Ever wondered how to hook your audience and keep them engaged? Well, the secret lies in storytelling. Yep, you heard it right! By weaving a compelling story, you can create content that works wonders at every stage of your buyers' journey.
When you use the power of storytelling, you can create different types of content that work like a charm at various stages of the buyers' journey. Whether it's the "Once upon a time" intro for brand awareness or the thrilling plot twists for the consideration stage content, storytelling has got your back.
In today’s episode, Simon Harvey and Daniel Kleber will dive into the art of captivating audiences with compelling website content through the magic of storytelling. You know, it's like sprinkling fairy dust on your words and making them come alive!
Let’s hear all about it.
We visit websites every day without even thinking about them. And so often we come away from the sites having no idea what the company does. The words on the screen seem to blur into one another, and you come away more confused than enlightened. Creating a website that engages and clearly explains what you do can be a challenge. Especially if storytelling isn't something that you're accustomed to. Just like a good story, a website should engage, entertain and leave a lasting memory with your visitors. It should take them on a journey, making them feel like they're part of your narrative. On today's episode, we're going to show you how to use Story within your website to guide your buyers through the stages of their journey, transforming your website into a powerful storytelling machine. So join us on this journey through storytelling. We'll unlock the secrets to captivating your audience and creating a website that leaves a lasting memory. Let's get started. Hi there. And welcome to the authentic marketing podcast in association with Demodia, where we give you actionable advice to help you create marketing that works. I'm your host, Simon Harvey. And as usual, I'm joined by my co host, Daniel Kleber. Hi there, Daniel. Hello,Daniel:
Simon. And hello listeners.Simon:
Hello, hello. So through this season we've been looking at website best practices and what you need to know and do to create lead generating websites for your small business. In the last couple of episodes we've focused on design and technology and today we're going to take a step into the site itself and talk a bit more about the content and the structure of your site. I must say so many corporate websites that I read through really don't place enough emphasis on this element. They don't place Emphasis and they don't focus on the copy and the structure of their web pages and that really does upset me at times.Daniel:
Yeah, companies pay vast amounts of money to design agencies to create appealing and great looking websites. But when it comes to the content, I often get the feeling that it... Gets given the student in the corner. Okay, maybe not literally, but it often feels like they've given it that muchSimon:
importance. Yeah, you're right. The copy on the webpages just seems to get overlooked, but it's so important for so many reasons. It's the first chance that your visitors get to really understand whether your company is going to be able to help them or not. But even before that, it's the thing that gets Google and other search engines to direct people to your site in the first place. So, without good copy and without good structure to your site and to that copy, no one knows what you do and no one can even find you in the first place. Ultimately, I guess the question is, how do you tell your story through your website? You know, a story that engages visitors and a story that's going to get people to convert. And that's what we're going to look at in today's episode. Not just the content that you put into a single page. But how do you turn your website into a storybook that visitors will want to read through and remember? It sounds likeDaniel:
this could be fun. I'm already thinking about my favorite comic books now.Simon:
I know that's not your level, but we're going to go a bit deeper than comics I think today. So, you're on the right lines though. You know, I always think of a good website as being like a great movie ultimately. In a great film you need to feel like that you relate to that main character and you need to quickly understand what they want in life. Then you need to be nervously excited by the prospect of the problem that they've got to overcome. You know, you want to be sitting there, biting your nails, wondering whether or not they're going to succeed. Often at some point in time they're going to need a guide to help them navigate that route, but ultimately there's going to come a decision. You know, will they choose the right path, or will they fail and lose everything? You know, this tension is what gets your adrenaline pumping, you know, until finally they experience the joy and success of transformation. So that's the big picture, but actually, in reality, films are made up of many small subplots. You know, stories within a story and decisions that all combine and lead to the final outcome. And actually, that's just the same as your customers experience as they go through their buying journey within your website.Daniel:
That seems unbelievable, but you're exactly right. You got me thinking about films that I've seen and how they follow that path. I know you've mentioned Star Wars many times before on this podcast, but I think that's a really great example of exactly this. Yeah,Simon:
you're right. This is one of my favorite examples and I've used it many times before and I'm going to use it many times again. But it really is a great example of how the whole biojourney is told within film format. You know, if we start at the beginning here, within the first few minutes of the film, we're introduced to the character of Luke Skywalker. He's the son of a farmer, but he wants more from his life. And he stumbles across R two D two while he is looking to buy a droid to help out at the farm. And then while cleaning him, he discovers a video of a young woman who seems to be looking for somebody called Obi one who could this mysterious character be later we find out. Of course, that's Leia. But Luke's intrigued by this. And he goes on to search for his friend Ben Kenobi, to see if he knows more. And Ben explains more about the story of Leer and ultimately attempts to get him to come to Alderon. Luke doesn't want to go with him. So, it's exactly like the start of the buyer journey there, you know, let's stop and think about what's just happened. So as youDaniel:
describe this, I'm thinking that to me this is the same as the start of the buyer's journey. Yeah, exactly. It's the entrance into the awareness stage we talked about a few weeks ago when we were talking about demos.Simon:
Precisely that, you know, this is the first, what they call, story loop in the journey. And it aligns perfectly to the awareness phase of the buyer journey here. At this time, the buyer either wants something specific, or, like in the case of Luke, they've been thrown in at the deep end and they need to learn how to solve their problem fast. So, on your website, this is really where the story begins.Daniel:
