Ever wondered why some business websites seem to deliver leads left and right while others fall flat?
What makes for a great business website versus a website that’s pretty-to-look-at but mainly useless? Many companies still believe the marketing myth that if they design a beautiful website, their target audience will magically convert.
There are tons of hideous sites bringing in 6, 7, or eight figures in sales to explode that myth.
What I’m about to say may be controversial, (coming from a creative marketing agency) but design isn’t the be-all, end-all of inbound marketing. It’s subjective and fleeting.
Even if we could all agree on colors, styles, and graphical elements (unlikely), our design choices would soon give way to next year’s trends. Sadly, most design agencies only ever consider design so many business websites never generate leads or increase revenue.
Statements you’ll hear with most digital design agencies:
- “The colors are all wrong.” (a problem for sure)
- “The design looks outdated.” (a valid observation)
- “You’re using last year’s typography.” (those are fight’n words!)
While it may be true that your old, outdated website is contributing to a lack of leads, it’s not the only reason. Maybe not even the key reason.
There is something more fundamental, beyond design, that you must address to make your business website productive. And FYI: If your current marketing agency isn’t talking to you about it, run.
So, what is it exactly?
Great Marketing Hinges On Narrative
A few years ago, Gerber Knives published a powerful ad called “Unstoppable.” It was rough-and-tumble but full of grit and passion. It was tasteful, meaning no cheap tricks like chicks in bikinis.
The ad went viral, generating hundreds of thousands of likes, shares, and views. Gerber Knives succeeded where many marketers have tried and failed. Heck, it stopped me in my tracks and had me reaching for my credit card.
No, it wasn’t the framing, pacing, or b-roll footage that grabbed everyone’s attention; it was the intensely intimate message. It was the narrative.
“Hello, Trouble. It’s been a while since we last met. But I know you’re still out there…and I have a feeling you’re looking for me.”
With those words, they set the mood for one of the most outstanding branding ads I’ve ever seen.
What made their video so good? Something so subtle, yet so profound, that the audience loved but couldn’t put their finger on? Gerber Knives didn’t suddenly invent an alternative method of video advertising or discover magic.
They went back to the marketing fundamentals to penetrate the soul of every suburban warrior in America. Then they wrote the narrative for them.
It was a marketing masterstroke. In a few quick minutes, they tapped into the audience’s hopes, dreams, and frustrations and played that story right back at them.
Considering how viral the ad went, it worked.
Content Is the New Paradigm
There is a lesson in Gerber Knives’ viral video success. If we learn it and apply it to our marketing, we’ll be able to out-market and outlast the competition. Without it, however, there’s a high likelihood your business and mine will be overlooked and forgotten. Not fifty years from now… more like five.
This significant change is speeding up, driven by rapid, mass consumer adoption of voice-driven technology.
Voice-driven and narrative-based assistants are becoming normal in many homes. Talking to our devices is transforming how we use and interact with technology. Most of my friends have a voice-activated assistant playing music, ordering from Amazon, and even turning off and on lights.
Assistants like Apple Siri. Amazon Alexa. Microsoft Cortana. Google Assistant aren’t a fad, they’re here to stay.
“Hey Alexa, we’re out of laundry detergent.”
“Ok Google, what’s the best Mexican restaurant near me?”
“Hey Siri, What’s today’s forecast?”
We’re readily adopting our home lives around narrative and voice-assisted virtual assistants, but not preparing our businesses for it?
Voice, words, and the phrases we use are literally transforming the way we interact with technology and with each other! Yet, so many companies are dangerously close to extinction because they’re relying on an old marketing paradigm that prefers the graphical and visual over narrative and strategic content.
Inbound Marketing = Content Marketing
How do you future-proof your digital marketing, websites, and strategies? Take a hard look at your brand story and narrative.
Content marketing, including strategic messaging, dynamic websites, top quality blog articles, e-books, content downloads, and explainer videos are radically transforming how businesses reach and convert their customers. A pretty website isn’t enough anymore; you need a website with a compelling narrative, to grab the visitor’s attention.
What investments are you making in your story-driven content strategy? Do you understand your audience or are you only guessing Spending too much time making sure things look pretty (or possibly not at all) but too little time making your content clear and engaging?
Invest in your narrative.
Learning to communicate your story might be the most important investment you’ll ever make. Ready to weave content marketing and narrative into your digital marketing strategy? We can help. Let’s start the Conversation