Content Marketing: How Telling Stories Can Generate Revenue
It’s true: the right brand narrative will generate more revenue for your business. Using content marketing effectively is one of the best ways take your business to the next level. Yet it’s hard for many business leaders to see the link between stories and sales. Understandably, it’s not always an obvious connection. It’s necessary to lay out how and why content marketing stories tie directly into your business’s revenue.
That Extra Special Something
A good writer can make a story jump off the page. Likewise, an effective content marketing strategy makes brand storytelling come to life in meaningful ways for your customers. Great stories, whether they’re testimonials, informational, brand culture, or product related, add that extra special something to your wider marketing plan.
You want your customers to engage with your brand and your products in multiple ways. They need to know you, like you, discuss you, and importantly, believe in the products or services you sell. To achieve this, you have to be on top of your game.
You Can’t Bore Customers into Sales
Your marketing needs to have that all important connection with your customers. As David Ogilvy is often quoted: “You cannot bore people into buying your product.”
But the question remains: So how do you not bore them?
Getting Customers Hooked
Like any marketing strategy, you need a plan for your content marketing. There are generally 5 aspects to consider.
Make It a Priority
Storytelling has to become central to how you interact with customers and prospects. Seek buy-in from key departments throughout your business, from leadership to business development, sales, and customer service. This will help your business present a unified front to customers.
Develop Customer Personas
Use this exercise to identify your differing customer constituencies. There are loyal brand followers, casual customers, prospective customers, and perhaps other key audiences, depending on your particular business. Understand how customer drivers and concerns overlap and diverge for your different audiences. Learn how they connect with you content and think about how you can grab more attention.
Assess Your Starting Position
If you don’t have an active communication or engagement strategy with your customer audiences, it’s crucial to grasp how that will impact your first steps. In this case, turning on a firehose of content marketing isn’t going to be your first step. Assess how much basic education your audience needs, what will make the most difference to your customers, and the role your new strategy needs to play.
Make a Formal Plan
As your content marketing strategy comes together, it’s important to get everything down on paper. Think about timing, specific audiences for content pieces, key messaging, desired outcomes, communication channel, and publishing frequency. This will help shape your editorial calendar and get all project stakeholders on the same page.
Communicate With Purpose
The key to a great content marketing strategy is as much in the intent as the execution. Make each of your content pieces purpose driven. Keep track of how your brand story impacts your customer audiences? Are sales shifting? Are more brand fans talking about you and your products? Do customers have increased knowledge about your products and services? Shape future content by the answers you find.
Connecting the Dots
If you’re able to do all of the above, your content will be more interesting and your customers will start to notice. As Harvard Business School marketing professor Theodore Levitt observed decades ago, we can get a bit myopic when it comes to our own business. “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!” he told his students.
When customers have difficulty connecting those dots, that’s where your content marketing can have the most effect for your sales and your revenue.
If your content marketing could use a fresh pair of eyes, we can help. Call 313-338-9515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, tell us about your business, and learn how we can help your business improve its content and grow revenue.