By Sally Saville Hodge
I was nosing around the Web, looking for a good, succinct definition of “content” that anyone (or the vast majority of the population that doesn’t do marketing or PR) can understand. See, these days, I’m not exactly a PR person. Or a marketer. I’m really a content creator who, by the way, also has a lot of experience at getting said content noticed.
So in my search, I found a description of content that I liked: “It’s all the stuff on your website.” You know. The copy that describes what you do, how you do it and who you do it for. Case studies. White papers. Press releases. Articles. Presentations. Videos. Photos. And it’s not just the stuff on your website. It’s what you Tweet or post on Facebook or LinkedIn or YouTube, in any sort of form. It’s stuff you drive out to people as much as stuff you hope they’ll visit you and your site to find.
“Content creation” is not a hard concept to grasp. Actually, “content” is not only pretty self-explanatory a term (certainly more elegant than “stuff”), but it also covers a lot of ground. That’s what makes it so ideal for encapsulating today’s Big Communications Strategy for winning the hearts and minds of customers, influencers and anyone else who matters.
So you would think. And yet every time I try to tell people who are not in my field what I do (as in, “I create content for business clients.”) I am greeted with blank stares and, inevitably, the question: “What’s ‘content’?”
Perhaps I should quit calling myself a “content creator,” even though I take great delight in its alliterative ring.
But say you’re a “writer” and people are equally flummoxed. You get the sympathetic looks that are typically directed toward starving artists. (I’m neither starving nor do I think of myself as an artist.) Or the eager, “What have you written? Maybe I’ve read your work?” (Not likely, unless you happened upon my poor, neglected blogs or have a taste for business white papers.)
So I moved on to “business writer,” thinking further clarification was in order. In fact, it caused further confusion. “You mean, like, for The Wall Street Journal?” Ah, that would be no.
I don’t know that I’ll ever have my so-called elevator pitch down pat. So that I like it and people (preferably paying clients) get it. But if you have a story or stories to tell and need help putting the words together in a way that’s true to your voice, I may just be your gal.