Consumers are in charge now. The fact is this: They have so many choices in a highly competitive market place, that businesses must go far beyond just selling products and services. They must engage and establish relationships with their audiences if they expect to capture sales and loyalty.
One of the most effective ways to connect with your audience is through storytelling. It makes you more “human,” rather than just a website with products to sell. And neuroscience actually backs up the power of storytelling, demonstrating that more parts of the brain are activated when information is presented via storytelling.
So, how can you tell stories, as a business? Here are five tips to make storytelling a part of your marketing campaigns.
1. How Did Your Business Begin?
Tell the story of your idea, the value you thought you could bring to customers, and how you began your company. Of course, you want to do this in a creative way – one that will engage your audience.
This creative angle of storytelling may be hard to achieve. But you can get professional help from a number of sources. There is any number of resources for finding people who are creative writers and journalists – pros who know how to spin a story.
You can check out Freelancer.com, Online Writers Rating, and Upwork – all of them are sources for freelance copywriters and journalists with lots of experience in creative storytelling.
2. Who Is Your Team and Who Are Your Customers?
There are plenty of stories to tell here. Your team is made up of individuals, each with their own personal backstories. Feature them. Solicit your customers’ stories, along with photos and videos, and feature them on your blog and social media networks. Not only do they provide great human interest, but they also provide social proof too.
James Scott, CEO of Essay Supply, stands by this. “When we began to feature our writers and tell their personal stories, we noticed more interest on the part of our customer base. And with that interest has come more orders.”
3. Visuals Can Tell Stories
A series of great photos featuring your product(s) can tell stories too, especially if they involve your team making those products or customers using them. And, if you do use text to tell your stories, then be certain that you use visuals to provide more interest.
4. Bait the Reader with a Great Opening Hook
If you read newspaper stories or editorials, you know that the first phrase or sentence is the attention grabber. You need to do the same with your stories. Intrigue, shock, or surprise your reader with the first sentence, and then lead into your story from there. If you engage and compel from the start, your readers are likely to stick with you and, if they really like your story, share it with their friends. Your stories can spread your brand.
Julie Acron, Marketing Specialist for Resumes Centre, can attest to the effectiveness of this tip: “Once we realized that we had to craft our content like a journalist would, we began to publish far more compelling content, on all of our platforms. Our analytics showed that visitors and users actually stayed and read our stories, and the number of shares increased as well.”
5. Stories About Your Social Responsibility
If you are not supporting a local, regional, or national cause; if you are not promoting environmental responsibility, then you need to start doing so right now. Your participation in these activities and events makes great stories to tell, and today’s consumer is inspired by them.
This is another opportunity for you to “shine” before your audience. Toms Shoes was founded on the concept of social responsibility. It donates shoes to needy children all over the world, and its website is filled with images of team members fitting kids with shoes.
So, here is what you must do. Make a list of all the potential stories you have. Plan a calendar of publishing these stories on your blog, on your social media sites, and in your paid advertising. Continue to generate new story ideas, so that these are ongoing.
Be certain to add visuals and video in the telling of these stories. You will engage your audience, keep them with you and increase your chances for that content to be shared.
James Daily is a professional content creator and active guest blogger.