Content Marketing’s Stories Propel Customers To Buy
Are you using stories to enhance your content marketing? If not, you may want to reconsider because the rationale behind integrating various types of stories into your content marketing is to make it easier for the public to understand and remember your offering.
This is particularly important if your company provides lots of facts and figures in dense text since they’re difficult to digest and remember! By contrast, telling stories helps you maximize the impact of your marketing efforts by increasing mindshare. (Here are 29 company stories ideas to help you.)
Once you decide to use stories in your content marketing, you can’t just wait for stories to filter into your organization. You have to understand what stories to look for, where to seek them out, and how to craft them for your various marketing needs.
To this end, it’s helpful to use the buying cycle as a means of correlating the information customers seek with the appropriate types of stories because stories are needed at every step of the process, not just for building brand and product awareness. They’re needed to build your relationship with your prospects and persuade them to buy from you. Then, after they’ve bought, stories help reinforce customers’ positive attitudes towards you and your offering while providing information to help them better use your products and services. This, in turn, causes them to recommend you to their family and friends as well as to buy more or related products.
Here’s a chart to help you associate content marketing and stories all along the purchase process. (Here’s 18 content marketing options and how to use them.)
Content Marketing: Stories And The Purchase Process
Information customers need
Types of stories marketing can tell
|Research—Customers seek information while marketers want to enter the consideration set||Product/brand details
How to/instructions Patterns/recipes
|Engagement—Customers seek more information & assess options while marketers want to close the deal.||Product /brand details
Answer customer products questions
|Buy—Customers seek to determine product specifics and purchase while marketers want to close the deal.||Product/brand details
|Answer customer products questions|
|Post-purchase support (including returns & upsell)—Customers seek to improve product use and make returns while marketers want to sell more.||Returns
|Answer customer questions
|Advocacy—Customers seek to share experiences while marketers seek WOM and loyalty||Galleries
©2012 Heidi Cohen – Riverside Marketing Strategies – All rights reserved
Stories are a critical element of content marketing since they’re memorable. It’s important to incorporate them at every step of the buying process.
What other types of stories would you add to this chart and why?
Note: I will be at SES (aka Search Engine Strategies) in New York City next Tuesday, March 20, 2012. I’m holding one-on-one content marketing sessions in the exhibit hall as well as moderating the Meet the Experts: Roundtable Forum on Content Marketing. Please stop by with your questions or to just say hi!
Here are some related articles that may be of interest to you.
- Marketing Meets Storytelling: Why Brands Need Stories
- How to Incorporate Stories Into Your Social Media
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/19374628@N06/3270419825/