Engaging Customers with Real Stories about Real People

Posted by: Chris Marentis

Engaging Customers with Real Stories about Real People


In a minute and a half, this popular Google Analytics ad manages to capture the experience of online search miscommunications, and it’s hilarious! Obviously, there’s tremendous opportunity to find and acquire new customers on the Internet. We find the key to success is getting a deeper understanding of your potential customers. It’s essential to interact with them on a personal level because the function of a product or service is only important if it fulfills specific needs and desires of consumers. Intent to buy is driven by psychological triggers as much or more than direct attributes.

Target Your Market Using Specific Triggerssmall business marketing
Basically, things are not sold based on physical attributes alone; people are more willing to spend on your businesses products or services when they can see how they benefit their lives. It’s the age old adage, sell benefits, not features. The Internet made searching and finding product or service solutions much easier. But technology has put a distance between the human interaction (in a store or in home sales call) that helps a business build trust, authority and “tell the story.” For instance, in the Google Analytics ad, the focus wasn’t on what the program is or what it does (reporting functionality); it tells a story about consumers search experience (it is frustrating) and how marketers can use Google Analytics to make the experience easier for their customers.

To illustrate, if your promoting a home appliance like a vacuum cleaner, simply mentioning that it cleans surfaces and picks up dirt isn’t very effective (all vacuums do those things). In contrast, telling a story about using the vacuum and how “Mom,” the product purchase decision maker has a happy healthy home because she uses the vacuum is far more effective. Benefits versus features! By taking this approach, your content can target the needs of a specific market on a more personal level.

Effectively Tell and Spread Your Story
Today, social media and search engines can carry your message quickly across the Internet. There’s a ready audience, consisting of millions of people, to help spread your story 24 hours a day. Because they are searching for your specific product or service or self organize into specific communities, you can target your product stories to fit the various types of customers you want to reach and influence. If people are engaging with your story (sharing, commenting or liking), then you know you’ve started something that hits the right nerve.

What Good Content Can Do for You
Posting unique content consistently can drive people to visit your site on a regular basis. Are you creating posts that are useful and relevant to the issues of your target market? You’ll know if nobody is engaging with your content. By the way, if not, it’s ok. Just keep tying new posts till you hit on something that works, then expand on the idea. If you re having trouble, check out this ebook to find out more about what types of content works. Imagine if the Google Analytics ad was composed of just spreadsheets and statistics. Would you have understood exactly what the program can do for you? There’s a reason why this video is one of the most viewed ads over the past year: it talks about the solution to a real situation that a targeted market genuinely experiences.

Chris Marentis

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, Founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. With a long-history of counseling local businesses about their marketing efforts, Marentis provides insight on what it takes for small businesses to succeed and thrive in today’s evolving digital environment. His notable career includes creating the foundational blueprints for online marketing, e-commerce and content branding for AOL’s Interactive Marketing group, where he served as Senior Vice President. While CEO of Clearspring Technologies, Marentis developed one of the most widely adopted venture-backed Web 2.0 technology platforms. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.

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