Only customers decide if you're relevant.
“You need to connect the contact information with the content information,” Gail Goodman, former president and CEO of Constant Contact, once said.
Indeed, a brand story is only remarkable if it is relevant to the person reading it. By now, many companies have learned this important lesson—possibly the hard way.
But while brands may know why engaging content is critical to building deeper customer relationships, loyalty, thought leadership and ‘share-ability,’ not every organization—startup or established—has figured out a winning formula for relevant writing.
Our advice is to start with a mantra that can be challenging for companies to digest when they are very protective and attached to their hand-built product or service: “It’s not about me (or my product…or my service).”
Any product or service that’s worth its weight, that lasts, doesn’t need to explain itself. It doesn’t need to tell its life story. That’s boring to customers and clients who are looking to, first and foremost, solve a problem or self-improve. Instead, it needs to become part of theirstory.
A brand’s inherent value will shine through demonstration and, more importantly, connection. An audience must believe a product or service is in some way powerfully pertinent to their life in this moment in time.
It’s critical to tell that story—not the one you’re dying to tell about your brand’s stunning features and benefits. These are things. It doesn’t mean you need to ditch thinking about these things altogether. But rather look at each one as a starting point for a world of stories that mean something to the people who will ultimately buy your product or service.
The best story ideas for a rich, sustainable content structure will come about when you drill down on more meaningful questions like these:
- How are people using your product/service right now?
- How is it simplifying, organizing, changing, empowering, etc. people’s lives?
- What is the product/service inspiring people to do that they haven’t done before?
- What are the values behind your brand—and how do these play out in the real world?
- What is your brand’s defining differentiator—the story it and only it can tell?
- Why would someone feel compelled to share this particular story?
- How can you tie your product/service to another act of good in the world?
We promise here at Rezonant—features and benefits alone will never sell your story at the volume you dream of. So how do you turn the tables on your approach to storytelling? Simple. Always put the customer—rather than your product or service—first. Fight the instinct.
All companies have the capacity to understand and leverage relevancy. Often, to tell the most compelling stories and build connection through content we just need to get out of our own way first.