Selling starts with a story – what’s yours?

At Fifth Ring, we are always looking to improve and expand upon our skills and capabilities, and keeping up with the continuing development of content marketing is a vital part of that process.

We recently invited content marketing strategist John W. Hayes into our Aberdeen offices to explain his views on the subject and share his own experiences of what works and what doesn’t in this field.

John’s content marketing boot camp was, for me, informative, intriguing and most of all energising. Light bulb moments were illuminating the training room throughout the day. And that mid-afternoon ‘yawning moment’ that always overtakes you despite your best efforts in hiding it from the training presenter, well that never came.

Everyone has a story. The question is: where do you tell it – and whom do you tell it to?

Here’s one solution that’s cost-effective, simple to achieve and, best of all, the responses received are measurable. Content marketing.

The first thing to do when considering the creation of content is to identify your customer’s problem, address it and offer a solution. All customers are looking for solutions so it’s important that you get your solution, or story, out there as soon as possible.

A key vehicle for the delivery of effective, measurable content can be a blog. Blogs give your business a pulse, so it’s good to start off by writing a blog on your website, (which could then develop into a white paper or a video, for example) offering your solution to your customer’s problem and giving them positive news. Positioning your content in such a way can help you establish your profile as a thought leader in a given space or sector – an expert in your field. Above all, when writing your blog, remember the acronym KISS (keep it simple stupid) because your readership may have a relatively short attention span or time to read your content.

Email your existing contacts a link to your blog page. Link to the blog through your social media channels to drive traffic to your new content, and think journalist when writing your headline, because your story should really be told in the headline. Through analytics, and with software like marketing automation, you can identify and measure who’s viewing your blog and from there you can nurture your viewers, driving through to sales.

Having posted the blog, you could then consider re-purposing it into additional formats, for example online video, guest editorials, white papers/ebooks, webinars and online presentations.

Get creative with your content. But start small and think big. The first thing is to get your story out there.