Content marketing—the creation and sharing of information so that it attracts and retains customers—is a powerful branding tool. The emphasis is on using high quality, engaging content to market a brand, acquire customers and develop their trust rather than using aggressive sales and advertising tactics that can annoy or disrupt them.
Content marketing takes many forms—including blogs, websites, case studies, white papers, videos, infographics, etc., —but regardless of the form, the material must be compelling, relevant and useful to be effective.
As more and more companies engage in content marketing, the challenges to being heard above the noise are increasing as well.
One of the best ways I’ve found to produce high-quality, engaging content that resonates with targeted segments is through storytelling. You may forget facts and statistics, but a good story stays with you.
The reason storytelling is so powerful is because it enables us to communicate with specific audiences in a way that piques their interest and connects emotionally with them.
According to Statista, a statistics portal, nearly three-quarters of social media users have followed brands on social media because they are interested in their products/service. More than half (51.3%) do so because they’re entertaining. No wonder so many marketers turn to storytelling to inform and entertain users, while also differentiating their companies from the rest of the pack.
By telling (as opposed to selling), writers can craft stories that resonate with customers and prospects without coming across as disguised advertisements or pushy sales tactics.
Whether or not storytelling is part of your content toolbox, an effective content strategy really comes down to focusing on a well-defined target market; having interesting, useful things to say to them; and providing regularly updated content that is meaningful and substantive.
Of course, you also want to make it easy for them to communicate with you and have a system in place to monitor results.
If done properly and consistently, your content strategy will gain your agency a loyal following, enhance its brand and provide new business opportunities that might otherwise be missed.