Most people are familiar with the term storytelling when it comes to marketing. But why do stories matter and how can you use them to your best advantage?
Claire Davies explains why business owners should take notice of storytelling as a marketing tool, and shares three simple stories that you can use to connect with your ideal customer.
The Science Behind Telling Stories
From cave paintings to Skype meetings – for centuries we have told stories as a way of communicating vital information, building communities and understanding our place in society. Early stories helped us to recognise danger, earn respect as an elder, even improve our hunting skills.
Fast forward to the 21st century and we still crave the sense of belonging that comes hand in hand with stories. In telling our own story we feel heard, by listening to others we learn that we are not alone with our fears and challenges. Research shows that a regular reading habit increases our ability for empathy, as we are carried along on the journey and learn to see the world from someone else’s point of view.
Storytelling for Business
So how and why is this useful to your business?
Marketing can feel incredibly challenging in a world that is noisy, fast moving and increasingly cynical. When we are potentially cash and time poor, every marketing action must be as effective as possible.
According to HubSpot, 90% of consumers haven’t made up their mind about a brand before starting an online search. People are out there looking for a solution to their problem. They want to feel understood, appreciated and confident in their purchase. If they land on your website, what are you doing to persuade them to stay?
This is when storytelling comes in handy. It enables us to show consumers that we understand their pain, offers them a brand that they can enjoy supporting and makes them feel great about their purchase. The evidence is beginning to show that we judge brands in the same way that we judge people. By telling the right stories we can start to build a relationship built on warmth and trust, and maintain brand loyalty for longer.
Three Stories To Start Telling
This is all well and good, but where do you start? From a blog post to social media content – here are three effective stories that will engage your potential customers and help you reach your marketing goals.
Are you remembering to collect testimonials? Don’t leave them in a drawer collecting dust, give them a new lease of life with a well-written case study. Tell us about the challenges that brought your customer to you in the first place and how you or your product helped them to move forward. Finally, show me how much happier/ succesful//stress free they are as a result.
A Day In The Life
These are the stories most often neglected by business owners, despite being the easiest to tell.
When all is said and done, most of us respond better to real people than we do faceless, corporate bodies. In the same vein, we are more likely to support your business if we can see the people hired, the hard work dedicated and the thought given to delivering a fantastic experience. I encourage my clients to see everything they do as a potential story, from taking delivery of fresh stock to getting out and meeting clients.
The Myth Buster
What misinformed beliefs are getting in the way of a potential purchase? Every industry is surrounded by myths and stereotypes, and these may be preventing some clients from engaging with you. Think about how your marketing stories can explode some of these ideas, or demonstrate that you are different from others in your field. Don’t assume that potential customers already understand, nothing ever goes without saying.