What’s one of the buzziest buzzwords in marketing right now? C’mon… you got this… yeah. “Storytelling”.  The term has become ubiquitous in the B2B space but what does it really mean? This week, Content Marketing Manager Winona Rajamohan explains why “storytelling” itself is not a strong enough strategy for your content. Too many brands put themselves at the center of the narrative, but Winona says it's time to make it about your customers’ specific experiences.

In this episode, Winona discusses the mindsets, toolsets and skillsets that go into content repurposing, and what the newsroom taught her about marketing.

MINDSETS:

  • Re-conceptualize your strategy as a “content machine”, one that constantly repurposes what you put out there so that your content remains relevant and evergreen. Thinking this way can help you to:
    • Prioritize/categorize stories that are top of mind
    • Engage with shorter form pieces that can be expanded depending on current events/what is generating buzz
    • Be more economical & targeted with your story development
  • Be intentional and focus on writing content that always ties back to your brand’s mission, no matter how niche or “small” a particular story is. This will result in a content pool that is rooted in your big picture narrative. New customers should be able to see common themes that run through your content.
  • Don’t create in a vacuum. Bounce ideas of colleagues and other members of your team to keep yourself in check and to communicate ideas across departments. To Winona’s point, “the content marketer can’t do everything themselves”. Lean in on internal SMEs as guidance to shaping more purposeful, economic content that serves your big picture.
  • Think like a journalist. Great stories require great sources. Vetting proper sources and using them to shape your narratives will generate powerful, “newsworthy” stories. ALWAYS show your audience how timely a story is to generate lasting impressions.

SKILLSETS:

  • The ability to look at a story from several different angles (like a journalist) is key to both creating content that can be effectively repurposed down the line, but it also allows you to swiftly pivot in your approach to a particular piece of content, sometimes landing on something even better than what you first imagined.
  • Navigating customer research without relying too heavily on your pre-planned surveys/templates can lead to enduring insights about your customers. According to Winona, being able to know when to wander “off script” in a particular interaction can help build richer, more genuine connections with people. It also diversifies your interview and other research-based prep materials to inform that next major piece of content!
  • Being a good listener, not just a good interviewer. Asking questions is important, but the ability to deeply digest a customer’s responses can help you tap into the nature of their needs and engage with the story of how they found you.
  • Ideation & distribution - you don’t just need to be able to come up with good ideas, but understand how these ideas can be distributed across a variety of platforms, channels and forms. You need to be resourceful about the stories you’ve developed and maximize each one to suit your goals. Don’t forget: if a story simply isn’t working, give yourself permission to walk away!

TOOLSETS:

RESULTS:

  • A successful webinar based on a previous customer case study that greatly increased traffic, as well as giving a huge boost to pipeline with tons of new, diverse leads.

A bit more about Winona:

Winona Rajamohan is the current Content Marketing Manager at Smartcar, an API platform for cars with built-in Internet capabilities. She describes herself as a creative writer, trained as a journalist, mentored by marketers. As an experienced runner in the newsroom race against the clock, Winona has been an essential early marketing hire at tech startups. Before her work with Smartcar, Winona previously built HireEz’s content and webinar program, and published a debut fiction novel along the way.

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