Let’s face it. Coming up with a really great story idea for your content marketing program can be challenging. Like a miner, you might have to spend hours of hard work moving worthless rocks and clay just to find a few nuggets of pure gold. But, like the miner that finally gets to shout “Eureka!”, once you’ve got your story, you’re going to want to share it with as many people as possible!
Usher in the new math of content marketing where 1 = 4 or 5 or more!
Developing your content marketing strategy includes identifying how to tell your story in different ways to different customer groups at different stages in the sales funnel. People learn in various ways. Some people learn best by reading. Others need to see visual examples for learning to occur. Some people need hands-on experience to really learn a lesson, while others do best by just listening. Because a great content marketing program builds your authority on your topic, and since authority is part of what builds trust and liking, your program goal should be to move as many prospects as possible along the rugged path that turns ice-cold prospects into happy, satisfied and sold customers. Doing that means telling your story in as many ways as it’s necessary to drive the point home!
Think of your idea like the hub of a wheel with its spokes ending in a different version of your story. A number of things should be considered as you decide which forms your re-telling should take.
As a content marketer, you start with a central idea – the hub. Then, you brainstorm that idea into multiple points at the end of each of the spokes.
Let’s say you’re a life-coach with a particular talent for helping people lose weight. You have a knack for coaching on nutrition and you decide to highlight a particular recipe. This is the central idea, the hub.
Along one spoke, you envision a cooking video starring you in the kitchen demonstrating how to create that yummy meal. A super idea for prospects that frequently search on YouTube. But other prospects don’t have as much time. For them, a social media post that includes a recipe card might be a better technique. Or you could take that same recipe and include it as one of several stories you share in your monthly e-newsletter.
Again, another application is to include this recipe with others that you might offer in a weekly food blog devoted to healthier eating. There you go – one idea, at least four ways to share it. Every one of those re-tellings should be accompanied by a link back to your website where you can offer your site’s visitors an e-mailed weight-loss cookbook (whitepaper) in exchange for giving you their e-mail address on your website’s homepage…. So make that FIVE different story lives from the original idea!
Why This is Important
The rule of seven. Advertisers have long known that for any ad’s message to sink in, people need a minimum of seven exposures to the same message. That’s why frequency is so important! You have to tell them, and tell them and tell them!
The marketing funnel. Customers go on a journey from prospect to sold that passes through six distinct phases; need recognition, information gathering (where they collect information about different ways they might ‘scratch their itch’, narrowing perfect-consumers-journey(where they eliminate certain alternatives and hold onto others), trial (eg. the test-drive before signing the purchase contract on the new car), purchase and post-purchase (where they review their decision and are either happy or unhappy about their choice). Prospects need different information as they progress through the different phases. You can actually take your original idea – the recipe – and adapt the way you tell the story to include different details. What you include or leave out depends on the type of customer you are trying to influence.
Let’s say your goal is to move people who are in the information collection stage down the funnel into the narrowing phase – your goal is to push competitors ‘out’ and make sure you are still ‘in’. You’ve already used the recipe story to create awareness for social media objectives funnelyourself as a life-coach with a nutrition specialty. In this current telling of your ‘idea’, you’ll again re-tell the recipe story, but this is not the real focus. You now also want to talk about how you work with each client to create custom meal plans that are specifically suited to their specific needs! What’s more, you also know that exercise is critical to real weight loss, so you’re also going to include information about how you will personally work with them on a diet and fitness program so they achieve their weight loss goals more quickly! These new details are included because you know that your competitors don’t do these same things – or at least they don’t do them in the same way you do – and this is new information that you are including to lead your prospect closer to the trial and sold stages!
Are you considering various approaches to starting a Content Marketing program of your own? Joe Hines offers a variety of services in this category. You can find out more by selecting Content Marketing and providing your e-mail address on the form at the right.