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Kevin Spacey on why and how storytelling is key in content marketing

By Nicole Karlis | Small Business

Kevin Spacey at Content Marketing WorldKevin Spacey at Content Marketing WorldContent marketers are always thinking of innovative ways in which they can tell their brand’s story. This process of brainstorming ideas and ways to stand out from all the noise isn’t always easy to do though — especially in a space that is full of creative and intelligent professionals. At Content Marketing World 2014, keynote speaker and Scripted.com advisor Kevin Spacey — a passionate storyteller at heart — shared his thoughts and insights on what good storytelling truly entails. His remarks really underscored what all content marketers should be focused on as we move forward in this journey: create engaging and inspiring content, the kind that evokes emotion and lights people’s eyes up. Given that Spacey is a leader in original content (we have him to thank for our Netflix binge-watching sessions after all) it was only appropriate for Content Marketing World to close with his wise words about what really makes a good story to tell.

1. Create Conflict

First and foremost, in order to tell a riveting story it must include a good conflict. Conflict creates tension and tension keeps people engaged, according to Spacey. “Our stories become richer and become far more interesting when they go against the subtle order of things to achieve something different and effective,” he said in his speech. When it comes to conflict though, it must be genuine. The conflict should drive the overall story and affect how characters react. It should also inspire an audience to engage and react with the storyline.

See also: 5 Things You Can Do in 5 Minutes to Promote Your Content

2. Be Authentic

The second most important part of good storytelling is authenticity. He even quoted a fictional man well-known for speaking his mind to emphasize the importance of being authentic, House of Cards’ Frank Underwood: “There is no better way to overpower a trickle of doubt than with a flood of naked truth.” Spacey said when marketers embody a certain honesty they are more likely to create great campaigns. In order to be successful in content marketing, we must stay away from what’s predictable and already been done before. We have to be honest, genuine and stay true to our brand and voice. We also shouldn’t be afraid to take a risk and have a strong voice.

See also: How to Give a Content Writer Good Feedback

3. Value Your Audience

Finally, good storytelling can’t happen without valuing and understanding your audience. “As storytellers, we are nothing without our audiences. We must constantly strive to build our audiences and give them content worth sharing,” Spacey said. Good content marketers should always be listening and responding to their audience’s wants and needs. If we aren’t doing this, we’re just creating content to create content and contributing to the rest of the noise.

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