All marketers tell stories. But only a few successful ones tell an authentic story and present it really well.
Are you one of that storytelling stars? If not, don’t worry; you certainly can be.
So, what’s holding you back?
Is it the lack of advertising budget, no interesting story, a saturated market, or the need to create an entirely new market? No matter what your challenge is, there is always an opportunity to be seized.
All you will need to get started is to have a clear objective. What is left is answering the question ‘how’? In this article, I am going to show you how successful marketers have done it.
Common wisdom suggests, you should identify your customers, understand their needs and behavior, analyze where they shop, what pattern they follow. Then, ensure that your brand is visible to them and try to grab their attention. Correct? Sorry, but this is exactly where you are struggling
Let’s go through this process step by step.
Two types of customers
There are always two types of customers.
The first type is the ones who know exactly what they want, and most likely also know where to find it. However, if they stop by at your doorstep (your ad, website, or social media page), there might be two reasons. Either, their regular destination was unable to satisfy them (this time), or they have noticed something about your story. You must identify which one it is. This insight will help you in refining your story further.
The other set of customers searches with just an idea on their mind. They will use too many words to describe what they are looking for. All that you need to do is understand the context of their search, and present a corresponding offer.
Just the way JumpStory does it. It doesn’t give the user millions of options for a particular search, rather, it understands the context of the search and gives a refined set of images. This not only makes the selection process easier for their customers but also establishes itself as the destination for their repeat usage.
Remain Focused, Keep it Simple, Become the Need
Once the business and marketing objectives are clearly defined and the awareness level of your target group is known, always offer an exact match to their search queries. Just what they have searched for, nothing else. Learn from Google.
As a digital technology giant, Google has many tools to offer, yet it has the cleanest interface on the web. It is not promoting anything, nor is it seeking your attention to its other products. It is just letting you do what you want to do – search. That is how it commands a market share of over 92%.
We no longer search, we Google.
Make them Ask for You
This is one of my all-time favorite stories; especially, if you are in a B2B domain and are having a tough time with your buyers, competitors, or your own outdated products. “Intel Inside” story is for you.
It is amazing to realize that no individual has ever bought an Intel microprocessor, yet no one has bought a machine that doesn’t have “Intel Inside”.
So, educate your end consumers about the benefits of your products and tell them what they are missing out on by not getting your product.
Engage Them to Get to Know Them
Facebook has over 2.6 billion global monthly active users, with a turnover of $84.2 billion in 2020. Over 200 million businesses using its tools to market themselves. And it all started with “What’s on your mind”.
Use puzzles, images, videos, or games to engage people, and they will remember you and reveal themselves to you. Ask them relevant questions at the end, and you will get all valuable info for your business. Just avoid traditional surveys.
An interesting feature used by all eCommerce marketplaces and even networking sites, like LinkedIn, is that they introduce you to a class, with “people also viewed these”.
This helps customers in evaluating the profile of a product or a person they are researching and deciding on buying or connecting.
People are comfortable being part of a group.
Tell your customers about your business, how you do it, the ‘secrets of the trade’, and let them feel empowered by this insight. They will feel more confident about shopping with you.
Needless to say that, right from your ad to the relevant landing page, to the call for action, to the end of the transaction; keep the navigation seamless, short, and uniform. Because this process is in direct proportion to your chances of business conversions.
Sell More and Sell Often
Every business tries to upsell its products or services through some offers or other added benefits. People are smart, when they take advantage of the “Buy 1, Get 1” offer, they don’t consume the products all at once. They double the consumption time, which reduces the frequency of their next visit to your store or website. My advice is, offer a little extra and let them revisit you sooner than later. Each time they visit your site, you get more opportunities to sell other products too.
People make a Brand, You just Maintain it
It is a natural tendency with every marketer and advertising professional, that they set out with a marketing plan and a campaign to create a brand. I, however, keep telling my clients that all they have, is a name. It is the customers, who make it a brand.
There is always a possibility that your story is understood differently by your target group. However, if it starts paying, don’t try to change it to what you wanted it to be.
You are out there to do business, don’t hurt it at the expense of your marketing ambitions. You will get ample opportunities to reposition your brand.
Make Customers your Storytellers
No advertising is as effective as a good review from a friend or a family member. An entire segment of Influencer Marketing has emerged due to this realization. That is why I recommend, make your customers your Models as Brand Ambassadors. Because when they are visible on your media assets, they spread it further among their network and feel more confident while promoting your brand. (actually, their own brand!)
Irrespective of your current stage in your business’s life cycle, if you are facing any challenges with respect to your marketing efforts, try a combination of these suggestions and I am sure you will succeed in your storytelling.
Because a beautiful story is always remembered and told over generations.
About the author
Atul Saxena is a Strategy and Marketing professional based out of New Delhi, India. In the last two decades, he has worked with Media, Advertising, Education, ITES, FinTech, and Retail businesses and has launched many new products and businesses in India.