Content marketing is all about storytelling. Without a story, it's a lot harder to create content (and it's a lot harder to have a reason to create that content). In this post, I want to help you think more clearly about the story behind your business so you can do a better job building more impactful messages and a better content marketing campaign. Let's dive in...
Why You Need A Story
First, you might be wondering what storytelling has to do with business and marketing in the first place. Every business needs a good story. The story is what connects your customers to your product or service, and it's what helps explain what the French would call your "raison d'être" (your "reason for existence"). Without a story, you're simply another business simply trying to peddle your products.
I firmly believe every business needs a story, though the role it plays will vary from business-to-business and market-to-market.
How To Create A Story For Your Content Marketing
Your story can originate from a lot of different places and angles. You might literally take the story of your own life or your own success. Or you might create a fantasy that you share with your customers.
For example, the story behind Starbucks based around Howard Schulz' idea of "the third place" (not home, not work, but your local coffee shop) and how he discovered this concept in Europe and wanted to bring it to America. That story is the foundation of virtually all of Starbucks' marketing and business decisions. It creates mystique and intrigue around the business, and it creates a unique company culture for management, employees, and customers alike.
When creating your business story, look to your background and your inspiration for starting your company. If you're not the original founder, look to the history of your company and why they started the business.
Your story can and should change/evolve with time. But spend time crafting a story that has some strong, lasting elements.
How To Tell Your Story
Once you create your story, you'll need to tell it. It's not usually necessary to come right out with your story directly. It should be presented in lots of subtle ways to your customers. It should be hinted at in every email marketing message you send out, the presentation of your website, the ideas behind your blog posts, your products and services, etc.
Don't beat your customers over the head with your story. Rather, use it to inspire your marketing and your messaging strategy.
The goal of storytelling in Content Marketing is to have a larger message with which you can engage your customers. Again, your goal is to create a deeper relationship that transcends a simple buyer-seller transaction.