January 21, 2019
8 Strong Stories to Tell in Your Content Marketing
Storytelling is an essential part of content marketing. If you’re able to engage visitors with an entertaining, relevant, helpful, and timely story about your company, you’ll have them hooked. Creating content that speaks to customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey helps you build a relationship with them. Content creation also has to be customer-centric, meaning there’s got to be something in it for them.
Your content should let them know about your company’s products or services, but more importantly, how your company can solve their most pressing problems. There are eight basic styles of stories that are effective ways to boost your content marketing efforts, create buzz about your brand, and satisfy the customer’s needs.
The Why Story
People love to know why a company came into existence. The human story of an entrepreneur who’s loved one was suffering and how they were driven to help them, or the broke single parent who was desperate to support their family really tugs at the heartstrings. Whether you sell a widget that’s designed to make meal prep faster, or you’re responsible for a disruptive technology upgrade, tell everyone why you did it.
Zoloz follows a familiar storyline. The basic format of this type of story is first to build rapport by recounting the way it felt to deal with the problem and how frustrating the lack of solutions was. This creates relatable conflict with the reader and draws them in. It’s a story with a happy ending and positive resolution as your brand solves the problem.
The What Story
The story of why your brand came to be is a great interlude into what problems you solve for customers. This type of content can be an effective means to reach out to customers who are in Awareness Stage of the buyer’s journey. Stories about common problems they encounter, with a subtle mention of how your solution is available for their consideration are great for this stage.
As the customer moves into the consideration stage, content that gets into more details about the problems your product solve will further solidify your brand in their mind. Once they’ve reached the decision/purchase stage, they’ll be predisposed to choosing your brand as the solution for them.
The How Story
Even if your business operates in a competitive field, it’s completely unique from the rest. It’s the differences, both large and small, in the way you do things that make it so special and interesting for prospects and customers. Incorporating the story of why you do what you do and the problems you solve with how you do it is a good way to keep customers interested beyond the initial introduction.
Customers in both the consideration and decision/purchase stages are the best targets for this style of writing. They’re already convinced your solution is worth looking at a little more, so now you need to let them know why your way of doing things is better than the competition and what that means to them.
The Where Story
Geo-targeting customers with content helps small businesses get the word out within the community and surrounding areas. It also attracts the attention of travelers who are just passing through. Talking about attractions, food, or other things that are specific to the area are all great ice-breakers. It helps to break down barriers between your brand and the customer and builds a friendly base to build on.
Another tactic for content that speaks about where your company is located is to mention that your products or services originate from there. Mentioning how long you’ve worked in the community, how many customers you’ve served, or the fact that you were voted best in a local contest are some ways to do this.
The When Story
Think of your brand story as historic. When you first started out, what were your goals, ideals, and challenges? As you learned and grew as a company, how did your thinking change? Tell people about it from a personal perspective and speak to them directly. Your intent is to show them that you’re human and that you understand their pain because you’ve been there.
Creating a when story surrounding your products and services invites prospects and customers to get to know your brand. Over time, they become invested customers who turn into advocates that recommend your brand to others. The best part of a when story is that it will work at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
The Who Story
Content marketing campaigns often include a variety of content, from blogs and web content to videos. Content about the brand founders, employees, and business partners makes for great web content. People want to know who they’re doing business with. Blog posts about happy customers and case studies are ideal for attracting leads. They provide social proof which makes it faster and easier to build trust.
A great story about how the company has helped a local family, donated to a charity, or done some other good for the community is also a great content marketing angle. In fact, it’s a superb way to build a brand’s image and get its name out there as a caring company.
The Which Story
When a customer has questions about which options are right for them, they are firmly within the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. They are narrowing down their choices based on the research they’ve done. It’s at this point that comparison style articles and blogs are extremely effective. Explaining which solutions are least expensive, the most robust, or easiest to use are great ways to help them make the choice.
Once the customer has reached the decision stage, this style of story can have a major impact on their ultimate decision. This is when you come in with information about why your brand’s products or services are the right choice by way of a recommendation.
Producing content that satisfies the customer’s needs at every stage of the buyer’s journey is essential. It’s not always easy to come up with something unique, or directed. Begin your content creation process by deciding which of the story styles you’ll use. From there, you will be able to answer the questions that matter most to your customers and provide them with additional information that will help move them through the buyer’s journey. Contact us if you would like to learn more about creating content, or if you have questions about what you’ve read here.