As content marketing consultants and content writers, we don’t easily drink the Kool Aid and often see through most “marketing speak”. In fact, we find great joy in looking out for badly written content and can’t even read a menu without editing (occupational hazard). But, when a company tells their story well, we’re all ears. When the effectiveness of the product backs up the story, we’re compelled to shout it out to the world.
Authentic story telling works. Here’s an example of how:
I was recently on the hunt for something that would help soothe and heal my 5 month old daughter’s skin. Her once buttery baby soft skin suddenly turned flaky and dry, and her pediatrician diagnosed her with baby eczema. The doctor recommended lubing her up three times a day and suggested several petroleum based products - and even Crisco (quelle horreur!) - if I didn’t want to use a petroleum product on her. I didn’t want to grease her up like a butter cookie, and knew there had to be a better, more natural alternative.
Looking in the natural baby section in Target, where I normally buy my girls Burt’s Bees, I noticed a line Shea Moisture. It had lovely packaging and sounded just like what I was looking for – all natural ingredients, designed for baby eczema. I flipped the package around to check out the actuality of the “natural” ingredients and was thrilled to see not only true pure ingredients (raw organic shea butter, argon oil, frankincense & myrrh) but a fabulous brand story right on the package:
Sofi Tucker began selling shea nuts at the village market in Bonthe, Sierra Leone in 1912. By age 19, the widowed mother of four was selling her shea butter and African black soap all over the countryside. Sofi Tucker was our grandmother, and SheaMoisture is her legacy. We proudly create culturally-authentic, time-tested skin and hair care remedies from family recipes using all-natural and fair trade ingredients.
I put two of the products in my cart (Organic raw shea butter Baby for eczema therapy and the similar bar soap) and was excited to try them on my daughter. After her bath that night, she not only smelled delish, but her dry, rough skin was soft, smooth, even and like buttah. I was ecstatic that her skin felt like a newborn’s again…and that the products totally delivered on their promise and lived up to their great story.
What all content marketers can learn from Shea Moisture.
1. Tell Your Story. Find a connection between your company and your target market and keep that message consistent and strong in all content initiatives.
2. Stay Engaged. Not only are they telling their story on their packaging, but they are also doing social media right. They have over 25,000 fans on Facebook that are completely engaged and obviously as passionate as I now am about the products. People ask questions, make comments, post personal pictures and answer each other daily. I went to their Facebook page and left a glowing message, and gave them a shout out on Twitter, to which they promptly responded.
3. Be Honest. I gather from their website that this success has come, perhaps, suddenly now that the products are sold in several mass retailers. Their website home page offers an honest message to customers saying that they are trying to keep up and will have a new site launched soon.
We applaud their success and hope they continue to share their great story through other content channels. Have you ever been "sold" by a great story and the product lived up to its promise? We'd love to hear about it!