5 Tips to Add Heart to Your Tech Content Marketing
By: IDG | 02/07/2017
Alyssa has been preparing content marketing assets to promote her cloud solution. Her assets haven’t generated the response she’d like, and she’s finding it downright hard to cut through media noise and clutter. To convince her target they need her solution, she needs a new approach….
One approach for Alyssa to consider is to weave the art of storytelling into her assets. Storytelling has been around as long as humankind. There is little doubt that stories have the power to captivate minds and hearts. But how does this translate to better business? Content marketing is meant to engage audiences. But many times, it can fall short if the message is purely technical.
At the 2016 Inbound Conference this past fall, Amina Moreau, principal at StillMotion, delivered a compelling session on the Scientific Secrets of Superpowerful Storytellers. It’s her mission to tell powerful stories that make a difference. She offered some valuable advice for doing this.
Changing minds is hard. The best way to influence someone is not to convince them of something, it’s to get them to feel something. Moreau asserts that the best way to do this is to design an emotional experience that connects people to the things that both they and you care about.
When it comes right down to it, people are not motivated by rational arguments. Sure, statistics are important. We need facts and figures to present logical arguments and cases. But in the early decision stages, when we’re trying to connect with our target, the stories that move people to action are stories about people.
Moreau offers these 5 tips for fostering a real connection with your customers and prospects.
- Find a unique angle. Look for something interesting about your own company. Does your company have a quirky bit of history related to technology? Maybe your company’s founder envisioned his or her mission while traveling across the country in a VW bus. Humans are hard-wired for novelty. We notice what’s different. Find something that will catch your target’s attention.
- Choose a character. People make stronger connections to individuals than to groups. Generalized stories about groups of people and concepts are abstract and pack less of an emotional punch. This character could be an employee who exemplifies your company’s mission. It could be your CEO. Or it could be a client with a unique approach to using your offerings.
- Highlight desire. Whatever character you choose, this person should have a strong desire to either reach a goal or overcome an obstacle. Explore your character’s journey. Don’t be afraid to ask deep questions. A character whose desire to grow their company to X revenue because he or she wants a yacht isn’t going to create the same response as the desire created by a person whose family suffered a devastating loss in a hurricane and has decided to use big data to track weather patterns to decrease the impact of future disasters. The why of the desire matters as much as the desire itself.
- Explore conflicts that stand in the way. Choose a conflict that your audience can relate to. Too often, in consumer and corporate story-telling, conflicts and difficulties are dropped out of presentations. We shy away from talking about the problems that are driving the need for solutions, and we only present the solutions. Anxiety and tension aren’t necessarily bad things. Your prospects face problems every day, and appealing to their struggles as well as to their victories will foster deeper connection.
- Take your audience on a journey. The art of storytelling has been around for thousands of years. Take advantage of the well-established power of the story arc.
- Start with a hook. Introduce characters that will make your audience care.
- Present the conflict. What is the character up against?
- Show the journey. What ups and downs has this character experienced? What did he or she learn along the way?
- Reveal the answer. How did he or she solve their problem?
- Finish with the “jab.” The jab is the message you want to leave your audience with. It’s something powerful, memorable, and ideally shareable. It’s something that ties the story together and makes your audience care.
The bottom line is that person-centered storytelling can help your bottom line. Statistics are important, but it’s people who make decisions. And how people feel about a company and its products and services is an often-overlooked motivator in the decision-making process.
For more information, check out these resources.
- The Importance of Storytelling Over Statistics. A Powerful Research Study.
- Story Really is Important
- Muse Storytelling
Need some help crafting a memorable or remarkable framework or story for your brand or product? Learn how our Strategic Marketing Services can help.