Leadspace Radio

Leadspace Radio header image 1

How do I make this easily understood to the reader?

March 4, 2015
We love to read anything Ann Handley writes, now she shares how even we can write better. Ann shares secrets to great content in her latest book, Everybody Writes, Your Go-To Guide for Creating Ridiculously Good Content.
Show highlights include:
Steve: That’s really interesting. You said “content that creates an experience”. How is that different from what somebody would traditionally think about as content?
Ann: There is this notion that the content equals articles and blog posts and sometimes videos maybe, things that start and finish but I think increasingly, with all these tools that we have available, we can create content that does deliver more of an experiencen to the people we want to talk to. I think in marketing, that word “experience” is a littlebit, I am almost allergic to it sometimes.
Steve: It’s a little cliché, right.
Ann: It’s so cliché but yet a lot of people don’t really know what it means. What does that mean to deliver more of an experience with our products and services? At least from a 
content perspective, I think it means giving people tools to do things and not just articles; again, not just things that start and finish but giving them tools to do things that they can interact with things, giving them content gifts, I don’t mean that literally but sort of metaphorically where they are able to maybe take your video and you slide share or whatever and take it home and put it on their own sites or their own properties or whatever but ultimately giving them something that they can do something with and not just read. 
Reading is fun obviously I am a writer and I have great respect for that but I also think that we also have to think beyond just things that start and finish, beyond articles.
After the break you'll hear:
Ann, you say in the introduction of your book, “What matters now isn’t storytelling. What matters is telling actual story well.” So what’s the difference?
Ann: So I think the idea of storytelling as it applies to brands into content marketing, for me it really does conjure up bedtime books and fairytales and I don’t think we want to be talking about storytelling as brands. I don’t think brand storytelling is really as empowering as thinking about telling a true story well. I mean it’s a little bit of a play on words but I think it can be incredibly empowering to think about telling your story so telling your true story really, really well. 
It doesn’t mean making up scenarios, it doesn’t mean subbing in actors for real customers; it means using real people, real situations to the degree that you can to tell the true story really, really well. It means that you focus on the writing, the words that you are using because words as I write in Everybody writes, our emissaries; they tell people who you are, they can make you seem super smart, they can make you seem really stupid and I want companies to really think carefully about the words that they are using to tell their story most effectively. So pay attention. Really use those words because words are so powerful as we all know. Really use the words that best convey what you are trying to convey to your customers.
Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer for MarketingProfs, author of Everybody Writes(September 2014) and co-author of Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (Wiley, Late 2010). Ann has a passion for building community, particularly in using new media tools to broaden and build value. Previously, Ann was the co-founder of ClickZ.com, one of the first sources of interactive marketing news and commentary.