You’ve no doubt heard the truism that everyone has a story to tell, and nowhere is that more true than with businesses of all sizes and scopes. Chances are, if you started your own business, run a business, manage services or make a living doing or selling something to someone else, you’ve got even more than one story to tell: Do your potential or current customers know how long you’ve been in business? Do they know that you’re an expert at what you do? Do they know the multitude of ways you might be able to help them? Do they know how you stack up against the competition? Do they really know you?
There’s a reason “… and, what do you do?” became common cocktail party parlance. It’s because there’s little that resonates more with new acquaintances or new customers than telling your own story, focusing on what matters most about you and your business.
Wicked Local Media Solutions has recently introduced “Custom Content” to help businesses share with their customers precisely what they want them to know. Better still, it’s served up on a familiar, accessible and comfortable platform where they’ve already demonstrated their desire to engage.
Commonly referred to as “sponsored content” or “native advertising,” Custom Content tells your story in the same way and in the same space where readers and users go to find lots of other valuable content: on our vast network of websites in our main news feeds. Thus, the “native ad” label; the info is “native” to the surrounding experience. The information is served in the same way as other information is served – as articles and photos – where readers and customers already consume other important information. Think about it like serving a new food: If you were attempting to push kale, you wouldn’t put it on the dessert tray, where it would be foreign, off-putting and unlikely to sell. You’d put it where diners expect to find delicious and healthy fare: with the other salads.
Of course, you want people to do more than read your story; you want them to engage with you, to become your customers, remain your customers or become even better customers. One key benefit to Custom Content is that by promoting your business where readers and users are already accustomed to seeing similar material, they remain at ease and far more likely to engage. Back to our cocktail party, are you more comfortable answering “… and what do you do?” to the friendly type smiling and leaning in, or to the twerp who keeps looking over your head for someone else to talk to? If you’re at ease – comfortable with your surroundings – you’re much more likely to connect.
As important as familiarity and comfort, quality is critical to the Custom Content experience. Our readers and users come to our sites with set expectations. Regardless of whether the content they consume is produced by our journalists or “sponsored” by an advertiser, we adhere to high standards. Custom Content packages include a Q&A biography, completed by the business and told in their own authentic words. That bio, along with a thumbnail sketch on a Custom Content landing page, remains published on our websites for the duration of the campaign, and serves as a window into the remainder of the content, all of which is easily shareable through social media channels, email and more.
Whether you’re sitting around a campfire spinning tales, reading a four-part series in your local newspaper or listening to the recollections of a wise elder, it’s difficult to deny the power of exceptional storytelling. The power of promotional storytelling is no different: You’re in business for good reason. You’ve got something to share, something to contribute. You provide value and deliver on your promises. You have a past, a present and a future. You’ve got a story to tell.
Let us help you tell your story.
Lisa Strattan is publisher of The Herald News in Fall River and The Taunton Daily Gazette. Lisa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.