As the CEO and president of interlinkONE and Grow Socially, it’s my job to ensure that both companies communicate not only what we do, but also who we are. In fact, communicating who we are by talking with prospects as opposed to at prospects is a critical element of how we position ourselves.
In my last article, I focused on why stories are so important to marketing a business or organization, so now I want to focus on how to develop a storytelling strategy as part of your content marketing efforts.
Here’s a brief four-step process to help you on your way to creating a worthwhile storytelling strategy that has the potential to effectively connect you with your customers and prospects:
- First, and foremost, know your target audience. The easiest way to do this is to brainstorm who your ideal prospect is. What does he/she do for work? What is his/her demographic? And of course, where does he/she get information from?
- Next, find your voice. At my company there are a lot of ways we do this, for example, we share our company stories at regularly scheduled lunches, and ask our clients for stories about working with us. When I say there are so many ways to find your voice, I mean it! This is where you can appeal to the creative members on your staff, charge them with being responsible for a consistent brand voice throughout all marketing endeavors.
- Now, create different types of stories, such as verbal, written, or visual. All of these are important to have in your arsenal for different stages of the sales process. For example, a verbal story is great when you’re attending a conference or meeting, where as a written story (like a case study) is a great thing to provide to a hot lead when closing a deal. Visual stories are anything from infographics to videos, and they’re important because most of your target audience are visual learners.
- Lastly, choose the channels you want to broadcast your story on. If you choose to share your story on your Website, which I strongly suggest, break it up in your blogs, about us and company culture pages. Be sure that you’re using different types of stories to create an in-depth look at what your business is all about. Share testimonials on social channels, and promote your stories throughout your distributed content.
As you can see, creating a storytelling strategy to support your content marketing doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact it shouldn’t be. Stories are interesting, and much more fun to listen to than facts. My point is that stories are relatable and evoke emotions—and in my experience as a marketer that is the most effective way to be remembered.