The Secret to Creating Content that Resonates
The efficacy of traditional outbound marketing channels is in decline. As a result, savvy B2B marketers have turned to inbound tactics to provide customers with compelling, relevant, valuable content. But the question is: How do you know if your content is compelling?
Research shows that in order to make your brand resonate, you need to create experiences that strike a chord. The purpose of making an emotional connection with your content is to get your audience to do one thing: Choose your brand over the others. Just like brand agencies are tasked with creating an emotional appeal, your content marketing efforts—in all their forms—must carry the same responsibility. Your content should shift perception, drive preference, and ultimately, lead to a purchase.
There are a number of ways your content can strike a chord with your audience: It could be through humor, delight, or showing that you care about your customer’s problems.
To create an emotional connection, your content needs to:
- Link an idea with an emotion
- Convey enough emotion for the story to be memorable
- Describe how and why an organization overcame a real-world obstacle
- Intrigue in both style and format
Here at Tendo, in blogs, videos, white papers, eBooks, and even Tweets, we use storytelling to help clients connect with audiences and build brand engagement.
In all your content, you need to communicate in a way that rings true and generates a visceral reaction. One of the best ways to do that is to tell the story of a customer struggle. In Demand Gen Report’s 2014 Content Preferences Survey of over 100 B2B buyers, 97 percent of respondents cited peer input as the most influential form of content.
According to writer, director, and screenwriting lecturer Robert McKee in the Harvard Business Review, “Cognitive psychologists describe how the human mind, in its attempt to understand and remember, assembles the bits and pieces of experience into a story, beginning with a personal desire, a life objective, and then portraying the struggle against the forces that block that desire.”
Tales of failure and triumph
One of the most highly trafficked blog posts I’ve ghostwritten for a client describes the ways in which an entertainment company tries and initially fails to implement new technology. By detailing the false steps the company takes, the client achieves several goals:
- Keep the audience reading to find out what happens
- Demonstrate the client understands customer pain points
- Ensure the audience retains the information
Even though the piece is ostensibly about technology, the story revolves around very human failings: poor communication, pride, and ego. These problems crop up in any business relationship. People identify with this struggle and want to learn ways to resolve it. Audiences turn to customer stories so they can avoid falling into similar pitfalls.
Success stories are a big draw as well. Another very popular blog I’ve ghostwritten details how a company achieved its goals in record time. The piece portrays the hurdles the company overcame with real-world examples of what took place. And a white paper I recently wrote describes how a customer uses the client’s solution to increase end-user engagement, solve business problems, and drive more revenue.
Customer stories lay the foundation for brand loyalty. The more emotionally invested that people are in your company, the more likely they’ll turn to you for new products and solutions.