How to Tell Your Inbound Marketing Story
Your inbound marketing story is everything:
- How you portray yourself…your company?
- What you stand for?
- Why you do what you do?
These points are seemingly obvious, and because of this, most tend to overlook these fine details — one of the worst mistakes you can make. We’ve alluded to this in a previous blog post ("3 rules of B2B blogging"), but it’s a topic worth closer inspection.
The B2B marketing world has shifted significantly in 20 years from outbound to inbound. Today, you need a website, social media, blogs, white papers, and social consensus that you’re not out to destroy the rainforest.
But why do you need all of those things? To inspire confidence in your potential customers that your company is different. Why do you have to be different?
To attract customers - If you’re selling the same thing as everyone else for the same price and there’s nothing different about your, then how do you plan to succeed over your competition?
Your story should be the center of your business. Think about why you’re doing what you’re doing. What do you hope to provide your customers with? What do you want to achieve as a company?
These aspects of your story make you human and are your heart. Wear your heart on your sleeve - be proud of it and show it off to the world.
A great, albeit B2C, example of this is Starbucks. They have a very specific culture, aspirations, and story that they portray in their stores and marketing campaigns.
I know Starbucks cares about my coffee because if I don’t like it, they’ll make it again for me.
Be aware of who you’re talking to. Without a clear understanding of your audience, you may as well be speaking Chinese. Writing your buyer persona profile doesn’t have to be difficult. Like most things in life, it can be quite fun.
Having you buyer persona worked out guarantees that the story you create will resonate with your audience for a successful campaign.
Do Starbucks really care about every single coffee I drink? I seriously doubt it - especially not Jane, the apathetic and embittered barista at my local branch.
But they portray the image of caring well, and they are highly successful at getting us to believe that they do, which is why Starbucks is a $15Billion company.
In marketing, hyperbole is good, You’re allowed to exaggerate to get your point across – you aren’t writing for National Geographic. So add a little drama, gosh darn it!
To clarify: consistency does NOT mean predictability.
Rather, it means rolling out your story and company culture out across everything you do. To go back to the Starbucks example, their branches all have a specific style of music and décor, they don’t have drive-thrus for example, because that’s just not “Starbucks”.
It also means producing (and publishing) content at regular intervals as well as making everything nicely standardized (and awesome, obviously).
To ensure brand consistency, we suggest using a marketing automation tool (e.g: Hubspot/Marketo). Marketing automation helps you to streamline the distribution of content as well as helping you to produce effective branded content perfect for inbound marketing.
Be: A Subjective Human
Being human is important – if you can’t be human in your writing then you probably shouldn’t be writing.
Being human makes you approachable and attractive to potential clients.
One of the biggest complaints when customers call customer service centers is that they have to wait on the line listening to a machine and then they get an operator they can’t relate to.
The amount of times that I’ve heard people yell “I just want to speak to a person!” is phenomenal.
One of the best ways to appear to be human to your users is to be human! Your content shouldn’t read like a user manual or a report in the “Financial Times”.
Journalists remove themselves from articles to appear subjective, marketing is entirely based on opinions. In your content, you should be approachable, opinionated, and anecdotal.
Google is a fantastic example - when a web page crashes, there’s a funny error message allowing us to believe that the multibillion-dollar privacy stealing Google Corp. is still a nice startup of 4 geeks in a garage.
To help get your (marketing) story straight, drop us a line or give us a call!