Jitendra Gidwani is the Founder and CEO of RightlyWritten, a full service copywriting agency. He loves helping brands tell their stories and grow their businesses through the power of content.
We recently asked Jitendra about why great storytelling is critical to a brand’s success online today and get his insight on what brands should be doing to better connect with customers. Here’s what he shared:
Tell us about the mission at RightlyWritten? How are you hoping to help brands create better content?
We are a full service copywriting agency, but our purpose goes deeper and further than just crafting compelling content. We want to help brands take advantage of the opportunities to connect, communicate, and persuade their target audience. We’re focused on aiding businesses to break through the noise, resonate with their audience at a deeper level, and by doing so consistently build trust.
We have an awesome team of carefully vetted storytellers who deliver tailored content solutions that give brands, an outstanding voice and help them break through the noise.
Why is the ability to tell great stories essential to the success of a brand online today?
Consumers today are fed up with advertising messages. They have tools that allow them to block disruptive and annoying ad experiences. What they crave instead is value-added content that educates and helps them solve their problems.
So, storytelling is becoming a top-of-mind issue as businesses begin to understand that it can help them forge an emotional connection with their audience and drive action. And, the fact is that no one cares about your marketing goals, but everybody loves a good story. Businesses that can tell one have the strategic advantage in today’s crowded digital environment.
How do you find great storytelling from a marketing perspective? What does it look like to you?
The goal of any marketing activity, whether we’re talking about content or direct marketing is to generate sales. But, if your audience doesn’t even look at your message, let alone engage or react to it in any way, then all your efforts are in vain.
Great marketing storytelling begins with an in-depth understanding of your ideal customer. Who are they, what matters to them, and what they are struggling with on a day-to-day basis? Brands should create content that shows prospects that they understand their problems and have the solutions that can help ease their pain.
What are the most common mistakes or oversights you see brands making when crafting online content? What should they be doing differently?
Many business owners think that they can create their own content and don’t need the help of a professional. Web content needs to be high quality, well researched, relevant and formatted properly. Moreover, it requires laser sharp focus and ongoing commitment, and that’s where most business owners fail. They need to complete and oversee a hundred different tasks every day, so content creation usually gets pushed aside to the detriment of their business.
Another mistake I’ve noticed is that brands tend to get stuck in traffic and engagement numbers. The primary purpose of your content is to connect with the right customers, build a relationship with them, and ultimately sell your products. But, when you’re getting addicted to likes and shares, you tend to forget about your end goal.
How can brands get clarity on what their story is? What do they need to know about adapting this story across different channels?
What brands should understand is that at its essence, a story shouldn’t be about their company, but about their customers. They should create their story in such a way that tells prospects “we understand you; we are like you.” When your customers become part of the story, that’s when you can inspire them to take action.
One of the mistakes I should have mentioned is that some businesses try to reinvent the wheel on every channel. They alter and adapt their message so much that it loses its original meaning. Of course, each channel comes with its requirements that you can’t ignore, but your story should be conceptually straightforward regardless of the medium: problem-solution-success. The more sinuosity you pack into a story, the faster you lose your momentum.
What online marketing tools are essential for the success of businesses today?
Online marketing tools are like a double-edged sword. They are essential to the success of businesses, but they can also distract you from focusing on scaling your company.
We are very picky about our tools.
That said, there are a few essential tools and services that we constantly use and recommend to any business out there. BuzzSumo is first on the list. We’ve been using it for a few years now, and we are continually impressed with its features. Editing tools such as Hemingway, Readability and Grammarly are also a big part of our daily routine.
And, of course, SEO tools, such as Moz or Ahrefs are vital to any online business that is serious about tracking keyword performance, exploring trending content, measuring social metrics and performing backlink analysis.
What brands do you think have done an especially noteworthy job of storytelling? What can we learn from them?
We’re in love with what Moz does in terms of content marketing and storytelling. SEO is an essential component of this industry, so we follow them daily. Their articles, videos and overall content marketing are the perfect example of storytelling done right. It’s creative, educative, engaging, well-researched and entertaining.
The lessons you can learn from them: putting out consistent, high-quality content is key to success.
Another company that continues to create legendary content and we love following is Dove. They showed us that a truly compelling story could go where no quantitative analysis can: the hearts of your customers. And, that’s something each brand should strive to achieve.
What trends are you following in the world of online marketing today? Why do they interest you?
We’re a bit careful when it comes to trends. As I said, our aim is to generate more than buzz, so we’re wary of the “shiny new toy syndrome”.
That said, I believe that Big Data is going to change the world of online marketing as we know it today. Consumers are providing us with more information than ever before and the demand for personalized content is increasing at a fast pace. We need to start collecting these insights and use them to learn which content works best at each stage of the sales cycle, and what strategies increase conversion rates, revenues and customer lifetime value.
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