StoryBrand is the go-to resource for content marketing. It’s helping businesses across the nation turn their messy messaging into crystal clear stories.
Chances are, if you haven’t heard about StoryBrand, someone you know has. And it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. I’ve personally witnessed how much of an impact clear messaging can have on your bottom line. StoryBrand really put the “work” in “framework.” As in, “Holy crap. It actually does something.”
But StoryBrand isn’t the ultimate recipe for effective marketing. It’s just one ingredient.
Don’t get me wrong, I love StoryBrand as much as the next story-obsessed content writer. But if you base your entire digital marketing strategy on StoryBrand alone, you might not get the results you’re looking for. In fact, you could see a decrease in sales. Yikes.
So what is StoryBrand missing? What do you need to make it work long-term?
I’m glad you asked, reader! Below, I’ll explain what your StoryBrand BrandScript won’t tell you, and the other crucial pieces you need to grow your business online.
1. Who You Should Be Selling To
StoryBrand is an excellent tool for crafting messages targeted to your specific customer. But what it doesn’t do is tell you if you’re targeting the right customer. You could invest a significant amount of time and money into StoryBranded website content, but if you don’t target the right people, all of that will go to waste.
You must have a clear understanding of the person buying your products before StoryBrand will do your business any good. For that, you’ll need to take a hard look at who’s buying what you’re selling. Look for patterns. Do they have similar personalities? Do they work at the same type of business? Are they buying for the same purpose?
There’s a lot more to your customer than their ethnicity and age range. Pay attention to the psychographics of your clients. See if they’re buying your product for a reason you might not suspect.
And if you already have a StoryBrand BrandScript, check out 4 warning signs you wrote it about the wrong character.
2. If Your Sales Team Is Sealing The Deal Or Dropping The Ball
One of the biggest (and hardest) lessons we’ve learned at ROI Online is that marketing alone will never provide an ROI. Ironic, huh? We’re a marketing company with ROI in the name!
But it’s true. In the past, we’ve created stunning websites that follow the StoryBrand framework to a T, but our client failed to see any benefit from it. Why? Well, even though we were providing their sales team with hundreds of leads each month, the leads were never being converted. As a result, the client never saw their sales go up. They were frustrated, and so were we.
The issue wasn’t with our process. It was with the client’s sales process.
And that goes for your business, too. StoryBrand can help you get more leads, but it’s up to you to win them over. That’s why we incorporated sales automation into our QuickStart process.
Sales automation merges the clear messaging of your BrandScript with the functionality of a CRM. It streamlines your sales process, using automated sales sequences to create a seamless customer experience from the first interaction with your business to the last.
With sales automation, you can put leads into an email list based on your conversations with them. They’ll automatically receive staggered emails based on the time intervals you set. With a CRM, you can sort, organize, and keep track of leads. It’s the best way to prevent potential clients from falling through the cracks and know whether a lead has talked with someone on your team.
If you want to learn more about how sales should connect with marketing, read Steve Brown’s book, The Golden Toilet.
3. How To Create Campaigns And Use Marketing Automation
One of the hardest aspects of managing your business’s marketing is time. You only have so much of it, and you don’t want to waste it doing menial tasks like sending emails. That’s where automation comes in. Marketing automation allows you to connect with customers where they are without having to lift a finger. You need automation to keep your leads warm, and you need campaigns to segment those leads for automation.
StoryBrand teaches you how to craft messaging around your customers’ personal story, but it doesn’t teach you how to use that messaging in an automated email series—or how that messaging should change with segmentation. This can lead to a situation where you have tons of leads that go to waste, lost in your enormous inbox.
Before you start writing emails, you should create at least 3 lists based on where your customers are in the Buyer’s Journey.
The first campaign you create should be for awareness stage customers. These people have just stumbled upon your site. They may know they have a problem, but they haven’t decided whether it’s time to fix it.
