If content is indeed king, then what kind of person is qualified to produce the best content?
In the past two months, three heavy hitters in the social media world have hired executives from traditional media companies to head up their content efforts. Former New York Times assistant managing editor, Jim Roberts, was recently hired by content giant Mashable as their chief content officer. Pinterest recently went with the same model by taking Joanne Bradford away from her role as president of the San Francisco Chronicle and making her head of content partnerships. And prior to that, Twitter hired former NBC News chief digital officer Vivian Schiller as head of news partnerships.
Certainly there are plenty of other new media companies with content departments led by and filled with employees who have little or no journalistic training. But when you think about it, putting someone who has a background in storytelling in charge of content makes a lot of sense.
Good content is creative. It’s compelling. It tells a story. Sometimes it’s highly visual. It obviously helps to have content that is shareable and searchable from a technical standpoint, but the most important aspect of successful content is that it moves the reader/viewer to take action (e.g., click a link, download a white paper, purchase a widget, etc.).
The tech-based companies mentioned above no doubt have employees that understand the digital landscape – people who know how to design, how to develop, and most likely how to market. But the ability to tell a compelling story is something that is becoming more and more sought after by companies large and small. As you and your company map out your 2014 social media and digital strategy remember that social media allows you to be a publisher, and your greatest asset is the content you’re publishing.
Jim Licko is a Senior Director of Social Media and Digital Strategy for GroundFloor Media and a fan of virtually any content that tells a great story.