The Power of Great Content


August 28, 2012

Once upon a time….

You know how the rest goes. Whether it’s a beautiful young girl tricked by a witch, a brother and sister lured into a forest with a gingerbread house, or a longhaired maiden locked in a tower waiting for her prince, we all know how the story ends—happily ever after.

Does your story always end happily ever after? Because it should. Whether you’re battling the evils of careless Facebook posts and uninteresting blog writing, or banishing bland content from your advertising campaign and web copy, everyone benefits in the end when you are victorious with good, solid content.

What is it that makes great content and why is it so necessary for your business? While we’re on the topic of fairytales, the Brothers Grimm can answer that one for you. Their stories have kept generations captivated for centuries. So let’s take a page from their storybook, along with some other literary greats, and find out how the power of great content keeps people coming back for more.

You might say that there is no place for “storytelling” in business. It’s a no frills, no nonsense, let’s get down to, well, business type of attitude. This is where you’re wrong. The content you produce whether in the form of an ad, direct mailer, brochure, blog, website, or any kind of copy, should tell a story because your ultimate goal is to connect with your reader and your potential consumer. Sure, your content probably doesn’t involve mythical creatures in faraway lands, but it does need to have an established voice, catchy headline, good flow and rhythm, and most definitely a beginning, middle, and end.

How many evil witches, princes, forests, and finger prickings can there really be? A lot, actually. While you may not be producing content that’s never been touched on before, remember that putting your own spin on things is what makes for great content. Flex those creativity muscles and be that fearless prince.

Intrigue and Suspense
When you read a good story do you often forget you’re reading? It’s almost as if a movie were playing inside your mind, right? This means the author has done their job. You’re captivated and curious, so you continue on. If you’re informed and entertained, tip your hat to the copywriters, content marketers, and bloggers of your business for a job well done.

Happy Endings
Your story doesn’t have to start with “once upon a time,” but it should end “happily ever after.” Can you imagine if Sleeping Beauty didn’t wake up after the prince kissed her? Or what if Rapunzel just sat there with her hair hanging out of the tower forever? Your content has to have a happy ending in the form of solving the reader’s problem, answering their questions, giving them reasons why, and/ or teaching them something—you have to give your audience what they want.

Moral of the story
What is the overall message—whether it is outright thrown in your face or hinted at—what’s the point? Fairytales tend to be blunt with their morals, but fables are the real message senders or “soft sellers.” Think of Aesop, that industrious ant, and that oh so idle grasshopper. It was never declared that we should prepare for things and not be lazy, but rather implied throughout the story, culminating with a starving grasshopper. These soft sells or soft calls to action can be highly effective. Clever, witty, and imaginative often fares better than hitting your audience over the head with something, but don’t always shy away from the ostentatious hard sell. The medium you are producing content for often dictates whether to hard sell or soft sell. You would never hard sell on Facebook or in a blog, but a website or ad would be very appropriate for that whack on the consumer’s head.

On that note, the moral to this story is good content will always prevail in the end. Remember that content is king and you need to rock that content crown. By consistently producing quality content, you create brand advocates. And those brand advocates are certainly going to share your story, and then you know what happens? We all live happily ever after.

The end.