Everyone loves a good story teller; they have been around for nearly as long as time itself, many a cozy fireside on a cold, dark night has been enhanced with the element of mystique, magic and awe inspired by the skills of the storyteller. There may have been others who knew the same facts of the story but lacked the linguistic skills required to deliver the message in the same fashion, with the same resonating, long lasting effect.
In fact, some would argue that without good story tellers we wouldn’t have a lot of the information we do today. Snippets of information, although sometimes garnished with a few extravagant titbits to excite the fireside audience, have trickled down through the ages. These legacies told and retold would have, without the skill and narration of the story tellers, have been lost forever. Their ability to entertain whilst conveying important messages have informed and often amused us throughout the ages, their importance to our evolution and our gathered knowledge cannot be understated.
What these story tellers understood was that by truly connecting on a deep personal level with their audience, touching on subjects and information that really meant something to them, spiking and retaining their interest, was a sure way to both captivate and ensure their tales were regaled, remembered and passed on by their listeners in turn enhancing their own reputation.
Today’s marketing is undergoing a similar shift and gives a knowing nod towards these bards of old; today’s marketers understand that to truly resonate with their audience they have to shift their focus on methods and approach. They are graduating from the traditional method of telling the consumer what it is you do or what it is you sell, marketers are now understanding that to truly reach out to prospective clients you have to explain what it is you can do for them. The true power of stories lie within making the reader and consumer feel part of the process, this is the beauty involved in the creation of epic content marketing.
Content comes at us like a tidal wave every day, the sheer volume we have access to through the internet is a resource that is nigh beyond comprehension, never before have we had access to so much information involving so little effort on our behalf. Content and information surrounds our every step, this though, can be part of the problem, the world is literally drowning in content and not all of it good. The battle for the consumer’s attention intensifies with each passing day, the era of one way, single threaded, brand directed mass communications is over, the consumer is fed up and bored of being spoken to or at, they want to feel part of the story, not just an afterthought at the end of it.This is where the core of the problem lies, most businesses are still pushing out messages and content that is a throwback to olden methods, more and more marketing methods have become redundant and yet companies have responded by creating even more content that no one wants, needs, likes and ultimately won’t respond to. Now is the time for companies to pivot their approach if they want to be successful, they have to start creating content that will reach out to the consumer on a personal and emotional level, a level that the consumer will be compelled to respond to, this is where they need to introduce epic content marketing.
The first port of call for any company and their marketing section in creating this epic content is ‘why?’, or more pertinently they have to ask themselves ‘why’? They have to start thinking like publishers, they have to start creating more of the content that customers are actually looking for, start asking themselves what is it that customers really want, what is resonating with them at this very minute in time, in short, what matters the most to consumer rather than what matters most to the business, only by following this approach will consumers start to take notice of the content that you are creating.
It is very easy to get wrapped up in your own needs and wants, after all you have a business to run and self-preservation is an essential facet to have as business acumen. In order for your content and message to have its desired effect you have to pivot your thinking and approach, you have to put your customer’s needs and wants to the top of the pile, start creating content that will connect with them on a platonic level. Be the customer, see through their eyes, ask yourself what it is they want and how your product can accommodate this need. Generally their questions will be along the lines of ‘how can we grow?’, ‘how can we reduce costs?’, ‘how do we gain customers?’ or ‘how can I get ahead of my competition?’ but sometimes you will have to read between the lines to truly understand what it is that the consumer wants.
At a basic level your content should at the very least be helpful; ideally it should be like the storyteller and entertain while being informative. Regardless of where you are on the road to creating your epic content, it is vital to remember that it is not about creating ever more content in the hope that this will fix the problem, rather it is about creating epic content that will enable you and your customer to stand apart from the competition. Not so much peeping above the parapet but ripping through it and standing tall. Your goal is also your customer’s goal, to be successful, help them along this path and you will ultimately be helping yourself and in the process your customer will remember, much like the storyteller, where they heard it first.