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Content Marketing: A Modern Day Bard
Posted on March 22nd 2014
All fantasy role-play geeks recognize the bard. And unlike most people, they’re not fooled by that weak looking, poet singing, mandolin carrying traveler. Bards have been known for their wide array of knowledge to survive during medieval times with not only instruments and weapons, but knowledge as well. The historical bard had played a role in sharing not just British, Irish, or Scottish but all of European culture.
How did they do it? Mostly in the same way today’s B2B marketers these days gather and share information all over.
See, all Celtic bards share the history of archiving historical documents and telling stories. They travel around for a long time, carrying with them vast knowledge during a time where isolation was still an issue when it came to the spreading of information.
Most of the bards in the past have been acknowledged for their keen memory and quick observational skills. These same skills were used even by the ruling monarchs. Coupled with their charismatic voices and creative storytelling, they made an easy job of approaching the masses with political messages.
B2B marketing is the same minus the political agenda. The history of the bard only goes to show that corporate storytelling isn’t all that new. Using presentations and books to tell a company’s great history is a more widespread practice as opposed to promoting products.
On the other hand, it’s still hard to find brands that do it well enough.
For one thing, it’s technically impossible for marketers to create enough original, quality material for each channel every day. Many rely on content creation to help build brand awareness and generate leads via social media and email marketing.
Yet the convenience of sharing stories had caused floods of content across every type of channel, where marketers are spending a lot of time creating with little return. The wrong content or old news content would most likely just fall on deaf ears due to hasty creation and distribution. It’s those mistakes that are compromising the results of content marketing campaigns.
Fortunately, it’s not like change isn’t happening. Whether its Cisco’s The Network, GE’s GE Reports or Boeing’s site, companies have created dynamic newsrooms that discuss topics on social media, share videos and data, as well as closer collaboration with journalists. As content marketing and brand journalism takes hold, better corporate storytelling examples have emerged, especially in B2B marketing where sales cycles are longer and the need to engage your audience is crucial.