How to use great story-telling to engage prospective buyers


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Story’s more powerful than the brand. I cannot emphasize this enough. Best story wins.” Tom Peters (click quote to watch Tom)

Seth Godin, author of best-selling books on marketing like Purple Cow, Meatball Sundae and Permission Marketing and his latest book, Linchpin talks about the need to develop remarkable content. To attract sales leads in your B2B lead generation programs, you’ll need remarkable content. But what the heck is remarkable content?

Seth Godin defines remarkable content to be “Content the reader finds so interesting, people remark to each other about it.”

How can marketers create content so interesting to the reader that people start talking to each other? Ideal prospects talking to each other is the mark of great lead generation programs.

That seems, to most B2B marketers, a bar set too high. They certainly grasp the concept, but they struggle to put it into action. The goal of this article is to give you specific ideas of how to put Seth’s concepts into action.

How can our lead generation content deeply engage readers and earn their permission for continued communications?

In order to answer that question, we need to move to an area where most of us have little experience – publishing. Specifically, we’re looking at great story-telling – that engages readers on an emotional level. Don Hewitt, the late creator of 60 Minutes, described the continued success of that show as being due to their ability to tell great stories. Look at the young girl in the picture above –

she’s obviously engrossed in a book she finds of great interest. She’s emotionally engaged. But how might you do the same thing in your B2B company in your lead generation programs? I think the best way to examine this challenge is to look at what makes – and does not make – a great story.

What does NOT make a great story?

  • Information about your company, your products or how great you are.
  • Technical and obtuse terms – your speeds and feeds
  • Company history and awards

What does make a great story?

Lastly, once you have a great story, pleasing graphics, “hooks” end every chapter and you’re ready to go, you need to take another page from the publishing industry and promote your story. Ask influential bloggers to read it and comment. Get your Twitter followers to tweet about it. Write about it on your blog. Perhaps you are thinking “Hey, Jeff. This is a great idea. But I’m not a writer.” As Brian Halligan, HubSpot CEO and Founder pointed out in a recent webcast – there are plenty of journalists and writers looking for work. All you have to do is go out and look for them. In fact, Eloqua just hired a journalist – a former writer for the Boston Herald and Boston Business Journal.

Story-telling (short, punchy messages) is THE most powerful way to engage prospective buyers. Don’t take my word for it. Tom Peters said those words.

What do you think? We love comments and people who share.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jeff Ogden
Jeff Ogden ( is President of the Tampa based Find New Customers demand generation agency. .


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