Are you connecting through content?

We have never been fed so much information. Social media feeds are bombarded with branded content and online information, making it hard to find relevant and quality insight.

Too many companies approach marketing content as a box ticking exercise, without really examining what it they’re trying to communicate and how. Storytelling has always been an art form and this approach has never been more important. How can growing companies develop content that positively influences buying behaviour?

The pyramid approach to storytelling

The most obvious, yet most common mistake people make is to assume that the reader will get right to the end. 55% of all page views get less than 15 seconds of attention, so getting your message across succinctly is crucial. As a journalist, I was taught to structure my writing as an inverted pyramid – with the most important information at the top. Lead with the conclusion, back this up with important details in the subsequent section and then include other general information and interesting background towards the end.

Dig deep to reinvent

When working with an agency, take the time to audit information and customer successes with them. Older stories can still have legs! When we began working with ACANA and ORIJEN, they had been providing the West Midland Fire Dogs with food for some time. There had been some good media coverage on the dogs, but we saw the opportunity to develop a story about how important feeding and diet was to these animals.

Building on the existing case study, we were able to produce a piece of content that felt fresh without requiring the investment of a completely new story. With this new approach, and mindful of where the story had been covered previously, we targeted new media sectors, pitching a deeper feature story. The results? Interviews with pet training and regional media, with coverage that included a number of key messages while still providing the insight and interest the publications’ readerships demanded.

With broadcast and owned content opportunities in the pipeline, this activity demonstrates the value of revisiting strong stories, even if they are a year old.

Go beyond to add value to both client and media

Sometimes there isn’t apparently much to a story. Company A buys Company B. However, it’s important to understand the context of your news, and how it affects not just your organisation, but the wider market, your customers and even locals.

We were tasked by Emtelle, a leading manufacturer based in the Scottish borders, to support its acquisition of a rival business in a new market. Emtelle manufactures fibre duct cabling, a critical component in the laying of fibre infrastructure, which in turn is in high demand as the global demand for super fast broadband continues to grow.

To take the story beyond the initial acquisition, and with the deal involving two private businesses (and therefore no requirement to disclose deal size), we developed multiple versions of the same story to appeal to different media. As a major employer in the Borders region, we targeted Scottish business media with a local employer expands overseas angle, while for the trade press, we focused the impact on the industry and how this tapped into wider trends.

To date, we’ve had coverage in major Scottish media and key trades, secured interviews with the likes of the Herald and MarketWatch, allowing Emtelle’s spokespeople to go beyond the release and talk about the business strategy behind the acquisition.

Lead with benefits

Detaching yourself from your organisation, product or service to write about it in a way that will resonate to customers and prospects often feels disproportionately challenging. In our experience, clients often focus too much on describing a product or service.

The Bright Hub always work with companies to define the audience, lead with the benefit and prove it. This works particularly well for platforms where you have a limited amount of space - such as landing pages on web sites, descriptors on social media or in presentations.

TALKINGTECH were convinced to take just this approach when we worked with them to write the content for its web site that communicates their relatively complex offering – collections and late payments in the telco and utilities sector. The landing and ‘about us’ pages simply focus on the benefits that their clients can expect to enjoy. TALKINGTECH deliver this by using forward-thinking technology, but not all prospects want to know what’s under the bonnet in the first few minutes.

If you’d like to develop a narrative that resonates with customers and prospects, get in touch.