Sometimes content marketers and their writers get lucky. A client who has diverse blog content needs is a near-ideal situation, particularly if the topic matter is fresh, new, and ever-changing. I specify blog content, because the downside to this situation would be spending exorbitant amounts of money to continually produce other assets, like brochures, ebooks, one-pagers, and the like.
Typically, we, as writers, are not blessed with that type of “unicorn” client. The task is to take one or two main subjects, and churn out four, eight, and in some cases sixteen blogs a month—on those same topics.
How can you say the same thing, without saying the same thing?
Take the Reader on a Journey
“If we miss connecting with the human spirit, we fail.”
In my general bio (on this site, LinkedIn, professional website, etc.), I describe myself as a “content chameleon.” I’ve been fortunate throughout my many years of writing to work on a number of projects, from children’s books and poetry to screenplays and a one-woman show.
There’s one element that runs throughout all of those content pieces: story.
Now, you might say, “I write for an entity that’s cut-and-dry; a buttoned-up product/service that requires buttoned-up copy. There’s no room for storytelling.” My answer is, you likely have a skewed vision of what storytelling actually is.
What it isn’t: weaving in anecdotes or presenting messaging as “light-hearted.”
What it IS: taking your reader on a journey that keeps them invested in and attracted to your message.
The Formidable Power of Creativity
I may have referenced this article before, but I’ll mention it again because it spoke so strongly to me about the importance of creativity in content—no matter the industry. The author, Chris Ross, makes the argument for storytelling’s influence in the pharmaceutical arena. Yep, the industry that must disclaim pages and pages of potential side effects for any given drug. Talk about the very definition of “buttoned-up.”
“The formidable power of creativity can often be overlooked, undervalued and unexplored.”
Ross states, “Commentators claim that creativity is the most powerful competitive advantage a business has, possessing the unique ability to change minds and change behaviors. And yet… the formidable power of creativity can often be overlooked, undervalued, and unexplored.”
He goes on to say the underlying foundation that supports the idea of creativity and storytelling in content marketing is humanizing the customer experience. If we miss connecting with the human spirit, we fail.
Ease the Reader’s Experience
In my writing, I try to make that connection in the first couple of sentences. It might be with an analogy, an example, or an anecdote (they can be appropriate in many situations). And, the kick-off to my story may not even be a pain point related to the blog topic but rather a pain point of real life; something pretty much any audience member could relate to.
“How can you say the same thing, without saying the same thing?”
This doesn’t mean I won’t cover all the necessary aspects of the topic matter, or match it with the company’s messaging. I just try to do it in a way that’s interesting, relatable, and makes it easy on the reader. My hope is that one gets to the end of the blog and thinks, “Huh. I learned something and it wasn’t painful.”
I’ve never been one to claim I could “teach” others how to write better, or more creatively, or in a more engaging way. But I really do think if you could look at the assignments in front of you as a new story, or a new chapter of the same book, it will become easier to do exactly what most of us are tasked with: saying the same thing without saying the same thing.