I have an another full-time job that most people don’t know about. I’m the Executive Pastor of my church – Monroe Nazarene. I work 8 or so hours with Pushing Social clients, have dinner, hangout and recharge, and work another 4-5 hours as a Pastor. My job as a pastor has taught me to always pay attention to the story behind the smile (or the frown).
Let me explain –
People go to church for specific reasons.
The reasons could range from wanting to be a better husband, providing their children with a spiritual foundation or finding the purpose for their lives. However, people don’t walk through the door of the church wearing a name tag explaining their intentions. It’s up to the pastors to connect and learn the person’s motives through what they say. We look for the story.
Many times I’ve made incorrect assumptions about people because I ignored their story.
The same happens in business, specifically with content marketing.
You see, we are quick to write a blog post, invest in the latest tool or platform, or launch a new product. This stuff feels good because we’re taking action. The problem is that we’ve overlooked the stories that are driving reader behavior.
For example, one client wants to turn his blog into a news magazine that will eventually become a source of income. Thankfully, we are starting this transformation process with talking with potential readers. Our goal is to find the common stories that underly the need for more information. Our questions probe the readers needs and desires for the future. We’ve given the reader a chance to outline specific topics so that we can use their input to shape our content for the rest of the year.
The story is the foundation for relevant content.
Another client is slowly rewriting the story of Detroit. Detroit, in the past, has been the favorite example of urban decay and neglect. But, in the last decade the people of Detroit has worked hard on a comeback. The same gritty, practical, determination that is honed in struggle is being used to elevate an entire city.
The team at the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau have invested in a wide range of tools and platforms to support their mission. But, they make a point of anchoring their content in the real-life, day-to-day stories of Detroit business owners and residents. Their communications feel like a conversation versus advertising. This spirit permeates every social media update, blog post, and magazine ad.
The Road to Brilliant Content
Describe one person who reads your content religiously.
What is their story? Why do they give up 5 minutes regularly to enjoy your content?
Why would they share your content? What are they hoping to achieve in 2016?
Take this insight and craft your content calendar.
Create and deploy a Reader Survey if you don’t have in-depth reader information. Believe me, the time spent on the survey will save hours of wasted effort creating the wrong content.
Believe me, the time spent on the survey will save hours of wasted effort creating the wrong content.
Register for the Content Toolbox (if you aren’t already a member) to access our video guide on creating an effective Reader Survey. This in-depth video tutorial will get you moving in the right direction.