EcoSystemContent is king, the digital experts proclaimed. Keywords are the Holy Grail. And the future belongs to those who tag, optimize and analyze a brand’s every word and image. Less than a decade into the content movement, this life-long professional storyteller is pleased to see the debate come full circle. I can confirm storytelling is very much alive and more valuable than ever to brands. Thanks to the digital and social revolution, brands have virtually unlimited opportunities to listen, learn, create and share stories directly with those who matter most. Digital content, shared across the Web and via social networks, is a boon, of course. And being found in search might, in fact, be the Holy Grail. However, it’s not more “content” we humans are seeking. It’s connection — the real, honest kind we can believe and trust and support. Once a person navigates to a brand’s content — what’s the story and how does it connect and thread through every other brand touch point? Is the content (formerly known as the story) relevant, authentic, interesting, engaging? Does it connect emotionally and inspire someone to take action? To comment, share, advocate or buy? Or is it just another disconnected, one-off blog post — complete with social promotion in all channels? I hope my fellow storytellers will turn on their B.S. filters and flatly decline to tap out another high-indexing, keyword-stuffed sentence. We need to be the chief advocates for great story ideas, the kind entire story ecosystems can be built around. If we can’t connect the dots between ideas and brands — with great stories — how can we ever expect the marketplace to get there? Here are two recent favorite reads on storytelling as a powerful brand strategy. From the Harvard Business Review Blog Network, “The Irresistible Power of Storytelling as a Strategic Business Tool.” And a fascinating new book titled Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program.

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