What’s the difference between telling a good story and marketing? Not much. Marketing is often used as a term to be this ambiguous blob or thing where people sink money into in the hopes that it will produce some results on the other end of a sales ledger. In fact there are so many terms created within the marketing consultancy “biz” that most of the time the words become meaningless because there isn’t any real way to measure the success. They are often “feel good” terms used to reinforce the credibility of the conversation and the presented proposals. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of incredible marketers out there but a lot of them fell into it because they believed they could really rock a twitter account and knew how to schedule some posts in one of many online tools to drip fresh content out.
Marketing is creating the message for when the opportunity presents itself to connect with a potential client or customer. Whether selling a widget or a service a good narrative as to what emotions will be invoked are what the consumer is seeking. We all want to “feel good” about a decision whether it’s a considered purchase or an impulse. We are motivated by different emotions or feelings when we make a purchase. Sometimes it is determined by the price of the item or simply off of the high from making an unplanned purchase on the lunch break at the mall. These emotions come and go through the days and weeks as we are all consumers of products and services on this rotating hamster wheel of life.
How does one create the emotions to compel one to buy their product or service online? There is no real difference. The emotional tug of strings game is still very much the same, the only difference is the delivery method. Since it’s not a tangible item it needs to be made as tangible as possible to the individual processing this decision. Here are a list of qualities which can initially help create the narrative for the story:
- High quality images
- Quality product or service videos
- Reviews by other customers
- Compelling sliders with images and video
- A great story about the product or service
- American Made
- Veteran Owned & Operated
- Woman Owned & Operated
- Collaboration projects with other brands within a similar space (GoPro is really good at this)
Below are some screenshots of the BCM (Bravo Company USA) homepage. Notice that above the fold are some engaging images that instantly create a narrative for the brand. Yes, even you “Mr. Weekend Warrior” can be a hero with BCM. They do an incredible job at creating an emotion just from the images and copy on their homepage. Below the fold (once you have scrolled to the second half of the homepage) you see a lineup of products listed categorically. Now BCM isn’t expecting s high dollar purchase from every interaction. What they’re focusing on is laying an impression of their brand within the visitor of the site.
Consistency across the brand is key when you are distributing teasers to that content across the web and social media profiles. This is all part of creating the narrative that enforces the brand equity while at the same time leading prospective consumers down the path of conversion. We will talk more about conversion in later posts but ultimately we don’t just want a single transaction from a single customer, we want multiple transactions over the course of time. This is why it’s important to have a mechanism in place for capturing that lead data. This could be something simple like have an enticing widget to grow your email marketing list.As you create content, take photos, create videos, develop collateral or any other content initiative, make sure to step back and look at the story you are telling. Does it lineup with how you want your brand to be perceived?
Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, sound and/or images, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and instilling moral values.