Scrolling, clicking, watching, listening—the amount of content available at our fingertips is endless. As the digital age propels us forward, media consumption is higher than ever, with the U.S. population spending 485 minutes consuming digital media per day in 2021, exceeding the 8-hour threshold for the first time ever. By 2022, the daily average of digital media consumption increased to 494 minutes a day, and we don’t see this pattern slowing anytime soon.
As consumers jump from one storyline to the next in a matter of seconds, businesses are left striving to craft the next big headline, pitch or announcement. But adding to the content distribution only offers more. What brands need to break through the noise is to offer better. To create better content that grips audiences, masterful storytelling and engaging content is required to amplify a brand’s purpose and keep readers, viewers and listeners hanging on every word, because words matter—every single one.
In the booming industries of hospitality, consumer goods and tech, franchising, and healthcare, the power of storytelling weaves through all aspects of a marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at how.
Storytelling sets the content foundation
- Build a brand narrative: Crafting the right brand narrative is the first step in standing out as one brand amongst many. It’s the script that works to cut through the clutter. Essentially, a brand narrative is a concise, streamlined story that serves as the foundation for marketing and communications. For instance, when a hospitality business partners with a marketing or PR agency, narrative development should be one of the very first steps to develop a core message that extends beyond factors like amenities, cost, location or offerings—a strategic narrative will uncover the brand’s “why” and what that means to the target audience.
- Reach the right audience: Speaking of audience, let’s take a look at why reaching the right audience is just as important as writing the right message. While a consumer technology brand might have a product that anyone could use, it’s important to truly understand who the ideal customer is. From common goals to shared challenges, creating content that speaks directly to that group is what opens ears to one brand’s voice above another’s. Sure, everyone can enjoy a meal at a QSR (quick service restaurant) or a stay at a luxury hotel, but the trick is to know the audience that would enjoy it and take the steps to make it happen. Click, purchase, book, visit—that’s what matters most.
Strategic content tells the right story across all channels
- Social content: One of the best ways to humanize a brand, or show off its personality, is to craft engaging social media content. In doing this, the narrative is reinforced and elevated to an audience that has the ability to like, share, comment or message in real-time. While social media copy is more conversational, it should still align with the overall brand voice to streamline all content for a buttoned-up PR and marketing strategy. Keep in mind, the right social strategy doesn’t always mean posting on every platform (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.).
- Thought leadership: How can a business show authority in an industry, especially one like consumer products where new brands consistently enter the market? One effective way is through impactful thought leadership content. These posts are often on LinkedIn, especially for B2B brands, but they can also be shared in a variety of channels. Not only does this type of copy spark thought (hence the name), but when done right, they motivate action. At a time when consumer trust is declining and 82 percent of consumers desire to buy from brands with values that align with their own, businesses must present themselves as experts, leaders, and trustworthy. This is where thought leadership posts shine.
- Long-form content: From 1,200 words and beyond, long-form content has a time and a place. Now, more words don’t always equal more engaging. When researched and crafted with an end goal in mind, these words can come together for a powerful white paper, article or case study that is packed with information that can live on a company website, within promotional email campaigns and social posts, serving as a long-term tool.
- Blogs: As one of the most well-known forms of content marketing, blogs are now a necessity rather than an option. Not only does consistently publishing high-quality blog posts attract traffic to a business’s website, but it continues positioning a brand as an authority and nurtures website visitors over time. Of course, implementing a strong SEO strategy into this digital content is a must. Blogs are informal, yet professional and always stay on brand with the right tone of voice, because speaking to the right audience remains key.
PR professionals have tapped into the power of storytelling for ages, but as consumers’ needs and behaviors evolve, the art of storytelling must adapt to remain effective. Remaining laser focused on a solid brand narrative and doing the work up front to fully develop a core message that is strong enough to propel the brand into the spotlight is first and foremost. From there, it’s all about reaching the right audience and thoughtfully utilizing each type of content with a streamlined voice, mission and purpose. When these content pieces all come together, the result sends an impactful, layered message that is sure to stand out in any crowded market.
When it comes to developing strategic content for your business, whether within the hospitality, consumer goods and tech, franchising, healthcare or other industry, the Bolt PR dedicated content team specializes in creating effective stories that amplify brand performance, drive meaningful leads, spark engagement and power up your content marketing strategy.