Content Marketing has been in wide use by companies since the age of blogging and Social Media dawned. These days it is difficult to sift through the information deluge, the info-graphic downpour, and the listicle largesse. How can we as a business cut through and resonate with our markets? By telling stories.
Story telling goes beyond being information, or showing off your knowledge and authority on a particular topic that relates to what business you are in. A story tells how and why you produced a result for your customer and how you can do the same for customer-to-be.
Stories appeal to people more because they feel more like a conversation than a lecture or presentation. It leads to engagement, a narrative requires the participation of the consumer to go along for the ride, not just to simply scan and filter information. People want to know how it ends. Telling stories also treats your audience with respect and reduces the amount of manipulation that can often be found in a lot of content. Stories are memorable and relatable, they are easier to share.
So What is Your Businesses Story?
Almost everything you do in business is part of your story. Every interaction with your customers, your relationship with your suppliers, the quality of your production or service delivery. This is important to recognise and be aware of because an authentic, coherent common message and voice is required in your storytelling approach. Essentially, it contains your WHY, your reason for doing what you do and how your customers benefit from it.
Your Characters & Setting
Your customers are your stars, while you are supporting actors, so it is essential to set your stories in their world and to distribute them where they seek them. Your customers will also direct your story, they know what they demand from your business, whether it be ethical supply, socially conscious service philosophy, exceptional quality, and commitment to customer service for example. Your customers are your stars, but also your audience. You need to reach them via the platforms that are appropriate to them.
What is Quality in Storytelling?
Ed Cutmull in Creativity Inc suggests that if you get the story right, the polish doesn’t matter as much. So don’t feel you have to be Charles Dickens when Jack Kerouac will do, but best not to go all James Joyce.
Gary Vaynerchuk lists the ingredients of quality content as:
- It appeals to the heart – resonates and hits some emotional buttons in the reader
- It is shareable – compelling enough for the reader to want to pass it on to their networks as worthy
- It is native to the platform on which it appears – does it suit longer form blog, LinkedIn articles, medium articles, can it be video or image for Snapchat or Instagram. The content needs to be “moulded” to suit your channels of choice.
- It breaks through the noise – visuals and outstanding headlines which draws the reader in.
- We told a story on how we help a local Shopping Centre transfer their offline fans to online fans that spread the word and engage.
- Can you tell a story on how you solved a particular customer problem? Is this problem something that is widely experienced in your market with a lot of people needing your solution? Who is your customer, what and why did you do what you did to provide a positive outcome?
- Can you tell your existing and potential customers why you chose a particular supplier? Most people believe businesses are in it for profit primarily (we are aren’t we?), so they would love to hear about your journey of discovery in selecting suppliers based on your business values.
There are many, many stories that can be told about your business, we would love to help you find them and tell them to as many potential customers as we can.