4 Industries to Poach Brand Storytellers From for your Content Marketing Org
August 18, 2017
I recently wrote about how some brands are stuck in the past and can’t seem to shake old habits, like creating “ads” and “spots” that interrupt consumers and offer no value.
It’s hard to transform a brand that’s stuck in its ways, with senior executives that don’t understand the changing media landscape, who still think consumers want to hear about features and benefits vs engaging with content that informs, entertains, and solves problems.
Remember when Blockbuster passed up the opportunity to buy Netflix for 50 million and their CEO said ““I’ve been frankly confused by this fascination that everybody has with Netflix …Netflix doesn’t really have or do anything that we can’t or don’t already do ourselves.”
A lot of traditional marketers sound similar, not understanding how content marketing, brand storytelling, and influencer marketing can create content that people want, how it can win the hearts, minds, and wallets of consumers, and how it can transform marketing from a cost center to a revenue center.
Brands that refuse to innovate are the same brands that become irrelevant to consumers.
I’m not saying that content marketing should be your only strategy. It shouldn’t, but it should be a big part of your overall marketing mix. If you’re going to interrupt consumers with “ads” or even content for that matter, you’d better provide value and interrupt them at the right time, right place, and on the right device.
Before you start producing content though, you need to design an effective content marketing organization and hire the right people.
I’ve built three content studios for global media companies and brands and it’s completely different from any other type of organization. Hopefully, you’re starting from scratch. One global brand I am working with today on content marketing org design already has 14 different departments creating content, using different strategies, different technology, and they don’t talk to each other. It’s not pretty.
I’ll be sharing my tips on how to design content marketing orgs later, but here are my top tips on who to hire and what industries to hire from.
I always advocate that a content marketing org should be centralized. There should be one team (call it what you want) that leads your brands strategy – locally to globally.
Assuming that, here are the four types of people to hire and where to find them:
Journalists and Reporters. They are classically trained storytellers by trade. If you’re launching a brand publication, magazine, or editorially driven content, here’s who you need to hire for a variety of roles. Look at writers and editors from magazines, newspapers, and websites in the particular vertical you are developing content for. It’s important to find journalists that understand social media, publishing platforms, and can learn how to make the brand a natural part of the stories.
News Producers. They know how to craft stories. Where to find them, story structure, and how to do it fast. They are natural storytellers too, but they think in real time and are used to producing content under tight deadlines and in the moment. Look both at local news and national news outlets. If you’re launching a daily show or a social media command center, news producers are an excellent choice. Just like journalists, they need to understand the current media landscape.
Entertainment Industry Creative Exec’s. Story is there thing. A creative development executive typically work at television networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, etc) or TV or Film Studios. They know how to produce content that pull viewers in every week. If you’re launching a content studio and looking to produce long form content like brand films, documentaries, webisodes, etc, look no further.
Publicists. PR professionals spent their career getting journalists to engage with their pitches, so they know a thing or two about how to create content that gets a response and entertains and informs the audience. Look in both agencies and independent PR shops for these type of storytellers. If you’re looking to produce CSR, Employer Brand, or Corporate stories and content, look here. It doesn’t mean they can’t fit into other roles, but I’ve seen them thrive in these areas.Don’t forget to look within your organization, in different departments, too. Look at places you wouldn’t expect like HR or CSR. I’ve found natural marketers who have totally adopted content marketing and understand the power of brand storytelling, but might be in a different role or department.
Good luck and congrats on getting the budget to launch a content marketing org. If you need help in designing your org, evaluating the current org, or finding people to hire, please let me know. Our team has workshops that can help bring it too life.