You have heard it time and time again; Inbound Marketing is all about engaging your readers, giving them educational, interesting and valuable content that helps solve a problem. If you do this well, the reader starts moving along on the buyer’s journey and turns from a target into a real lead, and that’s exactly what you want. So it’s crucial you know how to attract your readers, prospects, and potential buyers to turn them into qualified leads.
What you want is not always what you need (right now)
When we ask our clients what they want to achieve with their blogs, more often than not the term “thought leadership” comes up. And I get it, we all want to be thought leaders, world changers and revolutionaries BUT unfortunately, or should I say fortunately, not everyone and not every company is going to turn their respective market place upside down with a few blogs. Thought leadership and needed credibility come with time.
This is especially important for start-ups. You can shout as much as you want if no one is listening it's a rather pointless exercise. So it is very important to understand that in order to get your social proof, your status and your integrity, you will have to convince people that you have what it takes. You need to build an audience first, then you can change the way your industry peers think and only once you have made a name for yourself is it time to make that leap to market revolution.
How do I get people to listen to me?
Simple, be the answer to their questions. By the time you start blogging, you know your buyer personas' core problems. You know what keeps them awake at night and you know that your product or service can take that stress away from them.
Let’s say you developed an app helping restaurants stay on top of bookings. You know that the restaurant manager, your buyer persona, struggles daily with over-bookings, not enough tables and a shortage of resources. Your app will let him/her solve all these issues, so why wouldn’t you just put that out there? No need to demonstrate your capabilities as a thought leader first.
Be the company that understands your buyers, be the company that is looking to make their lives easier. Nothing creates trust more than creating a story around your brand. Use real life examples and case studies to show people who you are. You want your potential buyer to know that you can help them to be faster, more efficient and more organised and that's where your story plays a key component.
The power of storytelling
Surely you remember some of the bedtime stories your parents told you as a child. Remember how some of them lulled you into a long night's sleep filled with wonderful dreams and others (Hansel and Gretel in my case) would simply leave you frightened in the dark and induce horrific nightmares? These stories had an impact on you, they made you think and some even taught you lessons, even if it was just subconsciously. And not much has changed; stories are still as powerful, no matter if they are delivered in form of video, the written word, an infograph or an animation. A story that awakens your fantasy, makes you think, pulls heartstrings and draws on everyday problems can have just as much of an impact on your psyche today as it did decades ago.
Today people often consciously go on the internet to look for a solution to their problems, and that’s where your company needs to be waiting for them, story loaded and ready to engage. From a content marketing perspective, your stories are just as important to your brand as is the logo and website design. It is what makes you human and approachable.
The revolution comes next
Once you have built your social proof along with a good client list and established yourself as a credible company with an outstanding offering, then it’s your turn to think about thought leadership. Now is the time that you can challenge your competitors and peers with fresh thoughts and ideas.
And who knows, maybe you will be the one to revolutionise your industry. After all, you can achieve anything if you just put your mind to it.
To read more about the power of content, download our free ebook below.