Pause a moment, and think.
What is marketing? When you hear the term, what springs to mind?
Sure, those are all things that fall under the wide umbrella of ‘marketing’. But they aren’t the answer.
In fact, those things don’t even matter, and cannot get you anywhere.
Unless you have a story to tell.
When the meaning gets lost in the ‘marketing’…
For most people, ‘marketing’ makes them think of creative graphs, advertising and digital display (like social media and websites). Yes, those are all parts of marketing. But for marketing to be effective, all those components need to be tied together.
Without a clean, solid message at the core, your marketing efforts aren’t going to go far.
Sure, people might comment that they love your logo and your Facebook posts might get lots of likes. But if they aren’t helping spread your key message, those ‘indicators’ really don’t mean much at all. That’s not to say ROI indicators should be skipped. Measurement is a pillar of successful marketing and will keep your efforts on track.
So, yes, ROI is important, but it’s not everything.
And as soon as it becomes the exclusive focus of marketing, you are sunk. If all you care about is increasing the click rate, you will get pulled off-target to try to keep increasing results with higher numbers in every project. You’ll favour quantity over quality, forget about the message and instead focus only on the numbers.
But are those numbers delivering real outcomes? In other words, are those new Facebook page likes translating to the bottom line of your business?
Yeah… I didn’t think so.
Clever marketing tricks are nice. But to work, they need to be backed up by something that actually means something.
Forget the tactics. What’s the story?
Let’s assume that all of your marketing manifestations are all centred on a core message. The next questions is, what is that message? And is it any good?
If it’s boring, overly factoid-ish or just a sales pitch, then forget it. No one will care.
The word ‘message’ comes up a lot in marketing. We talk about ‘key messages’ and ‘getting the message out’. But messages on their own aren’t inherently powerful.
Stories, however, are.
We crave stories in marketing. They resonate with us. They help us remember. They speak to our emotions and help us connect with what we really value.
Stories stick out in our minds. When you see or hear an ad that is powerful enough to make you go home and look it up to learn more, that’s not due to the delivery – it’s the message behind the delivery.
And that message got that power because it told a story.
Don’t write the short message before you write the long story
Ever heard the saying ‘I wrote you a long letter because I didn’t have time to write you a short one’? It might seem counterintuitive, but every writer knows it’s the truth.
Creating something short, that’s still powerful, takes time and effort.
A lot of time. And a lot of effort.
That’s why it’s easier to write it all down first. Truth is, getting the whole story down is by far the easiest part. Shrinking it down, editing it into bite-sized chunks for use in taglines, advertisements, social sharing posts and other mini marketing moments without compromising … that’s the really hard part.
Which is awesome.
Content marketing thrives on long-form content.
In other words, content marketing is the perfect vehicle for storytelling.
Remember, one of the key reasons to offer content marketing is to get people to know, like and trust your brand. Using content marketing to tell your story and the story of what you have to offer your reader can do just that. It can help people learn about you, relate to you and begin to build a connection with you.
And since long-form works so well, you can begin to do that without all the hassle of trying to nut it down to just a few words or a single image.
So go on! Be lazy! Tell the whole story.
There’s an audience out there that’s waiting to hear it.