spots.

umbrella represents flood of advertisingA well-executed content marketing campaign can be their umbrella. It might not stop the rain, but it’ll make them grateful they aren’t getting soaked.

That analogy informs my approach to writing or editing for a client. When I’m researching for a blog post, ebook, white paper or whatever the format may be, I’m thinking: What makes people grateful that this company exists?

If you can earn people’s gratitude, you’re on your way to winning their trust. And once you have their trust, you’re most of the way to having their business.

My business is making that happen for your business.

My 4 core components of content marketing

The forest of books, websites, podcasts and blogs about content marketing can be whittled down to four key elements:

1. People

The famous saying goes, “you don’t sell to companies, you sell to people.” Content marketers blend the specialties of advertising and publishing to make a connection with the people most likely to buy what you’re selling.

No matter how technical, arcane or specialized your business is, your content marketing should be conveyed in a personal, conversational style. And it can be if you choose the right people (like, you know, me).

2. Processes

My writing is one piece of a digital marketing mosaic that includes social media updates, search engine optimization, email newsletters, blog distribution networks, content partnerships, pay-per-click ads and outreach to online communities where your customers gather.

In addition to writing, publishing involves subject matter expert interviews, ideation, planning, design, imagery, scheduling, editing and approvals. Note that content marketing has to be ongoing — it’s not driven by campaigns in the traditional advertising sense.

3. Strategy

Content marketing falls apart without a comprehensive plan guiding your efforts. It’s best to write it down in concise and precise terms. Your strategy must be able to answer a simple question: Why? That is, why are you using content rather than some other promotional venue? It also must state the tactics you’ll use, the data you’ll track and the objectives you hope to accomplish.

4. Stories

There’s a story to tell about everything your company does. Stories can show people how to use the most advanced features of your products. They can reveal the insights of your most talented people. They can answer questions and guide customers through their buyers’ journey.

All through your storytelling, you’re creating and nurturing a sense of gratitude in your audience. If your blog updates, how-to videos and email newsletters provide fresh insights that make people thankful that they signed up, they’re going to be much closer to the place where they can trust you with their money.

Making it all happen

Storytelling is not just my job. It’s in my blood and bones.

I’ve been immersed in stories since childhood and publishing them for more than 30 years. So, naturally, I’m invested in the ideal that storytelling is the most vital link in content marketing.

And it is, by any measure. But just as a newspaper needs a newsroom, a circulation department, a printing press and a team of truck drivers to deliver the hottest news stories, a content marketing initiative requires everybody to do their jobs well and every process to come off with a minimum of hitches.

My first aim will always be great stories, well told. But my second priority will always be to respect the roles of everyone in the content marketing ecosystem. It all works best when everybody works together.

Now you know where I stand. If you’d like me to do all this for your company, visit my contact page to set up your free consultation.