I was at Content Marketing World in Cleveland a few years back, where Mark Hamill (as you may know) gave a keynote speech.
I was curious to know what Mark Hamill knows about Content Marketing before the event.
Actually, I met him in person. It was a truly amazing moment. His answer shouldn’t surprise anyone. He said content marketing is simply brand storytelling. It can only succeed if we make our audience the hero and heroine of our content.
Mark Hamill showed 4,000 content marketers the power of content marketing. So I am republishing this article May 4th, so you can learn from Mark Hamill’s storytelling skills. No matter where in the galaxy you may be.
But first a quick back story . . .
The Power of The Force
In 1983, Return of the Jedi was released. Mt. Penn, PA, where I was raised, had an old movie theatre with a balcony that you could walk to.
Return of the Jedi was my first movie that I was allowed to see without my parents. My older brother and me walked to the theatre. We bought popcorn, soda, and pop rocks. We didn’t mix them. Because, you know, certain death!
The final Star Wars installment unfolded, and we watched in amazement.
Luke Skywalker, the epic hero, defeats all odds to conquer evil. Darth Vader, the evil villain, is defeated and returned to the side of good. The evil emperor is defeated.
The Power of Myth
In 1989, I graduated from college to study English Literature. After seeing Joseph Campbell’s television series “The Power of Myth” on PBS, and then reading the book, it was clear to me that Campbell had a point. It was the most incredible insight I’d ever heard.
It was clear that there was a common thread to all of the great stories. It was called the “Monomyth” (or “The Hero’s Journey”) by him.
A hero’s story: A humble hero emerges. They set out on a journey with trepidation. They are confronted with trials and threats that will test their resolve and help them discover their true nature. They triumph over evil and return home forever transformed.
Because it invokes all the hopes and dreams that everyone has, The Hero’s Journey is so powerful. We are unique and special. We have a hidden power that is beyond our comprehension. We have important work ahead of us. It is important to do work that has meaning and an impact on the world around you.
Luke Skywalker’s Hero Journey
Luke Skywalker embodies many of the qualities you see in mythic heroes. He is unaware of his royal lineage. He has special abilities and powers that were developed by a number of teachers.
He reluctantly sets out on a journey that will take him across a supernatural threshold to a foreign land. A wise teacher guides him, and Han Solo, his seemingly selfish co-hero, pushes him.
The ultimate goal of the hero is to stand up on his own and face the dark before returning to reality stronger and wiser.
Luke and Han transform from self-centered people to become crusaders against evil forces that threaten the universe.
Mark Hamill believes that content marketing is the force behind all of it.
Mark believes that there is hope for the hero’s path. It’s not about the happy ending. Not in the happy ending.
His advice to content marketers is to resist the evil empires that promote blatantly and to ego-driven campaigns and to speak to people’s fears, desires, and to not allow them to control you. This is what I call “marinating in pain”.
Every great story takes a lot of time to reflect on the journey. That’s why we are drawn in. Because we see ourselves in the hero, we start to root for him!
I believe there are many brand storytelling lessons that we can learn from him and the Star Wars mythology in general.
1. Get started with Reality
Star Wars starts on a sandy and dry planet that doesn’t look very appealing.
Darth Vader is presented to us on Death Star. It is a dark and scary place. Han Solo starts the Millennium Falcon, a beat-up spaceship that is tired and worn out. He bangs on a panel with wires sticking out.
Star Wars begins with how the world can sometimes feel. Old, tired and dirty. Great content begins with the storytelling elements of “what’s” and moves on to “what might be”.
2. Contrasts are important
Han Solo begins out as a complete jerk. He shows great affection to his friend Chewbacca and takes a serious interest in Princess Leia. He’s tough, has been around the block contrasted to Luke’s boyish innocence.
Although he says that he doesn’t care about the reward, he continues to show up at key locations when he’s needed.
Han Solo offers a contrast to Luke’s journey from selfishness and selflessness. It is great content that considers different points of view. But not as opposing points of view. They can be complements.
Is it better to start your content marketing program via a social network or your own website? Do you need to promote yourself in content marketing? These are important differences to be aware of.
“Luke I am your father” is one of my favorite “holy crap” lines from a movie. After that line, I named my fourth child!
This sets Luke Skywalker on the path to redemption, to love what he hates most. It also begins Darth Vader’s journey to redemption.
What can content marketing do to save money?
Let’s begin with marketing. Marketers are all on a path to redemption.
- Content marketing is the answer to any marketing problem.
- Banner ads can be a curse (Ok, that’s dramatic). Content marketing is your savior.
- Perhaps Content marketers are the heros of the marketing story. Make your team the hero in your marketing story!
Are you aware of anyone who enjoys boring, promotional ads? Your customers are the hero of content marketing. Content marketing is about turning interruptions and promotions into messages that people want.
Is your company staffed with people who have passions, family, stress, and dreams that are more than what the company sells? Content marketing allows employees, partners, influencers, and other people to share their fears and passions with an audience that shares the same interests.
A potential audience for your next client, employee, investor or partner.
You can see a return on your marketing investment with content marketing. It’s the whole “let’s make stuff work” thing.
The Fourth Be with Your Content Marketing!
Looking for some inspiration? These are our favorite brand storytelling examples. These are our top content marketing examples. These are some of our favorite content marketers.
You are not alone if you need to create a content marketing strategy that is ROI-driven and will result in a positive ROI. To learn more about your strategy, check out our SEO Blog Writing Services.
Marketing Insider Group’s May Fourth Be with Your Content Marketing was first published.
By: Michael Brenner
Title: May The Fourth Be With Your Content Marketing
Sourced From: marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/wtf-mark-hamill-know-content-marketing/
Published Date: Tue, 03 May 2022 16:00:00 +0000
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