Jam Session: What Storytellers Can Learn from Content Marketing

When I found out that StoryStudio was co-sponsoring Content Jam, a conference on content marketing, my first question was, “What does storytelling have to do with content marketing?”

Okay. Actually, my first question was, “What the heck is content marketing?”

Content marketing, I learned, is “marketing that seeks to create valuable, interesting information for customers, fans, and the public.”

A publishing company might create a free e-book anthology to highlight its authors. A successful business person might give a free webinar. Or, a great writing school on Chicago’s North Side might offer tips about writing and publishing on its cleverly-titled blog (see what I did there?).

The emphasis is not on selling something, but on creating a following and providing useful information to your audience.


Content Jam co-producers Andy Crestodina, Jill Pollack, and Tim Frick


Speaker Jill Salzman shows off her Content Jam swag (and colorful nails).

Despite being new to content marketing, I found Content Jam amazingly fun and energizing. And not just because we had a Button-O-Matic and t-shirts that said “Spread the Love, Spread the Jam.” I got to spend the day with 200 business professionals with a passion for telling stories. (You can see more pictures from Content Jam here.)

All content marketers are storytellers because they create the narrative of their brand. And in a way, all storytellers are content marketers. Now more than ever, authors need to connect to fans through readings, social media, blogs, and more.

If you weren’t among the 200 people at the sold-out conference, don’t worry. Conference co-producers Orbit Media has put together a great recap over on their blog. You can also view slideshows from each presentation at the conference below.

Whether you’re a blogger trying to figure out how to interpret your site’s metrics, or an author wondering how to use the positive feedback you get from readers, you’re bound to learn something useful. And yes, there will be more Jammin’ next year.