June 03, 2014

Your Content Creation Strategy Must Focus on Storytelling

Who doesn’t love a good story?

Today, marketing isn’t about getting customers to open their wallets for whatever products you’re promoting that day. Rather, businesses increasingly understand the importance of developing and maintaining fruitful long-term relationships with customers. After all, although only 12 to 15 percent of your customer base may be wholly loyal to your brand, that chunk of customers can account for as much as 70 percent of your sales.

Last month, GE CMO Beth Comstock spoke about her company’s marketing efforts at the Business Marketing Association meeting in Chicago. Comstock said brands should tell a unified story that connects with people on an emotional level. She went on to discuss GE’s most recent campaign, which highlighted the company’s construction of underwater turbines that are powered by the ocean’s tides; how mobile devices are giving the healthcare industry a facelift; and the creation of trains that are better for the environment.

Those stories are seen and told through the eyes of a child whose mother is a GE employee, giving the campaign the emotional aspect Comstock says is vital to success.

“It’s important to have a strong brand and communicate who you are,” she explained. “Right now, we are telling the story of one GE. It’s the same if you are targeting consumers directly or businesses. We are all people.”

B2B marketing, in that sense, doesn’t have to be boring, she continued. No matter the context, marketers must think outside the box and create engaging and effective campaigns. And that begins with telling a cohesive, intriguing story that your customers want to hear.

“You can’t sell anything if you can’t tell anything,” Comstock said, adding that it can be difficult to create such cohesion in a campaign—particularly for a 130-year-old brand that dips its toes into a variety of endeavors across the globe. “We’ve had to create content that appeals to a wide range of customers and shareholders.”

When it comes to your content creation strategy, it’s imperative that you figure out precisely who your customers are, craft a story that caters to their interests and do so in a way that grabs their emotions. That’s the way you build a mutually beneficial relationship that’s satisfying for all parties involved.

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