A few months ago, my wife and I attended @CarrieUnderwood Story Teller concert (#TheStoryTellerTour). Full disclosure, I am not a country music fan but my wife is a huge fan and no surprise…we went. Knowing that Carrier Underwood is ultra-talented, I still enjoyed the concert AND the story she shared.
As you know in any concert, there comes a moment between the music where the artist talks to the audience. What she said is something that stuck with me and is a great way to think of your marketing efforts. She stated that country music is the greatest kind of music because each song delivers a story, hence #TheStoryTellerTour. So, I was thinking about it and she was correct.
There are many songs that deliver a message, but country music has a unique approach to tell a story within the song. You know what I’m talking about…all the lyrics around breakups, cheating, love, pickup trucks, drinking, etc. tied together into a musical story.
Why is this important? Well many in marketing and business deliver a message, but few provide a story. Here is how I differentiate “message” versus “story.” A message will help educate your audience. A story will engage your audience. If you want to create a strong marketing program and generate sales with loyal customers, you want to be on the story side of the equation.
For example, when someone sells a product available via many online and brick-and-mortar options, you can provide a message using strong feature/benefit copy. Of course, everyone is using this approach. Heck, most of the copy on Ebay, Amazon and retail sites is identical. So why buy from you?
Well shift the message to a story. Adding elements like customer reviews or a video on how a customer’s problem is solved with your product engages them to get a deeper understanding of the experience they will enjoy with your product. This experience will greatly improve the chances that you will gain the customer.
This is the valuable takeaway for your marketing efforts. So many deliver the message for your brand, product and/or service, but few tell a story that truly engages the audience. This “story” becomes the content that will drive all your marketing efforts in an authentic and consistent manner. This is the information that differentiates you. Learn to articulate it, embrace it and share it.
So, thank you to @CarrierUnderwood for a great concert and story. Listening to her provided a lesson that should not escape us in the marketing and business world. Convert your approach from “message provider” to “story teller” and you will increase your audience engagement and grow your customer base.
Rich Sowa is a marketing strategist and a founder of Marketing of Things, a marketing agency specializing in strategy and content creation for brands and businesses.
LinkedIn: RichSowa & Marketing of Things