You can use the most advanced features marketing automation has to offer, but if your brand isn’t being showcased as a part of your messaging, you’re missing the mark.
The question then becomes: how do you tell a story that speaks to buyers but also conveys your brand’s personality?
Look around at some of the companies who are marketing to you. Likely there are some you identify with that have a strong sense of who they are, while others… not so much.
OK kids, gather ’round. It’s story time. Here are some tips for keeping the brand alive using marketing automation.
Build trust by making customers a part of your story
The foundational element of conveying your brand’s story is one little word that packs a powerful punch – trust. Painting your company’s picture to your customers and prospects is the key to winning more business and retaining the business you already have.
In order to get your message squarely in the hearts (or at least the minds) of your customers, you have to work to gain their trust – the old-fashioned way.
Do this by giving your buyers something they want, regardless of what they will or will not do in return. In B2B marketing, we have a tendency to oversimplify and label this as “education” but it’s actually critical to espousing your brand and winning those hearts and minds.
Once they see a repeated effort from you with no strings attached, the small seeds of trust will be planted. And with each outbound communication in this bucket, trust grows. One way you can use marketing automation is to establish trust through education by telling the stories of your customers.
Those stories don’t have to be dead-boring case studies. Nobody wants those anymore. Think more in terms of short videos or profiles, or comical insights into how your services impact people’s lives.
This allows for your prospects to glean an important piece of your brand’s story – its culture – as well as begin the process of giving you their trust. The more you use your marketing automation to outreach in this way, the more your prospects will feel part of your story and connected to your brand.
Share your best stories
As with any good story, your brand’s biography probably has an exciting moment or a turning point that, when told, will elicit an emotional response. You’re probably great at sharing this in a sales pitch or even on the website, but have you thought about using your marketing automation software to share the story? For that matter, using it to share every major milestone you reach?
A good recent example of this is Twitter’s ten year anniversary.
The way you share your successes is often more important than the success itself. If you think issuing a press release is going to stand alone in painting a picture of who you are – think again.
These “rah-rah” moments give your company yet another chance to use marketing automation to help perpetuate the essence of your brand.
Don’t forget the ending
When sharing your brand’s story, you don’t necessarily want to come to an end. Ideally, your company or products will be living on for many more successful years to come. However, envisioning the end is key to telling your story and making it count. Just like you forecast with financials, try forecasting your story.
Ask yourself some of those cheesy job interview questions, but in relation to your business. Where do you see your company in five years? Shaping your brand’s story through the long-term vision will allow you to build that into engaging content for your marketing automation channels.
For instance, if you’re developing a new version of your product, start a marketing campaign with sneak peeks of new features given out to garner excitement from your prospects. Then, utilize campaign analytics to gauge the marketplace interest in those blips and track prospects.
Beginning with the end in mind will allow you to target your ultimate goals, be clear where your story is headed, and pass that on using marketing automation to the people it needs to get to.
How you package and present your company is as important as the product or service you offer. Hand in hand with the brand itself – user experience, culture, tone & messaging –are all part of your brand’s story. This is what got you to where you are, why you do what you do, and where you’re going.
This story is essential to your brand’s success, and can be delivered through carefully selected outbound and inbound marketing channels to ensure your audience consumes it exactly how you want them to.
You are sure to maximize your marketing automation strategy this way and create more loyal customers by bringing them along the journey of your brand’s story – and there’s no better time than while it’s still being written.
OK, great, you say. But how else can I use content and marketing automation to move the needle? Check out The Super Awesome Totally Wicked Definitive Manual of Marketing Automation to learn how content fuels a firestorm of buyer engagement.
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