Content that tells a story can be king in lead gen efforts

By Michael McEnaneyFebruary 9, 2015

Brand storytelling is certainly nothing new to the marketing world but as we roll into 2015, it is moving in some new and interesting directions, particularly when it comes to lead generation.

The consumer today is smarter than ever – more informed, more skeptical, more influenced by the online content they are reading and, as a result, far less likely to fall for the typical campaign marketing tricks and traps that may have worked years ago.

Content is now clearly king when it comes to the Web, and for marketers it has emerged as a critical means through which to not only engage the customer but an ideal way to establish trust, a vital part of the lead generation equation.

As 2014 came to a close, it had become apparent that consumers were moving toward more engaging content with rich media. Content marketing for lead generation now includes strategies such as company blogs, personal testimonies and social media. This trend is only expected to gain stream in 2015 with an increased emphasis on multimedia content.

“Consumers are more likely to want to connect and reach out to a brand when marketing content includes elements such as sight, sound and motion,” explained marketing strategist and former retailer Richard Lewin. “Video content has been surging for years now and it simply hit its apex this past year.”

The goal with each of the aforementioned strategies is to tell and maintain the brand’s story in such a way the consumer can connect on an emotional level. While this technique has been going strong for a few years across traditional media, the challenge of turning those stories into compelling online content can be tricky.

Lewin added that the most successful marketers are focusing their online storytelling efforts on a few key initiatives. He urges that all content, first and foremost, must speak truthfully. Lewin warns, “Being creative doesn’t mean you can stray from reality.”

He was also quick to caution that brand stories should not be treated as ads or sales pitches, and the focus should be on creating characters the audience will like and ultimately relate to.

“You want your audience left with a sense that they made a connection, not simply that they saw something marketing-related,” Lewin added. “With sharing online experiences all the rage today, you want them to feel like yours is story worth retelling. That’s when lead generation efforts can truly explode.”

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