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How custom content informs brand storytelling and customer relationships

Storytelling is a term that’s become synonymous with marketing. Storytelling is how brands develop relationships with their consumers. Content is used to tell the brand story in a compelling and thought-provoking manner, resulting in fulfilling customer experiences.

The role that storytelling plays in an effective marketing strategy is a trend that’s increasingly important to marketing executives. In fact, storytelling will be one of several topics discussed at the Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum in Atlanta this week.

To tell the stories that entice consumers and encourage them to further engage with the brand, marketers need to create interesting content. However, generic content or material that’s past its prime is unlikely to make an impact on your audience.

That’s why marketers are investing more time and resources towards custom content creation. Custom content is the best way to capture people’s attention and tell your brand’s unique story.

Consumers want brands to create custom content

Traditionally, content has functioned as an extension of sales collateral. You would create a piece of content that promotes the benefits of your brand’s products or services at a price you deem the best on the market.

Guess what? This type of promotion will likely fall flat with your consumers.

People want brands to produce and publish custom visual content. According to Time Inc., consumers consider brands that create custom visual content to be more creative and interesting than marketers that solely rely on generic content.

These are some interesting insights from the Time Inc. survey.

Consumers prefer brands with custom content.png

When your content provides a more enlightening or entertaining experience, you’re more likely to capture and retain the interest of your consumers. As you promote more of these pieces of content, your audience develops an understanding of what to expect whenever your brand promotes new content.

You can train them to trust you as a provider of insightful, educational, or entertaining content. Over time, those perceptions will automatically resonate within people’s minds and motivate them to engage with each one of your updates. Use each piece of content to tell another page of your brand’s story and guide viewers towards becoming loyal customers.

Use custom content to help people remember your story

Arguably, the most important benefit of custom visual content is that it presents your brand’s unique identity to your consumers.

Think about the underlying benefits of creating these types of content.

Suppose, for example, your brand exists within a highly competitive industry. Consumers are used to seeing generic ads and promotions from any number of brands. Most content is designed to acquire clicks on a visual to redeem points, claim rewards, or otherwise spend money with the brand providing that content.

If you were to launch a promotion with a similar endgame - driving audiences to spend money with your brand - how will your content look any different from other updates in the feed? What visual cues make your brand’s content stand out from all other content competing for people’s attention?

If you don’t have an answer, that’s the reason you need to create custom content.

Visual IQ on the rise.png

Studies show that how people consume content is changing. The average human attention span is approximately 8 seconds long, which means your consumers are unlikely to spend much time absorbing the details of your content.

The visual above shows how visual IQ rates are on the rise. Only 20% of college-educated consumers will take the time to thoroughly consume a piece of content, which means 80% of people simply skim the information.

Those numbers are important for your creative plans. If 80% of people are skimming content, that means they’ll only see what’s bold enough to catch their eyes. If they’re interacting with content in mobile news feeds - statistics show people spend 5 hours per day on their mobile devices - there are thousands of updates appearing in those feeds at any given moment.

Custom content that’s bold, unique, and tells an entertaining brand story is more likely to break through the clutter. Follow the trend of visual IQ rates by creating content that inspires consumers to form relationships with your brand. Once you build the foundations of good relationships, you can share your entire brand story.

Are you prepared to tell your brand’s unique story? Please join us on Thursday, December 14 at 1 pm EST for our “scaling branded content creation and management” webinar. We’ll present practical tips on how to create consistently on-brand content, and how to gain easier access to that content.