This may seem like a just sensational headline, and it is, but it’s also true.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had a conversation with a potential new client that ends in them listing off all the marketing they’ve done, how much they spent and how it didn’t work.
It’s a common situation experienced by most small businesses, including you, I’m betting.
I am pretty sure that most of you have said all or one of these recently: “We’ve tried PR, even hired a public relations agency, but no media took interest,” or “We advertised for a month, but nothing happened.” Maybe, “We have high traffic to our website but no sales.”
The rub is that you know you need to market your business to grow. So, what’s the problem? Why isn’t it working?
Before you pour any more money into marketing, there is really only one primary reason why you’re not attracting media attention, customers, sales, investors or partners.
You are focused on selling, not telling a story that will build a relationship with customers.
Marketing has always been about relationship building. And, it’s even more important today.
Great brands are great because they understand how to build a relationship with their audience by addressing their needs, and even telling them what they need to be happier, healthier, more beautiful and wealthy – all things every person desires to have and be.
They do this by creating an emotional connection to their product or service and triggering an individual’s desire “to have”. This emotional connection comes in the form of a story that is told consistently across every marketing platform. In fact, it is your purpose for being in business.
The goal is that this “story” makes a connection to your business in the minds of customers to brand the company.
Most people know it as your brand story, it is also your PR story. It can create a company culture and give employees something to care about and work hard to help you achieve. It can and will drive the future of your business and its expansion.
But big brands weren’t always big. What they learned to do was tell their story in a compelling way.
It is often very difficult for small business owners to take a moment from their seemingly infinite “to do” list and take a look at their business as a customer might. However, it is essential to your success. If you cannot see how customers perceive, may perceive, your business then you’ll never understand how to give them what they need and want; you may not survive.
Evaluation allows you to see what’s working and where you’re falling short. If marketing tactics are not working, then it’s your message; your story that is not compelling enough.
Consider this, a compelling story moves people to feel something. When consumers feel something, they feel the urge to learn more and they start the Process of Purchase:
- Awareness – through media, ads, friends, trade show…
- Education/Information Seeking – visiting your website
- Evaluation: does it meet their needs; do they see value?
- Post-purchase evaluation – does it meet expectations and perceived value?
- Sharing – positive or negative evaluation
How Do You Define Your Compelling Story?
So often I have seen entrepreneurs and inventors get caught up in the benefits of their product or service and never address the “Why”:
- Why did you start the business or invent the product?
- Why and How will it change the world?
- Why will it change the industry?
- Why and How will it change people’s lives?
- Why is it important?
The “Why” addresses the need and the reason you started the company. It becomes the foundation for a great story that connects with customers and triggers their desire for what you’re selling.
I used this example in another article. To reiterate, which one of these two options makes you feel interested to learn more?
1. XYZ company announced today the launch of its new product the CarTable making it more convenient for people to eat while driving in the car.
2. In 2017, 54% of all car accidents were caused by people eating in the car. XYZ company launched its new CarTable to help reduce driver distraction and accidents.
If you picked #2, you’re correct. Now, think to yourself, why you chose #2 over #1.
If you can’t see the difference, it’s because the positioning of the story in #2 is more compelling. It defines the “why” of the product’s invention, and why people need it.
Your PR Story
If you’ve tried PR and no media took interest, like advertising or your website, and really all marketing, the culprit is a weak story. Think like a journalist.
Public relations is the most powerful marketing tool available. It has an unmatched ability to build credibility and positive perception, the first steps to building a brand.
Some business owners find it easier to think in news headlines, like the example above. It’s not such a stretch living in a Twitter headline world! It can be a useful tool when considering what might be a sizzling, clickable headline about your business, product or service, and use it to build the story from there.
Today, journalists are bombarded with email pitches. Just because you’ve sent out a press release doesn’t mean they will drop everything to write your story. Right. Now. Not happening. You’ve got to learn to write a solid email pitch and break through the noise and clutter not just in a journalist’s world, but your customer’s world as well.
Media love great stories and they love it more when you give them the compelling headlines upfront, because they don’t have time to figure out what your story is for you. If you don’t define your awesome, interesting story right away, then you are going into their email trash bin and forgotten forever.
Your Website Story
The primary role of public relations, today, is to generate awareness and drive people to your site to gather information or take action. However, if your website does a poor job at conveying your compelling story, then people will bounce right off and on to a competitor’s website.
Your website is the second tier in the Purchase Process. It’s your chance to close the sale, so use it wisely and strategically to make an emotional connection through your story. Studies show that people connect with images of happy people using the product, boosting sales and conversions. Even photos of happy people on your site can be enough for a customer to associate a positive feeling and perception towards your story and business, especially if service-based.
The Best Relationship-Building Tool
The entire concept behind social media for business is relationship building to create a community around a brand, cause, or company. This is becoming more important with recent and ongoing changes to Facebook.
Some of the most successful marketing campaigns are enacted by companies that take their brand story and create a social media personality and list of relevant content that supports that story, the product lifestyle and more. They are also very reactive and engaged with their community.
See, for the first time, individuals can talk to their favorite companies and brands directly, even the CEO. They can be part of the company culture and maybe even its future by making recommendations and suggestions to improve the experience. Especially important, is if they have a problem or concern, they can immediately get help. This keeps them from yelping or yelling their disapproval all over the internet.
Relationship building on social media means you’ve built a connection with that person and it can equate to shares. The more people you have a connection with the more shares. The more shares the more opportunity you have to generate sales and build a brand.
A great story truly impacts your company from all angles. It gives people more than just a feeling, it can give them something to believe in. And, when they believe in you they will be loyal evangelists.
Source: Home Business
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