You need to create a campaign based on where they are. Say you’re a wellness clinic that specializes in hormone replacement therapy. To create an awareness stage campaign, you’ll need to create an offer based on their problem, in this case, an infographic titled “5 Signs Your Hormones Are Making You Sick.” We can tell that customers who download this offer are just getting acquainted with their problem, so they fall in the awareness stage.
After this, you’ll need to create an automated email series to convert them to the next stage. Whether your series has three emails or five, you want to keep it engaging and consistent with your BrandScript. Ray Edwards’ P.A.S.T.O.R Framework is a great tool to follow. Just remember: Your customers aren’t ready to be sold to. You need to nurture them into the next stage until they’re ready to buy.
Ideally, you’ll repeat this process for the consideration stage and decision stage. With our example above, I would create a detailed guide called “The Pros & Cons Of Hormone Replacement Therapy,” for customers in the consideration stage. These customers are aware that there is a problem, and they know it’s time to fix it. But they don’t know what to do. Show them their options so they feel empowered to make their own decisions.
Speaking of decisions, for the decision stage, I’d write something that captures the benefit of your business, like “Our 4-Step Hormone Replacement Therapy Plan: How to Feel Right Again.” Now they’re sold on hormone replacement therapy. We just need to get them to choose your business. Here, this offer should be focused on what you bring to the table (in a way that still keeps the customer as the hero).
If you’re unable to create three campaigns, or you just want to know the best one to start with, we typically create awareness stage offers in our QuickStart. This is because it casts a broader net and gives you a bigger email list to nurture. Then, we use the lead nurturing email series to help lead them to the decision-making process, explaining their options and the benefits of your business in the emails themselves.
4. When It’s Time To Update Your Messaging
StoryBrand is truly one of the best ways to create crystal clear content. But Donald Miller himself mentions the importance of regularly updating your BrandScript. It’s not static. Why? Because people aren’t static. We change. We evolve. And so should your BrandScript.
But your StoryBrand materials aren’t going to tell you when it’s time to make some changes. For that, you need hard data. You need website analytics software that allows you to compare recent numbers with previous months. And you need the foresight to monitor your site’s analytics to determine signs of low performance before your business takes a hit.
HubSpot allows you to track your website’s performance in-depth, one of the many reasons it’s our preferred platform for website hosting. If you build your site in HubSpot, you can run a website analytics report and traffic analytics report on a bi-yearly or yearly basis to see if your BrandScript is still performing well. Things to watch out for include:
- High sessions but low conversions. This tells you that people are finding your site, but they aren’t connecting with your messaging. Shoot for conversion rates of 2% or higher.
- Short time per pageview. This indicates that people are skimming the content and not reading it. Either you need to break the paragraphs into smaller chunks, or you need to rethink the content altogether. Anything less than 1 minute is a red flag.
- More visitors on the home page than other website pages. Your home page will always have more views than your other interior pages. But if the difference is drastic (say 1,000 views on your home page and 10 on your About page), you know people aren’t sticking around to learn more about you.
- High bounce rate. This can tell you that people are clicking the back button as soon as they get to your site. That said, you shouldn’t base your change on bounce rate alone, as it can also indicate that customers are leaving a page to go to another page on your website.
Get All The Pieces Of The Business GrowthStack With The ROI QuickStart
StoryBrand is an essential part of an effective marketing strategy, but it’s not the only thing you need. Without campaigns, marketing and sales automation, website analytics, and a strong understanding of your customers, StoryBrand won’t give your sales the boost you desperately need.
Instead, you need a holistic system that includes all aspects of the Business GrowthStack, from clear messaging and campaigns to marketing and sales automation. These pieces work in tangent, attracting, nurturing, and converting leads into happy customers. As a result, customers know (and care) about what you do. And that, in turn, grows your bottom line.
Want to learn more? Download our free QuickStart Plan to learn how we help businesses of all shapes and sizes implement the Business GrowthStack and get better results from their marketing.