Content Creation … Writing … Storytelling: You Need the Right Words
In the digital age, it’s now called “content creation” because doing it well and in a way to attract attention requires skills in so many areas. Video, photography, Photoshop, building memes, broadcasting, recording, editing, post production, and on and on and on … the more you know how to do the more valuable you are in the world of digital communication.
Yet, I contend the foundation of all quality content creation is the ability to write well. The rules of writing are taught. No one is born knowing a complete sentence requires a subject noun and a verb. Understanding of the difference between a comma and a semicolon and when to use each is not instinctual.
Read 99.9 percent of social media posts and you may decide rules like spelling, punctuation, and grammar do not apply any more. Listen to supposedly educated people speak and it seems as though our language has substantially morphed – “I axed him …” and “It’s expecially so…”
Grade school (a.k.a. grammar school, by the way) is where the rules of writing and speaking are, or at least should be, taught. However, just knowing the rules doesn’t create a great, or even a good, writer. Drawing the right shapes in the right order on paper or inputting them into bits and bytes in the bowels of a computer isn’t good writing. Good writing and good content creation come down to using the learned rules to tell a story. The real skill of content creation of any kind is storytelling!
Whether you can teach storytelling is legitimately debatable, but there’s no doubt it’s a skill that can be improved by practice supported with lifelong learning. The more you know, the more you’ve experienced, the better storyteller you’ll be. Physicians and attorneys are said to “practice” their professions because the more they experience and the more new knowledge they assimilate the better they become at doctoring and lawyering.
Writers (a.k.a. storytellers) certainly “practice” their craft as well. The more we write, the more we read, the more of the world we experience to bring our work into context, the better stories we will tell.
While what the reader experiences in consuming good writing should make the creation process seem effortless, there are no lazy good writers. Writing is struggle. The “Global Language Monitor” reports there are 1,025,109.8 words in the English language. (Note to self: Find out what the eight tenths of a word is and make a point not to use it until the remaining two tenths are complete.) Within this lexicon there is a perfect word or combination of words for every story. The superb content creator must possess the tenacity to find them.
To this kind of writer, it’s a concept of beauty that the Sami people who live in the northern tips of Scandinavia have 1,000 words for “reindeer.” Because these animals are so integral to their culture and survival, it’s important precise words distinguish between a short, fat, female; an unmanageable female; and a reindeer whose antlers are short and branched. The same holds true with words for ice and snow among other Eskimo tribes.
The content creators – the writers – in the world of Primer 180 are the hub of our content marketing team. They take detailed input from our clients including market, audience, message, campaign requirements, history, experience, short-term and long-term goals, and much more and craft from it a painstakingly worded story to deploy through all the selected channels.
Choosing precisely the right words to tell your story is vital not only to the success of your content marketing campaign, but ultimately the growth and survival of your business as well. Select carefully the content creators you allow to tell your story and share generously all of the words and insight they will need to do it well.