Seth Godin is well known for his marketing wisdom. He continues to influence and write about our work environment and how marketing and media is ever changing. He is one of the top dogs in today’s mix and receives over 600,000 readers a month. There is a reason he sells so many books with that kind of following.
Obviously we cannot hope to achieve these numbers for small business. We aren’t even in the pack – let alone a lead dog. But we can learn from the leaders and implement simple techniques that provide measurable and effective results. For online content marketing it is important to know that the tools that industry leaders have at their disposal are the exact same tools that you have at yours. With a little effort you can access and use the exact same stuff that these leaders do to tell great stories.
One example of great story telling content marketing is John Deere. They completely “get it” in my mind.
John Deere makes the message and content, whether it is with a video or with written content, real. it is the kind of story that you would hear from a friend. It ultimately supports the buying decision at different stages of the sales process.
Let me backtrack here briefly. We want the content we are creating for our distribution online to be valuable and relevant to the viewer. This is extremely important because we do not want to sell stuff in an ad. We want to engage viewers and have them identify with the outcome of owning a product. The focus is on the result of using something they have bought from you for their purpose. It is not focused on features of how great your products are. This comes later.
In the John Deere stories they show different customers with different needs. They tell each story and show how their tractors can provide different services for each group. In their Farm Small – Dream Big section you almost forget that they are selling equipment. Tractors are not cheap so you need to understand what is important to your customer and connect with them on that level.
There is a trend in buyers that John Deere recognizes and created valuable content for. Even for the little family farmer that is suppose to be a dying breed as big corporate farms take over North America, John Deere appreciates that there is a group who wants the lifestyle and stewardship that goes hand in hand with owning a small farm. This group values quality.
Creating meaningful content that tells a story is a powerful way to build a brand and culture around a product. These new owners become advocates for your products and services and generate more stories to tell.
Keep this simple rule in mind the next time you are talking to a customer. Look behind the obvious fact that they are dealing with you and want something to the reason they are there in the first place. That is good content to write about.