Papa, and then what happened? My nine-year-old asks me every time I narrate a story to her from the Arabian Nights – One thousand nights and one Night. Fundamentally all humans are curious; that psychological side of humans is precisely why the cliff-hanger endings of any story get us hooked on to it; until we hear the entire truth. Told and re-told by a great many storytellers around the world; today the OTT platforms like Netflix or Amazon Prime uses the same concept to get the viewers hooked to their series Or be it the Ekta Kapoor Soap Operas of Saas and Bahu.
Surprisingly when it comes to “Business Storytelling”, I have not seen many such compelling stories that get your client’s hooked to your business with one exception of “Tinder” of course. Tinder happens! When human beings become a commodity! You get trapped in a world of swiping right or left. The delivery screws up when human beings are treated as commodities; and therefore, no matter how compelling your story is; your customer never get hooked to your services when humans become a commodity. Not great many business leaders today, who could get his army of employees stick together to fight a great battle just like Napoleon Bonaparte whose speeches to his soldiers were inspiring. The greatest battles in history were fought for pride and honour with 100% emotion. And if your company’s story lacks that emotion; you are not going to win the battle. I will, for sure save the stories from the French revolution for some other day and return to stories during the times of COVID.
Content Strategy during the times of the Pandemic; must adopt a completely different approach as compared to the traditional routes. There is a lot of fluff available already in the market and therefore unless you have something unique to tell; the consumers are not going to be interested in you, quite obviously.
Therefore, any content created during such times should address the following: which I have termed as the three E’s of Content creation. These E’s should instigate the larger “E” – Emotion in your story.
Empathize with your audience: If you are in a B2B space; targeting Enterprise businesses; most of them today are in a cost-cutting mode, and not looking at a possible investment on new products or solutions. So, unless you have something to offer; which will provide the comforts of optimization of their cost; they may not even to get to your article.
If you are targeting your employees; words of reassurance of Job security or an expression of appreciation for what they have been doing for your organization is a must to keep their morale up during the tough times. Such communication is indeed going to boost your overall productivity. The last thing they want to hear from you is a possible layoff or a pay cut. If you have any such plans; Empathizing with them is going to help you calm them down.
In an Era of Tiktok, everyone is a content creator; none of them is interested in monotonous and repetitive stuff. These are the times; for the management of any organization to get on to a platform like a Tiktok and create some fun stuff for your employees and your customers. Tell them how you cope with the pandemic. The least they are expecting is the CEO of your company to be on a Tiktok video, and hence that would be a significant surprise element for your viewers. The possibility that they get hooked on to your message is higher.
If you can address your customers; during the tough times and reassure them; on your 100% support; at the least; your customer will be convinced of your leadership capability; if not it fetches you a new deal.
Content creation; is not just the responsibility of the marketing function. Everyone has a story to tell the world and therefore crowdsource your content within your company. That is likely to engage your employees and customers, and the chances of them getting engaged and motivated are higher. And remember; happy employees are going to make more delighted customers. It might just save you from bankruptcy.
Engage with your customers without fail; may be in the form of a joint webinar; talking about how both the organizations have been tackling the situation. Make your clients your heroes.
Do feel free to reach out; to create some compelling and believable stories and of course, Stay Safe.
Author- Ajeesh Venugopalan, Philip Kotler Award winning senior Marketer