If you have the word “marketing” in your email signature, chances are you’re feeling some pressure. Marketers are being pushed to deliver leads, hit revenue goals and show the results of their work. As an agency marketer, I feel the same squeeze. I want my work to help clients grow their business. I write for audience personas, I edit with an eye on brand standards, and I’m part of conversations every day about demand gen, conversions and lead source.
I’m in charge of marketing for our own brand, and I know the thrill of new leads and list growth. I’m with you.
But here’s the thing. If you’re creating interesting work, you can’t tie every word to an outcome. For content marketers, blog posts are a good example. When you write sales-focused blog posts that are directly tied to your product features, value proposition and brand promise, you miss something important. You suck the story out of the marketing.
Marketing needs a story to be interesting. If you’re telling a real story about real people, it’s going to be messy. Real stories that people want to read don’t tie up nicely into a perfect brand promise. They have loose ends. They have non sequiturs that aren’t directly related to what you’re trying to sell. That’s what makes them interesting.
So if your boss is breathing down your neck about your value proposition, or if you ever think about changing someone else’s story so it better aligns with the brand you’re trying to build, stop and ask yourself: Am I telling an authentic story? Does this make the story more interesting?
Because at the end of the day, marketers are selling stories. If you think about your job as a storyteller, you’ll end up with better stories that are more likely to win over your audience and create a brand people care about.