Are you a spokesperson for your B2B business? Do you publish as a personal brand entrepreneur?
Content marketing, as you already know, is a way to build relationships with your audience.
You want to make sure that your digital media presence actually resonates with the crowd.
Today, let me suggest a certain type of content. Instead of simply giving generic advice, strive to share your stories.
As Gary Vee suggests:
Document, don’t create.
Report your journey. Be more authentic.
Content is authentic when you report your experiences (facts that are already out there).
This way, your online presence is not only based on generic information like “how to run Facebook Ads.” Your content comes with stories that are unique to your business’ journey.
Those real events make your content more charming, more persuasive, and really inspiring.
B2B folks, especially, will appreciate your journey as a business owner.
Share your successes and failures. Talk about that moment when you were struggling with your teammate. Share how your family holidays allowed you to recharge and kick ass at work.
It shows that your business is more than just a money-making asset. It’s about being human and connecting with other people who buy from your business.
According to Forbes, 43% of millennials value authenticity above content alone. In other words, authenticity is what will set you apart from all the clickbait and spam.
Create Better Content For the Audience and Yourself
Authentic content means more engagement.
Who doesn’t love a good story? Here’s the perfect example of how authentic storytelling increases engagement: Quora.
Take a quick peek at content that performs well on the platform.
Top Quora writers hardly ever directly answer a question. Most of the time, they discuss life lessons based on their experience. And it’s these types of stories that boost engagement and take them to the top.
Look at how Henry Foster answers questions. Instead of making up a boring list, he tells a story which goes viral with over 40,000 views and counting.
Better Performance For Your Business
Let’s get into the performance management side of things. How does reporting your journey help you improve as an entrepreneur?
- Inviting Audiences for Help. When you’re vulnerable about your challenges, you invite audiences to help you in a relevant manner. You can post a call-to-action to enable folks to provide feedback and support you in ways that you need–today.
- Managing Mindfully. As you report your journey, you become more aware of your business and what you try to achieve. Planning becomes easier. You learn lessons and get statistics about your activity.
- Becoming Accountable. Whenever you share details, like your plans, trials, hopes, and dreams to your audience, they will hold you accountable. Balking at your promises, and disappointing them becomes embarrassing, doesn’t it? Just the extra kick you need to keep the ball rolling.
7 Content Ideas: Details Of Your Own Story You Can Report
This piece I’m writing is very much inspired by my own experience.
This week, my calendar prompts inspirations for me to Tweet out something authentic, in the moment.
On Monday, it asked me, “What is the mission of NorthStories.io?”. That became the focus of my message: What this biz is about, who we serve, and how we do it.
On Tuesday, I had this tweet coming out regarding upcoming plans for the week, and so on.
The ultimate key here is reporting the actuals, as opposed to making things up.
Give audiences a peek through the curtain.
Dabbling in the idea of expressing your authentic voice but unsure where to start?
Here are a few content topics to cover:
#1: Your Backstory/Mission
Communicate your focus and passion. It’s all about the big picture.
This includes your goals, vision, ideals, what you stand for, why you do it, and how you got started with the business.
#2: Upcoming Plans/Projects
Upcoming plans or projects can include the software iteration you’ll ship this month, the blog post you’re publishing, or the email outreaches you’ll perform.
#3: Activity Statistics
What have you completed based on your plans?
Share your activity statistics. Some creative agencies play with the statistic amount of coffee consumed for the year. And who can argue with coffee? Coffee is fuel.
You may share the number of lines of code you’ve written, blog posts published, tweets sent out, whatever floats your boat.
This is when you communicate the outcome. How did the market react to your efforts? What were the number of sign-ups, sales, etc?
Report the results and all the desirable experiences (or disappointments) achieved from the completion of your goals.
#5: Lessons Learned
Lessons learned are usually associated with failures, though they don’t always have to be.
When things don’t work out what are your reflections to make things better?
At the end of the week, share those nuggets of wisdom so that others can put it to good use. Now that is content that offers real value for you and your audience.
Stop thinking like a salesman and start acting like your reader’s mentor. A salesman wonders how to get his next sale. A mentor cares about his students. He wants to help them get ahead and live a more fulfilled life. By providing solid advice on a regular basis, you build authority and trust; And that’s how you win new customers.
— Henneke Duistermaat, Kissmetrics
#6: What You Feel
While lessons learned discuss more of what you think, communicating feelings lets the audience in on your emotions.
Pride, disappointment, joy, or surprise? Tell them how business realities affect your sentiments. Be human.
#7: What You’re Thankful For
Share sentiments about:
- Who are you thankful for?
- What products have helped you?
This is also one way of cultivating relationships as pieces of outreach content.
Whenever we show our appreciation for other people or brands, they would want to share it.
For example, I recently wrote a testimonial for a company called Stepshot. As a result, we got a nice backlink!
Getting Up Close and Personal
Jeremy Ellens knows how it is:
Effective marketing appeals to emotions instead of reason
What makes content super personal is if it includes sentiment, emotions or feelings.
People have an intrinsic desire to connect with real people–not some faceless brand.
So, get real.
Tell people how you feel. It’s one way of personalizing your company and building trust.
Lena Prickett says:
…believe it or not, B2B buyers actually show more emotional attachment than B2C buyers to the services and products they invest in; their purchases typically require higher personal risk, and therefore rely on mutual trust.
Of course, you can still base content on market research, SEO, target market, and demand. However, emphasize on experiences to create an emotional connection with audiences.
Take this super successful Hyundai Super Bowl ad called the most ‘effective’ in emotional and practical metrics.
It showcases the firsthand experiences of three U.S. soldiers stationed overseas being able to watch the Super Bowl with their loved ones back home.
It’s a great example of reporting someone’s journey using their personal voice.
Alright! There you have it!
Apply these actionable tips for reporting your business journey to a B2B audience.
Choose 1 that you will practice today.
Let me know how it goes!