Of course, when I'm searching on Google and click on a link to a web page, The first thing I want to know is whether this company is going to be able to answer my question or provide me with something thatSimon:
I want. Exactly. And that's what I call the R2D2 phase here. It's the point where the status quo in our buyer's world has been disrupted and they're looking for a way to get back to their comfortable place. At this point in the journey, our website needs to provide educational content. It needs to give something that helps them to understand the challenge that they face and explain to them how they can solve it. This isDaniel:
where I know many people use blogs. Blog posts can be a really great way to give background information and explain things in more detail. I know a lot of companies also use white papers and ebooks at this point too.Simon:
Yeah, they're all great examples. I've also seen things like videos or educational email nurtures really well here to broaden the knowledge of visitors at this point. I like it. So, tell me more. Tell you more indeed. Yeah, I'm more than happy to do so. So, where were we? Um, so Luke's gone out with Obi Wan to rescue his friend Leia. And he gets introduced to the force, you've got to remember this part, where they're stopped by some stormtroopers at a checkpoint, and Obi Wan uses the famous line, These are not the droids that you are looking for.Daniel:
Oh yes, there have been many memes createdSimon:
around that. There sure have, yeah. So if the R2 D2 phase was the realization that there was more to the world than working on a farm, this is where the Obi Wan phase starts. It's where the story moves from education into consideration. Now Luke realizes that there is something in this idea, and he thinks he can do something with the force, but he doesn't yet know how to control it or how to use it to its full extent.Daniel:
And that's what our buyer is doing. They're doing the same thing. We've provided them with content to educate them, making them aware of the problem that they have, and a solution that will help them. Now they're thinking about whether the solution could work within their situation or organization. They're starting to define parameters and decide what exactly they need and what theySimon:
don't. Yep, you've got it here. So in our website, we now need to start thinking about giving visitors more detail on the offering, for example. If you're selling a product, this is now the time they're starting to get interested in what features it's got. Uh, if you're selling services, they want to know what you do and what those services include. This is whereDaniel:
things like product or service pages come in. You can also include things like the Walnut style demos that we discussed. The otherSimon:
week. Yeah, that's exactly what you need to do at this stage. Your visitors now have a good idea of what they're trying to achieve. So I'd say to use your website content to explain that clearly and explain how you do that. SoDaniel:
I'm getting excited now. Where do we go now? How does this story end?Simon:
Of course, we all know what happens next. So yeah, at this point in the story, Luke's introduced to Yoda. He already knows about the Force, but Yoda teaches him how to use it for good and how to defend himself against the dark side. So Luke starts to transform into a true Jedi.Daniel:
So our visitors are moving into the decision phase of the Bior journey now. They have all the information they need, and they need to decide whether or not they want to purchase from us. At this time, they're looking for things like case studies, customer quotes, reviews, and ratings. Things that give them comfort that you can really do what you'veSimon:
said you can. Yeah, and this is also a great place that you can use your landing pages. You know, you can offer things like you said, Daniel, uh, or you can put things, for example, like R O I, calculators maybe, or assessments. I've also seen them work really well at this stage. You know, this is the point where people want to know, for example, the return that they're gonna get on their purchase or that they can trust you. That's all great. But there is one thing here we can't forget that the story doesn't end there, of course.Daniel:
We've still got the Climatics scene to come.Simon:
Yep, you've got it. Luke needs to step up and out of the shadow of his mentor. He needs to accept that he's become a Jedi and trust in himself. But of course he's afraid. You know, all heroes are. So we've got this tearful scene on the Death Star, you know, Luke Leia and behind the scenes Obi Wan's been sneaking around and shutting down that tractor beam. So everyone seems like they've made it back to the hangar bay and into the Millennium Falcon, but then they realize that Obi Wan's not there. No, no he's not. He's fighting, of course, with Darth Vader in the corner, and realising that he's got to force action at this point in time, Obi Wan takes one last look over at Luke before allowing himself to be struck down.Daniel:
Oh, I remember that partSimon:
very well. Yeah, I mean, this is what we call in the business, the call to action. You know, it's a little bit extreme maybe in this case, but it did the trick. You know, Luke has to make a decision now. Will he step up and take up the mantle from Obi Wan? Or will he accept defeat and return to Alderaan?Daniel:
We all know the answer to that. But what's most important is that he needed that push. to make him take the decision and your website visitorsSimon:
do too. Yeah, that's very much the case. People won't act unless they're forced to. So in the case of your website, you need a strong call to action and they need to be consistent and they need to be all over the place. Don't just put one CTO on your page and hope it's going to work because it's not going to. You need to put several inside there and you need to make sure there's one in the top right hand corner because that's where everybody's ultimately looking. So, also the other thing I'd say is don't forget to adjust your CTA based on where you are in your story. You know, your CTA can send them directly through to the X Wing in success. You know, carrying on my Star Wars example there. But in most cases, people want to take smaller steps. So, that's where you need to use secondary CTAs. These are something that's going to send them to the next phase of their journey. So again, going back to the story earlier, if your visitors are at the R2 D2 phase, your secondary CTA needs to introduce them to Obi Wan. If they already know him, then your secondary CTA needs to introduce them to Yoda. Yeah, so it's your job as the web designer to plan that journey and to lead people through it, step by step. You get the idea?Daniel:
I certainly do. I must say. I've really enjoyed our little conversation this morning. Thanks for that nostalgic look back. May the force be with you.Simon:
And with you too, my young padawan. That was a fun conversation. You'd never guess that Star Wars wasn't my favorite films, would you? The main take out, I think, from our conversation today is that your website's just like a story. It's got a main thread with a set of subplots that your visitors are journeying through. If you were around in the eighties like me, then you can just think of that like one of the choose your own adventure books that we all had at that point in time.
