Too Much Funnel…Need More Credibility – Tell Your Story

macs-drive-in-blog

I have been thinking a lot lately about the business behind content and how it has become more important everyday to truly tell our story. We are finding more and more every day, content is your communications’ most equitable position; the more you tell, the more you share, the more you have in the content cue, the larger the brand bucket for your organization.

I am finding more and more, data and digital marketing initiatives are forcing individuals to sway further into a funnel metric mentality. As one client told me the other day, my bosses want numbers, they want to see the needle moving in their pocket book. There is not just a need to associate all digital marketing efforts to downstream revenue, but negating the equitable position of consistent storytelling, specifically the need of to have digital properties that are updated with fresh content as a credibility position for consumers to purchase.

Let me ask this…when you choose to negate the strategy of creating a presence online with rich, recent content…it is like having a brick and mortar store that looks old and run down from the outside. The product or service maybe be amazing, but that exterior perception forces us to keep on driving. But what makes us go inside?

I think about my favorite restaurant now and when I was growing up as a kid. Mac’s Drive-In has the best double cheese burger, fries, and sweet tea you ever tasted. My mouth is watering right now. When I was I kid, you would drive by Mac’s and think the place was run down. It looked old and rough from the outside. When I grew older and went to Clemson for my undergraduate education, I would take some of my friends to Macs. We would pull up and they would look at the building and ask me if it was good and if it was safe on the inside. I had to spend a few minutes convincing them that the burgers were amazing, and the historical pictures on the wall are amazing.

Imaging spending a good portion of your budget on digital marketing initiatives, driving people to go to a place (from social media) to your store to buy a product/service. They are going to research your product or service….they are going to click around a bit to read more. They are going to compare your product/service to other competitors. They are going to look at your social media channels to see what is the most recent content, review comments were left on the social media channels from the consumer.

We have heard from more and more consumers that if you are selling a product or service online and a business’s Facebook page, Twitter account, website, and other digital channels are not fresh with recent content and imagery…they will keep on shopping.

I spend a lot of time in the healthcare arena, working with hospitals and other healthcare groups telling their story. To operationalize…I help them build up their content library and their brand bucket. The audience(s) for many of our initiatives are millennial moms. We see this audience interacting with content in our social media channels more than any other audience. So here is what we have learned about millennial moms:

“Millennial moms are more connected, more influential and have more access to research and information than any generation prior,” Katie Sobel, Senior Director of Marketing Communications at baby food company Plum Organics, said. “They also expect complete transparency and connectivity from the brands they do select,” which Sobel says makes things difficult because “moms have the luxury of being discerning.”

Let’s be honest…this is a broader conversation beyond millennial moms…we are in a mobile environment of scroll, clicking, a seeking the best deal from brands we trust. Content strategy is bigger than what Gary Vaynerchuck says when it comes to deploying content, even though I think he is on to something and has brought language to this growing interaction.

garyv-blog-2015“I spend a lot of my time now doing, is trying to figure out how to tell my story in micro-moments…that we live in the greatest ADD culture of our time. I am obsesed with the notion, how do I tell you my story when you take out your phone and you do this. That’s what we now do.”

He is talking about the two-screen mentality of just scrolling in the hopes that something will catch your attention. Many of us have become the scrollers, the consumers of information, the consumer of lots of stuff and this stuff is more than the stuff brands are delivering. Yes…it is competitive to fight the scrolling mentality. But the assumption is that everyone that schools must click and consume. The numbers do not support that position as a way to concisely sell products and services.

But lets step back out of the weeds a bit. We are loosing perspective. We are loosing the ability to tell our story consistently, and have begun to shift to far into the paradigm that social media outlets are the only way to deliver content and the only way to capture individuals attention.

How do we know that the Mac’s double cheese burger, fries, and tea is the best? They do not have a website, an active Facebook page, lots of horrible reviews on Yelp, and a few articles online from local media outlets. We know because they are consistent. They have been delivering the same double cheese burger, fries, and tea since I was a kid. The taste has not changed, the portion has not changed, the experience inside the walls of Mac’s has not changed. They do not need a digital content strategy. They are just committed to consistently providing a good product.

There is a lot to learn from this model:
– consistency
– knowing your business model
– knowing your audience
– knowing your story

I am not advocating that we dump digital communications strategies…more I am advocating that creating digital properties for funnel metrics is not the only way to grow a consumer based product/service.

yelp-macsdrivein-2015

But if we take a second to read a review in Yelp, this tell’s me one thing…they need just a simple website that allows people to see inside the place, the pictures, they experience, the food, the intimacy of the college-town burger joint. Just a place to add a piece of credible content to provide an alternative point of view to this review and many of the other reviews. Content is not about just giving people a place to click and buy…but adding a new narrative that provides credibility enhancing the purchasing experience.

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