We get asked often what the “magic bullet” to marketing is, and we usually say there isn’t one. But if you want to get close, it’s storytelling.
Marketing is really about storytelling. Just like an exceptional novel draws you in with its story, telling the story of your business draws customers into your sphere. Specifically, you are highlighting why your potential clients/customers should feel a connection to you and how your business is uniquely positioned to address their pain points.
Through your storytelling you want to accomplish four goals:
- Convince potential customers to become loyal followers
- Convince potential customers to become paying ones
- Convince current customers to remain loyal
- Convince past customers to come back
Through effective storytelling you can do all four.
So, how exactly do you tell the story of your business?
Through content marketing.
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Let’s examine what this definition means by looking at different types of marketing content and how they help you tell a better story for your business.
Telling the Story of Your Business
The most basic purpose of content marketing is to tell the story of your business. You want to establish who you are, what you do, and how you can help your customers. Before your customers can begin to trust you, they must first get to know you and feel that you understand them and their problems. That you are someone they can connect with.
It’s also important to remember to be authentic with your voice. People can tell immediately if you’re not being authentic, and they won’t respond well to it. Don’t talk down to your followers or subscribers and treat them with respect.
Examples of this type of content include: behind the scenes videos, About Us pages, stories about what inspired you to start your business or what keeps you going each day, and posts that show you understand what they’re going through.
Opportunity to Showcase Your Knowledge and Expertise
The next step in getting your audience to trust your business is to highlight your knowledge and expertise. You want your potential customers to be confident that your business has the ability to address their most pressing needs.
Examples of this type of content include: tutorials, webinars, workshops, before and after photos or videos.
Establishing Trust with Your Audience
Although we mentioned trust in the previous two points, it does merit a stand alone mention. The more your audience trusts you, the more likely they are to become repeat customers and eventually advocates for your business.
Examples of this type of content include: testimonials, accreditations, certifications, word of mouth, online reviews, and engaging on social media
Increasing Audience Retention
Part of growing your audience is retaining the base of followers that you have worked so hard to earn. (Your base includes potential, current, and former customers.) For this type of content, you want to ensure that you are not always in sell mode, but serve as a resource instead of as a salesman. You want to stay on the radar so when they are ready to make a purchase, you are at the top of their mind.
Examples of this type of content include: ebooks, checklists, multi-step guides, how-to posts that tie into your product or service.
Generate Leads that Result In Conversions
Now that you have told the story of your business by highlighting your expertise and retained a steady audience by building trust, you are in a position to reap the rewards of your marketing investment. Create ways for your audience to easily contact you, make a purchase, or take the desired action that will result in an increase in revenue.
Examples of this type of content include: landing pages, contact pages, chatbots, and posts or videos talking specifically about how your products or services will help.
Telling the story of your business is an essential part of marketing. Marketing content is the way you do this. By understanding the different types of content and what you want to accomplish, you will make this process much easier and effective.