24 Oct What are your keystones?
It’s weight, not size that matters
They say you should never let the truth get in the way of a great story. But what truth is creating consequences for your great story?
You have a great product. You have a valuable service. But how are your customers learning about it? How are they feeling engaged? How do they learn to know you’re offering something important to them?
Then, once they know, how are you continuing to inform, engage and surprise them?
There are many, many parts of the engine that make up your marketing effort. It’s tempting to look at the next shiny thing as the greatest solution since sliced bread. Social media will be my savior. YouTube is working for everybody else, why not me?
You have a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed that you even sometimes update. You have an email newsletter, a blog; you may have a brand newsroom or center of excellence. You may have ebooks and direct marketing efforts. You may even have an Instagram account where you share photos and videos from your latest appearance or a Periscope/FB Live feed to answer questions on the fly.
But these are not solutions in and of themselves. They require the compelling content to drive interest among readers and viewers. Interest in you and your product or service.
You need to be:
CLEAR. CONCISE. COMPELLING. CONSISTENT.
And each one is inherently important in both crafting and communicating your story. They need to connect. They need to work in concert. If they don’t, you may just be getting in your own way.
So what the heck is a keystone, anyway?
There is a simple and enduring concept in classic architecture. In an arched passageway, it’s possible to place a central stone at the summit, locking the whole opening together. A keystone. In this way, not only is it possible to support a very large weight with a system of very small pieces, but the weight of the keystone actually provides strength, support and stability to the entire wall.
In communicating the story of your brand and what makes it important to your loyal customers, the same can be true. The central principle, or part of your story on which all else depends, is the keystone. This is what we refer to as your valuable long form content. It is the core, the heart, the crux of the matter.
But is your crux clear? Is it easy to understand? Is it interesting? And maybe more important, is the story the same every time I see or hear it?
Attack your content with these things in mind and your audience will understand your message and beyond – value what you have to say and bring to them.
Whether your story is intuitive as can be or vastly complicated, simplicity is the key. If your core story is engaging and understandable, everything else underneath will support it from your regular blog content and social media posts down to your ongoing PR effort and even the tale your business development team is weaving for you.
The weight of your core messages support and are supported by everything else you do.