Does Your Marketing Content Tell a Story?
When we were little, we would eagerly curl up with our parents as they read to us: Goodnight Moon, Dr. Seuss books. We would be drawn in to the antics of the Cat in the Hat or say goodnight to all our friends. It was the beginning of our appreciation of stories, an appreciation that most people hold today. It’s why case studies work so well as a marketing tool – people like stories.
Stories are for more than case studies – they should span across your entire marketing content strategy. They don’t have to be complex, but they do need a beginning, a middle and an end. When you’re engaging your prospects, you’re more likely to get the results you want. Content marketing, by its very nature, is storytelling, providing the prospect with a simple yet effective way to get from their problem to the solution.
In B2B marketing, you face more of a challenge. After all, what’s the story with the widgets you’re selling to Initech? Bad marketing comes from not being able to tell that story. But if you can find Initech’s pain point, then show the company how to alleviate it with your product, you’re able to market more effectively. And if you can make your marketing content human, it’s much more interesting to read – and more likely to get read.
Consider what works better: a blog entry about all your widget’s features, or a blog entry about its benefits. In the first, you’d write about the widget’s solid metal construction and 12-inch physical footprint. In the second, you’d write about how a warehouse workforce needed a widget that could survive being dropped and be small enough to fit on a very cluttered shelf. You’d mention how Initech, with Initech’s permission, chose your widget because of its sturdy construction and small size. You’d have a story that would get read (and maybe even re-tweeted).
Any marketing content can tell a story. As long as it moves in a linear fashion, starting with the problem your customer faces and ending with a solution, it will get their attention. The longer the content, the more of a story you can tell. Not all your marketing content can be a case study, but it can still tell a story, which will engage your prospects.