Image by Chrysti Hydeck via Flickr CC.

Storytelling Advice from a Pro: Marketing Brown Bag No. 1

I recently put together a Marketing Brown Bag series at Rackspace, the #1 managed cloud company and the place where I’m a social media content marketer. The goal was to look at marketing trends, topics and best practices, but in a way that was inspired more by a SXSW panel rather than a stodgy corporate event. And the first event was to get storytelling advice from a pro—anyone who aspires to be a writer can benefit from this video.

The brown bag series was designed to be more of a grassroots effort rather than something mandated from above. Each session consists of a discussion with a guest (15 min) who can be either internal or external to Rackspace, followed by questions from the floor (15 min).

What’s cool is that my boss is allowing me to also make these posts external as well in an effort to be helpful to digital marketing professionals. You may notice that some of the videos will have jump cuts/transitions, that’s either because something was discussed that was of specific value to Rackspace or was a question that you couldn’t hear over the mic.

Our first session was talking about how we are Upping Our Blog’s Game—From Storytelling to Digital Marketing. The guest was blog editor Tracy Hamilton who is also a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and served as a journalist at the San Antonio Express News. I’ve known Tracy for over a year now and I’ve been so impressed with how she can just cut to the essence of the story.

The video is conversational and insightful and is a must see if you’re an aspiring blogger—either for a company or in your personal life. Drawing on her experience in the newsroom, Tracy talked about the elements that go into telling a fascinating story (conflict, proximity and rubbernecking). She also gave some practical tips into how you can write better.

You’ll learn why the lede is so important, how to write something that people actually want to read and the one thing that any person can do to improve their blog posts. Also, I cover three new digital marketing practices we’re testing with the blog that can help lead readers further down the marketing funnel. Please note that the audio is a little wonky at the beginning, but improves dramatically at the 1:00 minute mark.

Thanks for watching and be sure to bookmark us to get the next Brown Bag session!

Like the panel? See a list of all our Marketing Brown Bags here and be sure to bookmark us for future posts! Follow Garrett on Twitter at @pinojo and sign up to the Marketing Bytes newsletter here! Image by Chrysti Hydeck via Flickr CC.

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