GILBERT, Ariz., Feb. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Digital content without a persuasive story is doomed to get lost in the massive online sea of mediocre blog posts and boring social media accounts.
That’s the warning and advice from digital content strategist Lisa Apolinski, co-author of the book Persuade with a Digital Content Story: How Smart Business Leaders Gain a Marketing Competitive Edge (2021, Indie Books International).
“People abandon swiftly and often because the digital content is not persuasive and there is plenty more available,” says Apolinski. “With so much digital information being added every day, getting content to rise to the digital top is the Holy Grail.”
Apolinski, a digital content strategist and consultant, helps businesses accelerate revenue with cutting edge strategies for taking online market share. She is CEO of 3 Dog Write Inc., a full-service digital consulting agency she founded. In the last decade, she has helped her clients create nearly $1 billion in revenue growth. Because of her thought leadership on digital engagement, she has been dubbed “America’s Digital Content Futurist.”
“Despite all of the tough news, consumers are hungry for good digital content,” Apolinski assures, “Humans are hardwired for stories. Storytelling can persuade potential clients to connect with your brand on a human level, trust your brand promise, and become a repeat customer, even during uncertain economic times.”
According to Apolinski, persuasive storytelling is a combination of art and science, and when learned well, provides a repeatable formula for success.
“People accept ideas more readily when their minds are in story mode versus when they are in an analytical mindset,” explains Apolinski. “By moving an audience into story mode with the right stories in the right way, organizations can dramatically increase a potential client’s conversion rate.”
Citing the latest scientific research, and delving into the long history of how humans tell stories, Apolinski breaks down the fundamental narratives of storytelling, and showcases how and where businesses can use these stories in their digital content.
In addition to a compelling narrative, Apolinski advises businesses to think critically about their entire content strategy. Here are seven steps from Apolinski to guide all employees to approach their digital content strategy with a holistic plan.
- Create your mission statement. This is an internal statement kept within the team. Your mission statement should include who will view your content, what type of content they are viewing, and why they want to view it (what do they take away from your content?)
- Discover your target audience’s needs. List the top three to five things that your target audience is looking to do. Your communication should address one of these needs.
- Map your target audience’s journey. For each of the stages your audience goes through (awareness, consideration, decision), what will the content provide that is in alignment with the needs listed above? Where do each of these needs fit in the journey?
- Identify the role of content for the extended team. Your extended team can also use content to provide information and messaging. What role do you envision for your content to support your extended team and provide them with information and talking points?
- Choose your content formats. Content can take on several formats: blog posts, videos, social media, etc. What are the top six to eight formats you plan on using? Data information at this stage can help you decide on the formats.
- Plan frequency of content. How often do you plan on publishing and sharing content? Frequency should be benchmarked by how well the audience responds to content and others in your industry. For each format, list how often content will be published.
- Measure content success. For each of the content formats, how will you measure success? What data points will indicate a piece of content is performing well? Many benchmarks for content formats are available online. In addition, tracking data will also provide an indication of improvement in engagement.
Apolinski also notes that digital content is a constantly evolving beast. Digital content strategy must likewise evolve on a regular basis, and that’s more easily done with a firm strategy and a winning formula.
“By putting a digital content strategy in place, every piece of content that you create and share fits into both your digital story and your drive to the company goal.”