Why storytelling matters for Internet of Things content marketing

Are your Internet of Things clients or bosses asking you to create great content to sell IoT products or services?

Of course they are.

So you research the space and discover the many different IoT market segments and audiences. You think about how the product you’re selling—whether it’s a new smart home appliance, data analytics software or IoT platform technology—fits into these markets. You assemble proof points about cost savings, energy efficiency or the ability to control connected products remotely.

But before you lead with this well-researched and statistically sound information, remember one basic tenet in content marketing development: The need to tell a good story.

A good storyteller thinks about the audience—in this case, the customers for your IoT products or services—and asks questions such as:

  • What would that person want out of this product?
  • How can this new IoT technology make that person’s life better?
  • What do I as a writer have in common with that consumer?
  • What information might move that person to try something new?
  • What would motivate me to buy this product or recommend it to a friend who’s a potential customer?

Here are six hints for storytelling in IoT content marketing:

1) Think: less press release, more movie script

If facts and data motivated people to buy new products, we wouldn’t need marketing. But we humans are more likely to take action based on emotion than intellect—and stories trigger an emotional response. As Chip Heath and Dan Heath say in their book Made to Stick: “Stories are like flight simulators for the brain.” Imagine your intended audience as characters in a movie. Set the scene and direct the action. Script a vivid story about how their life will change and become better because they’ve purchased your IoT product.

2) Tell the story from that person’s point of view

If scripting a movie about your IoT product and intended customers is too complicated, then imagine you’re having a conversation with a friend and tell your story that way. What will engage your friend and enable her or him to relate to what you want to convey about your IoT product?

3) Focus on benefits and leave out the heavy-duty stats

Which approach do you think will have a better chance of capturing your reader’s interest: “This gadget enables remote control of connected devices via cellular connectivity with a response time of less than 0.5 seconds and low latency” or, “Wow! This gadget lets me turn the heat on in my house from my phone as I’m driving home from work, so it’s cozy warm when I walk in the door.”

The second one, of course!

4) Weave the story throughout your content

Stories help the reader remember details, because a narrative is easier to remember than, say, three statements about performance and efficiency with stats tied to them. Sprinkle your content with stories.

5) Keep the piece short—or only as long as it needs to be

Most people don’t read long pieces of content in detail, but instead they tend to do a quick skim of an article or blog post. Give them only as much content as they need to get the main idea. Having a long piece of content doesn’t make it better! (And, did you know that it’s usually harder to write a short, compelling piece of content than to write very long content?)

6) Use common analogies and well-understood phrases

Make a point of using industry-accepted market definitions and phrases that will be understood by your audience. That way, you’ll cut down on copy needed to explain concepts, and you’ll have more credibility with your audience. Using familiar analogies is a great way to connect with your readers. It’s like getting more crops with less fertilizer, or earning more interest on your financial investment, or hitting the golf ball further with each swing, or…. you get the point!

In B2B marketing, the tendency is to focus on what’s cool about the product. But in reality, you have to focus on potential buyers and their lives. What problem is your IoT product solving for them? Focus on their story, and next thing you know, your customer will picture themselves buying your product.

Interested in Coaching Session?

If  you are interested in a free 30 minute coaching call with Martell PR to discuss your IoT content writing, send an email to cmartell (at) martellpr.com or call 408-462-1074.