PR can be a great way to grow your business, but no one will respond to your press releases unless you have something truly meaningful to say. And the one thing that no one else has to offer besides you is the story of your company. From the CEO’s new corporate strategy to your latest product launch, the story of your company is always evolving. But telling that story isn’t just about making friends and group hugs. It’s about giving your target audience an inside look at how your company came to be and what it represents.
Human beings use stories to make sense of the world. The strange sensations we feel when we hear a good story, known as emotions, give the world meaning and clarity. If you show an ad for a new product to a customer, they may not have much of a reaction. But if you tell them the story behind the product, why it exists, and the people who built it, that customer is much more likely to take out their wallet.
Check out this infographic from Adweek. The chart shows how storytelling can increase the value of a product or service. Based on the results, telling a story about a customer’s experience led to a 5% increase in perceived value. The study was conducted by Origin/Hill Holliday and sampled 3,000 online panel participants, balancing the group by age, gender, and region of origin as outlined by the U.S. Census.
Cleary, storytelling has a role to play in marketing and PR. All you need to do is find your story and share it with the world.
Finding Your Story
Every story has a few things in common. There’s usually a main character that wants something and they have to overcome certain obstacles to get what they want. Take a look around the office and you’ll find plenty of characters that fit this description.
As Steve Clayton, Chief Storyteller at Microsoft, stated at the Social Media Conference for PR, Marketing and Corporate Communications at Disney World in 2016, “Entertain them. Fill the story with characters, texture and ups and downs. But don’t just tell any story. Tell a great story. Take them on the Hero’s Journey.”
Running a business is inherently stressful, challenging, and all together rewarding. It’s full of heroes, do-gooders, overachievers, and day dreamers. You can write a story about your company’s founder, CEO, inventor, digital publisher, or someone else that plays a vital role at the company.
Weaving a Narrative
Once you have a story that you want to tell, you can start funneling it out to the world via press releases, social media, or some compelling blog posts. Every piece of content that is shared with the world is an opportunity for you to tell your company’s story. When you sit down to write, try focusing on an arc or a series of events that lead to a satisfying conclusion.
If you’re writing a press release for a new product, instead of listing off all the product’s features, you can talk about why the company decided to make the product in the first place, the needs it fulfills, and the challenges that you had to overcome to get it into the hands of consumers. Or you can try talking about one customer’s experience with the product. Start with a particular problem or a situation, then talk about how the customer’s life has changed since they bought the product. You can reach out to customers for testimonials, conduct a focus group, or engage with your customers on social media.
It all comes down to eliciting a certain emotion from your audience. Do you want them to feel compassion, rage, anticipation or joy? Whatever effect you want your story to have, it should feed directly into what you’re selling and the people you’re trying to reach.
As Peter Murray, Ph.D. writes in Psychology Today, “In response to an emotion, humans are compelled to do something. In a physical confrontation, fear forces us to choose between fight or flight to ensure our self-preservation. In our daily social confrontations, insecurity may cause us to buy the latest iPhone to support our positive self-identity.”
Evolving Your Story Over Time
Every new product that your company launches, every event that your company participates in, or every time your company gets mentioned in the press is an example of how your company’s story is evolving. Capitalize on these recent developments and use them to further establish your company’s story.
With every new update that you release, try bringing it back to the same original story or mission statement that’s at the core of your company.
Think of your company as a long-running TV show. As the original premise fades after the first few seasons, reenergize your story by adding new details or narratives that will keep your audience on their toes.
The sky is the limit when it comes to telling the story of your company. If you’re having trouble turning your company’s story into meaningful PR, consider working with a professional content writing company like Article-Writing.co.
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The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business.
Seems easy, right?
Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay!
Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action.
As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals.
Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content.
Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:
- Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet.
- Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform.
- Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
- Find where your current and potential audience is active online. Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
- Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve.
- Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience.
Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience
In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.
For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread.
Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes.
By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope.
Ready to Invest In Your Article-Writing.co Thought Leadership Package?
At Article-Writing.co, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package.
Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.