For today’s marketer, digital is more than a collection of channels — it’s a means to connect brands with people by telling powerful stories that draw an audience, convert new customers and increase loyalty. Brands that think first in terms of digital content and amplification – and in terms of providing new ideas in a charismatic way – are making strategic advances over the competition.
It’s easy to tell when a story resonates with people — they start to congregate, first listening and then joining in on the conversation. This concept plays out every day in a variety of settings. When you’re at a party, attentive crowds form around the most interesting, witty person. In social digital rooms such as Facebook, Millennials prefer to connect with their favorite brands over their own family members. In a professional setting, we gravitate toward experts who consistently create polished work based on fresh, new ideas. On LinkedIn Pulse, professionals flock daily to the iconoclastic ideas of LinkedIn Innovators, looking to get an edge in their field.
As a content marketer, nothing is more gratifying than creating something of value that draws these audiences. But to guarantee you’re telling the right stories that build strong relationships, there are crucial things to know ahead of time.
1. Know your audience. Being a friend to everyone online is difficult. Meeting a partner or customer and nurturing that relationship over time is just as tough. Each and every relationship begins and evolves differently, so marketers must carry a roadmap for successfully creating and amplifying digital content that provides value for the people they are trying to reach.
2. Know your publishing cadence. Some relationships are built slowly but surely through regular and trusting communication. Others form overnight through powerful expressions of emotion. You must determine how to time the stories you tell.
3. Know which style of communication best suits your brand. Some relationships can be built through long letters — missives that share insights to a person’s character. Others are built and solidified through touch. Think of it as digital marketing with a personalized experience. You must know which style works best for your brand.
4. Know how to be adaptable. Digital storytelling must be adapted for different modes of communication and stages in the relationship-building process. A content marketing strategy must enable a brand to be great in the eyes of its target audience. And a strategy built with amplification guarantees your great content will reach a wide enough audience to incite a wider conversation
5. Know how to continue the conversation. Once a person is drawn to your brand, they must feel like an equal partner in the relationship. They must be able to communicate their own thoughts, opinions, and philosophies. The days of one-sided communications between brands and consumers are over. Today’s best brands are drawing more people into two-sided conversations through the content they produce and amplify online. These conversations are what let the audience know they matter.