The overall story is that of your company and how it helps your visitors. And then your products and services are like the subplots, you know, to help them to overcome individual hurdles on that journey. Maybe we should take a few minutes and look at how we do this in practical terms. If you're not familiar with our storytelling process, then the first thing I'm going to recommend that you do is to jump back to series one, in fact, literally just episode number one, and in those first few episodes, what I do is walk you through the storytelling process and how to create your own business story. Once you've done that and you've got your story, the next thing is to think about how that story maps into the customer's journey and what the content is that you have for each stage of that.
So let's take a look at that.
Blogs are great for the opening scene. You know, blogs are the thing that's going to keep your narrative going. So you need to use them to talk about the problem that you've got, the problem that your customer is facing, and how that makes your hero feel. And then of course, most importantly, how you provide a solution. You know, what is the solution to that? Blogs are a great place to help people. Guides, checklists, templates and demos.
They're something else that you can use and they're great once the store is running. So these sort of assets and these sorts of bits of content provide great sort of small teasers of what the hero's transformation is going to look like. And they can be used as calls to action to further them into the journey. Then finally, I'd recommend looking at something like use cases, uh, or you've got resource centers and interactive assessments. You know, these are great things to complete the story. They really help your hero to cross the finishing line and take that transformation. So if you're having problems writing your website content, uh, then you can hire an authentic engagement coach. Just go to Demodia. com to hire a coach that will show you how to increase the effectiveness of your website and give you an easier way to grow your business.
So now in the podcast it's your turn to take over. Time to get started with some actions that will help you improve the understandability of your website. Today we've been looking at content and we've been looking at how to use it to guide visitors through a journey. What I want you today is to create a content inventory for your marketing materials. So I provide you with a template for doing this. You can find a link to that in the show notes. So to get things started, I want you to write down the buyer journey stages in one column. In fact, my template already includes that in there. Then, In another column, I want you to list all the content and assets that you've got for each section of your website. And you could include other content as well, like external assets such as data sheets, case studies, podcasts, blog posts, whatever you want. But I'd just start off literally with your main website pages. Then what I want you to do is to go through that list and for each section and for each asset that you've got inside there, I want you to tag them with the appropriate stage of the buyer journey.
Now what you're going to do is you're going to look through this and we're going to make sure that we've got the appropriate assets that we need for the different points of the journey.
So looking at the awareness content, at this point in time your prospects have got a problem that they're looking for a solution to. So I want you to look through your list and I want to check and see, have you got something like an e book, a white paper, or an infographic inside there maybe, that explains to them more about the broader problem they're facing and how that can be solved in general terms. If not, that's your low hanging fruit, so go and create some of that content in there.
Next, I want you to move on to the consideration phase. So again, look through your list and make sure you've got a good number of consideration tagged assets. You know, at this point in time, your prospects are looking to narrow down their options and evaluate different products and services. So, look at what you've got and check things like data sheets, webinars, free trials, demos. You know, those are the things that explain how your product or service solves the problem that you've outlined previously.
Finally comes the decision. So for these assets, I want you to look and see, have you got things that help your customers here? You know, prospects at this point in time have probably shortlisted a few options in terms of vendors that they want to go with, and they're ready for making a decision. So these assets need to help your customers by providing things like case studies, testimonials, customer reviews, etc.
The other thing you can think about if you're selling a product, for example, is something maybe like a guided trial or a consultation or some free assessments or something like that. So I want you to make sure that for each section in that content inventory you've got a good number of assets that you can use and that they're being used and linked correctly through the website in there. The awareness assets are at the beginning of your website at the beginning of your journey and then you're guiding through to assets that are in that consideration and decision phase.
So It might seem overwhelming at the beginning, but once you list what you've got and then you get started by building some structure into your content, you're quickly going to realize where you've got holes in your process and where you've got holes in your program or breaks in that overall customer journey and where you're going to need to spend a bit of time and effort to fix things up and make sure you've got things working properly.
So that's all for today's episode of the Authentic Marketing Podcast. Thanks as always for listening and don't forget to bookmark the podcast and share it with your friends and colleagues. We love to share our knowledge so we can make your business succeed.
I'll see you next time.