Brand marketers around the world have jumped on the content marketing bandwagon. Often the most common question among marketers pertains to what content to produce. Marketers want to know what content will appeal to their audience. Of course, audience focused content marketing best practices with persona analysis to determine the interest of your audience is content marketing 101. The best thing a marketer can do is to understand that people respond well to storytelling, whether B2B or B2C.
Have a Storytelling Mindset
Ideally, your marketing team is organized around a storytelling mindset. This is a culture shift that doesn’t happen overnight. Even better is when the entire organization has a storytelling mindset. This is a taller order, especially with large organizations. As you produce and publish content that tells a story, it naturally gets ingrained into the DNA of the enterprise.
Celebrate the Customer
At the center of every business is the customer. Often, the customer represents your greatest advocate with the greatest potential to wave your flag. Companies that shine the spotlight on their customer can create great stories. Customers who willingly participate do so with authenticity and usually with great enthusiasm. A customer advocacy program can multiply your marketing team’s efforts exponentially.
Take a look at EMC’s customer advocacy program. Thousands of customers participate creating amplification and reach that results in reorder rates 240 times more than among customers who don’t participate in their customer advocacy program.
Create a System – Divide and Conquer
In a social business marketing is not a department. The marketing team is structured to partner with subject matter experts to capture valuable insights from them to produce content through interviews and other methods. In some organizations, especially geographically distributed ones, a hub and spoke model works well. Embed a hybrid marketing person in departments with dotted line responsibility to the department and a dotted line into marketing. This model stimulates the responsibility of creating content at scale with great efficiency.
Take a look at how Autodesk embeds marketing solutions people throughout their enterprise to capture stories, collaborate with the subject matter experts and the corporate communication team to produce storytelling at scale.
One simple and effective way to get your storytelling to get noticed is to respond promptly to a current event in your industry. This requires a team approach as discussed above. When someone sees a story break in any time zone, they are empowered to promptly create a story behind it, then send it through the proper internal channels for review and approval. The best examples of this type of storytelling occurs in a matter of hours, not days. Timely storytelling has a much greater chance of getting noticed by your audience, and possibly by the media outlets in your industry.
Take a look at how BMC Software responded to an announcement between Oracle and Microsoft.
Have a Social Business Infrastructure
A social business invests in social technology. The social infrastructure for storytelling at scale is a must-have in order to listen for opportunities, empower people to engage and to coordinate their efforts. Social infrastructure technologies provide the necessary backbone for people to listen, schedule, monitor, assign, review, approve and distribute content for storytelling at scale. Take a look at how a social infrastructure allows an organization to have a singular, unified view of the customer that enables internal teams to take immediate, relevant action.
Measure What Works
When you take the next step in your content strategy to do storytelling at scale, it’s to measure your efforts. Simply stated, you want to know who, when and where your audience is engaging with your content. These insights allow you to measure what works so that you can make adjustments as needed and report to management the progress of your social business journey.