If the inception of the internet has taught mankind one thing, it is this: “You aren’t the only one.” The rise of “Geek Culture” is a huge example: many of its countless popular websites, forums, shows, films, and even conventions exist – and are continuing to grow rapidly – because separate individuals with niche interests encountered each other and realized, “You have the same obscure hobby!?”
Many B2B manufacturers and logistics companies assume that there won’t be many viewers out there who would be interested in their industry. They feel like their work isn’t “sexy” or interesting– it feels grungy, or even mundane. But in fact, there’s actually a burgeoning audience that’s hungry for their content.
Manufacturers who start telling the story of their work may find that there are more eager eyes and ears out in the world than they initially realized. That’s how something as niche as a supply chain podcast has not only gotten off the ground, but continues to expand in today’s world.
1. THERE ARE SO MANY STORIES OUT THERE THAT NEED TO BE TOLD.
The majority of all human communication is conveyed through the medium of stories. The next time someone asks how you’re doing or what your weekend was like, you’re probably going to use at least a brief story about your latest exploits. And every time you flip on the news or start binging a new serial drama, you’re absorbing a story.
And guess what? Stories are what content marketing and podcasting is all about.
Ever heard of a certain, highly-successful tv show called “How It’s Made”? Few people likely thought a series about the inner workings of factories would be as successful as it was! Why? Each episode exposed the fascinating true story of, “How that pencil ended up on your desk,” or “Where baseballs come from.”
Your industry may be (and already likely is) filled with fascinating stories, whether or not you realize it.
Scott Luton, CEO, Founder, and Host of Supply Chain Now Radio, started a logistics and supply chain podcast. Some people thought it was a pretty obscure niche, and doubted there would be much of an audience for it.
The show now has well over 300 episodes, and thousands of listeners.
Still think your industry might be “too boring” for podcasts?
2. START WITH THE STORY THAT EXPLAINS THE SOLUTION YOUR PRODUCT PROVIDES.
If you look at the majority of popular or successful commercials (Super Bowl and beyond) in today’s culture, there’s one uniting factor.
Not humor, if that was your guess. Some incredible commercials don’t make an impact through jokes– they tug on our heartstrings.
They do it by telling us stories.
Is a product or service part of a commercial? Of course. But good videos aren’t product-driven: they’re story-driven. That’s why they stick in our minds so well and for so long.
People crave stories: not infomercials, or manuals in video form.
If you’re going to tell people about your product or service, you’d better do it using a story.
Some recent episodes on Scott’s supply chain podcast cover how the Corona virus is affecting China’s shipping; How Delivering Papers Prepared a Global Supply Chain Leader; and how the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s cargo system works, just to name a few.
Are these supply chain podcast episodes about logistics? Absolutely. But they garner interest because they’re story-based. You’ll walk away having been educated on the subject matter, but without feeling like you were force-fed a textbook or pushed to buy something at every turn.
3. MILLENNIALS CARE MORE ABOUT YOUR PEOPLE THAN YOUR PRODUCTS.
Another factor that makes a powerful story is, quite simply, humankind.
You don’t have to just tell stories about your services, or about your business as an organization. Every single human being in a company has a story about themselves that’s worth hearing, too. Who knows what you could find!?
How did that employee become a logistics manager, or a forklift driver? What obstacles, loss, romance, or suspense have they encountered?
Your audience, especially as it fills with more and more millennials, cares less about what your employees make compared to wanting to actually know about the employees.
Viewers don’t see their purchases as only paying money for a service or a product: they also know they’re supporting a group of people. Are said people trustworthy? Admirable? Worth investing in?
This isn’t just another reason why your content can’t be as product-centric as it used to be, either. This factor is also going to transform your brand as a whole: your employee benefits, your workspaces, your company’s sustainability, and beyond.
Even tried and true brands like Ford Motor Company are making changes for the growing next generation in the workforce and in their audience. Millennials get dumped on a lot, but they’re a product of their environment– and Gen Z isn’t far behind them. These generations are not only demanding that industries like supply chain employment offer more digital assets– but also that they improve their environmental footprint.
Everything your company does, both now and in the future, tells a story. So share it…and make it a good one.
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