A Story Will Resonate with Clients
If you’re still introducing potential clients to your business by ticking off a list of the services you provide, stop right now.
People really don’t care what you do until you give them a reason to care. How do you do that? Start with your audience and clearly communicate what’s in it for them. People naturally think about things in terms of their own lives and concerns—and those are the issues you need to directly address from the start.
You’ll keep your audience interested if you share stories that get your point across. Smart marketers tell stories because a story creates connections. Human brains store and retrieve information in the form of stories and have since our very beginnings. As content marketing strategies and practices gain both traction and mindshare, it’s essential to identify and share stories that your target audiences can relate to.
Content Marketing by Any Other Name…
If you are blogging, newsletter content, white papers, how-to videos, or other content that educates, informs, or appeals to your clients without focusing on the “sell”—then you’re already doing content marketing. Surprise! There’s nothing inherently wrong with revising terminology to better describe a current state of affairs, as long as you focus on what matters.
When you create content that benefits your clients and adds value to your services, the objective is still to sell your services. When you put your client’s needs first, you’re just doing it in a way that builds loyalty and trust so that your clients don’t metaphorically change the channel.
Thanks to the rise of the Social Web, people have lots more interesting content to consume. Search is great now, so it’s easy to find almost any information that you need on the Web; most people find much more information than they can process on any given subject. Of course, when so many businesses are busy creating content for marketing it gets harder and harder to stand out—even when you’re very good.
Now is the time to focus on sparking connection and imagination so that you can hold your audiences’ attention. And that brings us back to stories. Take advantage of the smooth transition people are socialized to make as they relate to a story. Empathy is a powerful social tool that allows us to feel for other people in a particular situation and to see ourselves and our struggles in someone else’s story—whether it’s similar to ours or very different. Can you relate?