Online Content Creation Through Storytelling
How to Create Compelling, Relevant Stories at each Stage of a Customer’s Journey
Have you ever asked yourself if your online content creation is compelling to your target audience? Do you wonder if your customers — or potential customers — actually enjoy reading the content you create? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, then you are reading the right article.
Everyone has a story to tell. We each have a unique way of expressing our experiences and sharing our wisdom with our website visitors. This is one of the ways we differentiate from the rest. So, if you are worried about how compelling or relevant your online content is, the first step is to start exploring what you do that makes you stand out above the crowd. You might even wish to consider what you “don’t” do and what you could add to your online content to make it resonate with your target audience.
To help you out, we have listed a few areas that we hope will generate some ideas as you consider spicing up your online content.
1— Define Your Unique Value Proposition
“Why is someone going to buy or hire my services instead of the competition’s? What am I doing that makes my product/service stand out? What can I do to spice it up?”
Start by defining your unique value proposition (or unique selling proposition — USP) by giving some thought to the above questions. Once you have that USP ready, the next step is to start learning how to tell your story so that all your potential and current customers can see your unique value beyond your products and services.
According to Forbes, storytelling is a key part of marketing. In fact, a recent study “suggests that by telling their brand story very well, companies have the power to increase the value of a product or service by over 20 times.”1 And while it is clear that most companies invest in content marketing, how many are actually investing in storytelling?
Data Source: Hubspot
With “‘storytelling in marketing’ throwing up no fewer than 2 million Google results — this is clearly a trend that is not going away.”2 Is the storytelling trend something you can afford to ignore?
2- How to Develop Quality Storytelling
Simply put, storytelling is the art of telling a story to your audience using sensory language in a way that the reader can internalize, understand, and create a personal connection just by reading your online content. Clients are not only buying a product or service, they are also buying the experience, the feelings, and the emotions that your brand’s story helps them to feel.
A compelling story, text, or paragraph can trigger positive emotions that will hopefully inspire whomever is reading it, encouraging them to take action. Your story should have the same impact on your current customers as it does on those you are trying to attract. This demonstrates to all, your company’s high level of respect for those you serve. If done correctly, storytelling reveals your company values and shows the “human” side of the business, creating an emotional bond with your audience. Storytelling can most definitely act as a tool to differentiate your company from your competitors.
Take time to reflect upon the following example:
Do you often buy a coffee at a specific café even if you can prepare the same coffee at home or even if the price is a little on the higher side? Have you ever bought a coffee even when you weren’t necessarily thirsty for one?
Most likely, on a somewhat subconscious level, it just feels good to be at that particular coffee shop. There is likely something else brewing behind that toasted-and-milled-seeds infusion. So, what exactly should you add to your storytelling strategy to create this same effect?
3- Help Your Customers’ Journey Through Online Content Creation
Once you have created your UPS and have tailored your own brand’s story, the next step is to embark on understanding the customer journey. However, we are often asked to explain just what this “Customer Journey” is all about. The following statement, to us, sums this up pretty well:
“The customer journey is the complete sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your company and brand. Instead of looking at just a part of a transaction or experience, the customer journey documents the full experience of being a customer.”3
Since a part of your audience is made up of your current customers, it is imperative that you create online content for this unique group as well as for customers who do not yet know you or are who are considering doing business with you. Online content creation should consider of content for buyers are the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and at the decision-making stage. If you aren’t careful in your online content creation, it might become quite obvious to your visitors that you do not fully understand this journey, leading to publishing content that might not interest certain visitor senses.
By ignoring your customers’ journey, you could end up losing a portion of your potential and/or current customers. Are you publishing online content that reflects each stage of the customer journey?
The Three Stages of a Customer’s Journey
Creating a Customer Journey might take time but once you have it done, everything else will flow easily. Before starting, let’s have a look at the different stages that customers generally go through:
- Awareness — At this point, a prospect is usually looking for information that might help them solve a problem, find a solution, or satisfy a need. They are looking for high-quality information and educational content. Therefore, blog posts, social media posts, videos and webinars, free tools, resources, and e-books (just to mention a few) are good options to have in order to suit that demand.
- Consideration — the second stage refers to the time when buyers are probably doing a comparison with the information they have gathered before or are conducting deeper research in order to confirm if the product or service will benefit them or not. During this stage, comparison guides, free samples, and case studies are the best content solutions to offer.
- Decision — during this last stage, the prospect has most likely decided on a preferred solution. To help them follow through with a purchase, you might wish to consider live demos, coupons, free trials, and/or consultation offers.
Although every customer journey has the same basic flow, helping you to easily adapt your online content creation to suit your industry, products and services, and target audience, there are a few things to consider. Imagine, for instance, a solution offered that is not that well known in the market. In this case, a full and detailed description of your products and services might need to be provided at the first stage. Other cases, however, might involve a large number of competing brands offering roughly the same products and services. This is where the last stage should be emphasized — nurture your relationship with your current customers, concentrating on building brand loyalty. If done right, these satisfied customers will become your brand ambassadors.
Online Content Creation — It’s What We Do!
Take time to understand your Unique Selling Proposal. Find your own way of telling your particular story in an emotional way, and ensure that your online content creation addresses each stage of the customer journey. At the beginning, it might seem like a lot of work. However, “[s]torytelling is one of the most powerful ways to breathe life into your brand.”4
Looking for a new approach to your online content creation? Why not give GIM Content Management a call? We offer exceptional online content at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Reach out today for a free initial content marketing consultation. We’d love to hear from you!
Written by Virginia González
1 DMI, Simon @. “6 Storytelling Trends Marketing Leaders Should Know About.” Digital Marketing Institute, Digital Marketing Institute, 15 Nov. 2019, digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/6-ways-brands-can-boost-their-storytelling.
2 Paunova, Dimitriya. “Why Storytelling Is the Key to Successful Content Marketing.” Simplifie Home, www.simplifie.com/marketing-blog/why-storytelling-is-the-key-to-successful-content-marketing.
3 “The Best Way to Map the Customer Journey: Take a Walk in Their Shoes.” SurveyMonkey, www.surveymonkey.com/curiosity/map-customer-journey-keep-customers-happy/.
4 Clerck, J-P De. “Using Storytelling to Strengthen Your Brand.” i, 5 Feb. 2020, www.i-scoop.eu/using-storytelling-strengthen-brand/.
In addition to:
HubSpot. 2020 Marketing Statistics, Trends & Data – The Ultimate List of Digital Marketing Stats, www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics.
Costa, Celinne Da. “3 Reasons Why Brand Storytelling Is The Future Of Marketing.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 2 Feb. 2019, www.forbes.com/sites/celinnedacosta/2019/01/31/3-reasons-why-brand-storytelling-is-the-future-of-marketing/?sh=3c16102255ff.
Acibeiro, María. “USP Marketing: Qué Es y Cómo Definir La Propuesta Única De Venta.” Blog, 23 Sept. 2019, es.godaddy.com/blog/usp-marketing-que-es-y-como-definir-la-propuesta-unica-de-venta/.
JAQUELINA GUTIÉRREZ Hace 11 meses, et al. “Qué Es El Storytelling y Cuáles Son Sus Características Esenciales.” Vilma Núñez – Consultora Estratégica De Marketing, 9 Apr. 2020, vilmanunez.com/que-es-storytelling/.
Chi, Clifford. “How to Tell a Compelling Brand Story [Guide + Examples].” HubSpot Blog, blog.hubspot.com/marketing/brand-story.
Sellers, Amanda. “How to Create Content for Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey.” HubSpot Blog, blog.hubspot.com/marketing/content-for-every-funnel-stage.