What’s the story?
Telling a great story through your online content has many benefits for brands who successfully manage this. It conveys your brand’s personality, whether that’s through in-house content or content produced by visitors to your website, advocates or customers. But it also hits that emotional sweet spot in consumers, speaking to them in a way they can relate to, and encourages them to come back for more, to find out what the next chapter in the story is, and that right there means repeat website visits from people looking for more content that will hopefully end up generating leads.
Of course, you need to know who your buyer personas are, in order to know what type of content they will relate to, so this should be the first step you take when creating content that will tell a great story. If you know the buyer personas you want to appeal to, you will be better able to give the right organic content to the right people at the right time, enhancing your chances of generating leads for your business.
Lead nurturing is often further down the priority list. Concentrating on generating quality leads is a worthy objective, but the ability to nurture those leads is just as important.
While a few leads may be ready for sales, the vast majority are not. You must continue to engage them to move them along in the buying process. A lead nurturing process is the means to educate and better inform them. By doing so, you will build trust and sound relationship with them that, over time, will convert marketing qualified leads (MQL) into sales qualified leads (SQL). This is where brand storytelling has proven to be a successful device.
Storytelling is a meaningful way to engage, educate and empower customers and prospects. Marketers have been telling stories for years. Yet, the art of effectively using storytelling to generate and nurture leads is an ongoing challenge.
Here are a few storytelling tips to consider.
1) Dig Deep
Stories activate emotional centers of the brain and triggers emotions that can drive actions. The objective is to increase consumer emotional involvement in the brand using nurturing content and social media. When crafting stories, make sure they are based on real issues, events, brand, products, industries, etc., of interest to your audience. Honesty and transparency are essential if you are to build trust.
2) Infuse Customers into Your Story.
We are social creatures. We look to the experience of others to guide our decisions. Get people who are similar to the people you hope to convert to speak on your behalf. Use testimonials from existing customers to show prospects how much others are benefiting from your products/service. There’s no better example of this than the impact of online reviews on brand reputation. According to a study conducted by Dimensional Research, 90% of respondents said that online reviews influenced their buying decisions.
3) Build Interest with the Power of “Why”
Lead nurturing success starts with the question “Why?” People are more likely to take the actions you seek if you give them a reason for taking the action. Research has shown that the word “because” disarms our defenses and allows us to be persuaded more easily. Using “because” conditions our brain to a reason. Use it as an interest-building tool and you’ll be closer to reaching your lead nurturing objectives.
Another Dozen Tips For Storytelling
Here are 12 recommended tips to transform your lead generation with quality content and storytelling:
- Market your content widely and remember that automation is not the way to go, especially with social media. You need to have a process, a fool-proof system and appropriate resources for effective content marketing.
- Tell stories that can go into your content publishing calendar.
- Stay on top of what your website visitors are looking for—simple analytics can tell you this. Take comments seriously, whether they are on your own site or on third-party sites and social media channels about your business.
- If you must write technical content and your prospects need it, by all means, write it. But don’t stop there! You can always find a way to weave in a story.
- Use content curation; it works and it gives you breathing room to work on creating your own stories.
- Make sure your content calendar and storytelling plans fit well within your overall marketing strategy.
- It’s good to invite guest bloggers and writers to contribute to your site and blog from time to time. Offer to pay them and you will get even better quality of content!
- Your content creators may tell a great story, straight from the heart, but there is tremendous value in having an experienced editor.
- Your audience is on the go and always rushed for time. So make your stories quick to read and mobile-friendly.
- Who reads your stories? Your audience and the search engines. Who buys your products and services? ONLY your target audience. Don’t ever forget this.
- Stories have to be huge on credibility, so make sure you cite and quote third party sources, research and stats, but also include your own research.
- Bedtime stories to children are told everyday; and they never tire of the ritual. When you start telling good stories that your audience enjoys, keep up with a consistent schedule. Quality before quantity though; always!
Got a great marketing story? I’d love to hear it! Leave a comment below!