I was recently interviewed by the brilliant Lianne Picot on her Story Powered Radio Show on Voice America. The topic was one that is near and dear to my heart; Content Marketing, and how Brand Storytelling fits in.
The interview kicked of with my own personal story, one that I’ve been hesitant to elaborate on before, but did so live on her show.
Lianne proceeded to ask some pretty good questions centered around the topic of Content Marketing and the role of brand storytelling within it as follows:
QUESTION: WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?
I provided two definitions, favouring the CMI one but added that both miss the important role of brand storytelling as an overarching theme and direction for your branded content.
Here are the 2 official definitions:
Wikipedia: Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.
Content Marketing Institute: Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
QUESTION: WHY IS CONTENT MARKETING IMPORTANT FOR BUSINESS?
Summarized as follows:
- Consumers are no longer interested in traditional interruptive marketing and advertising.
- Consumers are looking for information and brands that help them solve problems.
- The purchase decision is rarely impulsive, there is usually a purchase cycle / funnel starting with brand awareness, content delivers this.
- The businesses that don’t create content that answer people’s questions along their journey, will lose out to ones that do.
QUESTION : HOW CAN WE USE STORIES IN OUR CONTENT MARKETING?
It’s all about the Hero’s Journey, the hero being the customer.
Summarized as follows:
- Set the scene – Map out The conventional marketplace, including competitors (antagonists?)
- Introduce your Hero(s) – Develop Your Buyer Personas: Understand your customers (the protagonist) –their pain points, what keeps them up at night, what gets them up in the morning.
- Set the journey of discovery and transformation – Understand their purchase funnel how they make purchase decisions/what makes them tick: awareness, consideration, evaluation, purchase, (and the loyalty and advocacy) that loops back to buyers next time around
- Your Brand is the Sage – Define your “Why” – think of brand as the Sage in a story –guiding the protagonist along their journey of discovery and transformation. Why does the brand do what they do, what makes you different? Why should the protagonist listen to you?
- Pose the challenge – pose the challenge that the protagonist will face against the path (can be real or imaginary stories) but real is better and more authentic, user generated stories are great here (
- Create and tell your stories – Make them entertaining and visually stimulating and tell them across multi platforms and screens – on and off line. Learn more about “transmedia storytelling“.
- Enable advocacy – Celebrate the hero’s completion of the journey of discovery, overcoming the challenge and transformation. This is where social media is key and where brand advocacy and loyalty is born.
OVER TO YOU
Do you employ brand storytelling within your content marketing campaigns? Share your experience in the comments below.