Is the core story in content marketing a big misunderstanding?

The core story is the proverbial core of strategic content marketing. It brings to the point what distinguishes the company or its products. Is it really like that?

Common schemata for designing a core story in content marketing are based on building the formulation of a corporate mission or on classic storytelling: who, why, how, what? The result of such a derived story puts the company and its products at the center. “We, the … AG, believe that … – that is why we produce products that … – with the result that …” Who makes such a story at the heart of his communication, will talk about himself in the sequence above all.

Above all, content marketing is one thing: user-oriented communication. This refers to the reader benefit. And this is not primarily to find out what distinguishes a particular product. In fact, the reader may even be looking for very different information, entertainment or entertainment. It is precisely this need that content marketing addresses with its content and directs it to the products that are to be marketed. This approach – orientation towards the reader’s benefit – must be consistently applied in the design of the core story. Only then can he consistently pass on the content cascade.

So what does a core story look like, which is consistently oriented towards the reader’s benefit, and how do you get to such a one?

In our experience, it’s often easier to get to the core story than the other way round. Take the fictitious example of a manufacturer of motorhomes. We introduce ourselves to his topics, like the headings of a print magazine. Which categories are interesting for the potential RV buyer and for the RV owner? On the other hand, we often have certain brand attributes, which of course must also be considered. The result of a corresponding creative process might look like this:

Topic 1: Wanderlust (longing, travel fever)
Topic 2: family (community, children, security, pet)
Subject field 3: Nature (sports, enjoyment)
Topic 4: Product (USP, Benefits, Specifications)

Of course, the product should not be excluded. Ideally, the reader reaches the point in the customer journey, where he is also directly interested in the product. The core story, to a certain extent, integrates the essence of all topics – their common intersection. To achieve this, it formulates a challenge or a problem, and the product acts as a solution. For example, according to this pattern (here it is more about the basic mechanics of the story, less about the linguistic elegance …):

“Those who are longing for wanderlust can often think of nothing more than the vast blue sea, majestic mountains in the sunlight, green forests, lakes, and rivers. Doing sports in the wild or with the whole family tree and on the go. Arrive when and where you want. The children can connect, the dog can walk freely. And if the weather does not play along: just drive on, facing the sun. We at Womo make sure that you are on holiday – in nature and yet always at home.
Our family-friendly RVs are characterized by their high variability, driving safety and energy efficiency. ”

Do you really need a core content marketing story?

Strictly speaking, an editorial team does not really need the core story. The topics are actually enough to derive topics and stories. Above all, the main benefit of the core story is that it expresses a certain attitude: the benefits orientation. The benefit of being able to experience yearning, planning the journey, coming up with new ideas is what the content and its sender donate. Incidentally, this also makes great motorhomes. The core story makes it clear that in future it will be written about mountains and the sea, about childcare on vacation, about sports in nature – and occasionally about how this becomes possible: with the camper.

For us, the presentation of the topics in the “content flower” has proven to be successful. The flower shows very well how to understand the core story: as a common intersection of topics. Each individual topic, each contribution can then be placed specifically in a subject area in the content production or in the intersection of several subject areas. The more topics covered, the more the theme of the core story is similar. The further one moves from the center to the outside, the more one pays only to individual aspects of the thematic cosmos.