Shut up for a minute and let your customers tell your story.

September 2, 2015 by

Man with mouth taped closedI was on the phone with a coffee company last week and we were talking about their marketing.

More specifically, I was anxious to talk about how they were telling their story.

Their business is online, but they don’t sell their own coffees. They curate and sell coffees from top roasters across the U.S.

Every day they are dealing with these roasters and, of course, with their customers.

But the story they tell on their website is fairly ordinary and flat.

Same old story you’ll find on a hundred other coffee websites. They are passionate about coffee. They love great coffee roasters. They want to share the best with their customers. And so on.

My question to them went something like this:

“You have two massive assets you are ignoring – your roasters and your customers. Why don’t you let them tell your story for you?”

Here are some ways they could do that…

- Visit their roasters, with a camera, a video camera or just a smartphone. Let the roasters tell the story of their beans. Get into fun conversations. Show and share the passion of the roasters.

- Invite your customers to visit the roasters. Ask them to take their own videos and photos.

- Invite your customers to create “coffee tasting groups”. Send them free materials to help them get started. Invite them to record their sessions …in words, video and photos. Publish what they send you.

- Suggest that the roasters set up their own coffee tasting events. Same deal…text, video, photos.

These are just some of the ways they could tell their story, but through the eyes and mouths of their suppliers and customers.

Think about it. A good story doesn’t have just one character. A good story has a main character – your business – and a group of supporting characters.

And within that story you have to give the supporting characters an opportunity to participate.

Do this and you’ll have some amazing content to add to your website. Your story will be a whole lot more engaging. It will be unique – probably for the first time. And it will be more credible, because you are no longer simply singing your own praises.

Of course, this strategy also makes your content a great deal more shareable through social media… customer-generated text for your posts, video for YouTube and your site, images for Instagram, Pinterest and your site. And so on.

In fact, this may also be the first time your social media channels become truly social. Posting your latest deals, discounts and cute coffee quotes is not being social. That’s just using social media as a broadcast advertising channel.

But when you include roaster videos, customer photos, and customer conversations on social media...that really is social.

Most coffees companies have pretty much the same story to tell about their coffee. Hey, it’s a green bean that gets roasted. Now it’s a brown bean you need to sell. Not a thrilling story after the first ten times you come across it.

But if you let your customers and suppliers tell your story…

That’s a lot more interesting. It’s totally original. And it will engage your customers at a much, much deeper level.

And as we all know, engaged customers will stay with us longer and spend more money on our coffees.

Leave a Comment