Stories around the campfire have always bonded people, enhanced loyalty, encouraged communication and acted as an essential channel for sharing history and current events. For today’s marketers, consumers in the global village still gather and exchange information. And storytelling still works.
What Is Storytelling?
When you use stories to gain brand recognition, you share events by your choice of content and images. These educate and entertain your buyers by telling them about your brand, its history and about other users. This builds loyalty and interest in your product or service. Consumers start looking for your brand and sharing images and content with other users. They develop fond feelings toward it and have a greater tendency to buy what you produce. It is one of the most effective ways to break through the noise on today’s internet. There is an overwhelming amount of words, colors, sounds and images trying to grab your buyers’ attention. If you tell a good story, you stand out in the crowd.
What Stories Are Consumers Interested In?
People love to hear about the personal aspects of your business. They are fascinated by individual stories about founders, inventors and service providers. They like to know how your business got started. They want to read how your brand, products and services have affected the real lives of consumers, just like them. Do you have a mission statement? Share it with your buyers. They want to know about your beliefs and values. Why did you develop your product or service? Give them the story!
How Do You Tell a Good Story?
The basis of any good story is emotion, not data. It deals with specific events that happen to individual people. Generalities are out, specifics are in. There are numerous ways to present both emotion and particular events. Here is a look at four of the most effective techniques.
1. Cliffhangers build suspense. Focus on a problem and tell how your product solves it.
2. Show Don’t Tell is using word pictures to stimulate the imagination of your prospective buyer. Insert your consumer into a setting that helps them connect with your story.
3. Metaphor always helps a story along. This is using a figure of speech to make a comparison between two seemingly dissimilar objects. An excellent example is Burger King’s Subservient Chicken, a metaphor for getting the burger your way, not the company’s way.
4. The Underdog is the perennial favorite: the triumph of the little guy overcoming overwhelming odds. Everyone identifies with the underdog.
Where to Share Your Story
Your About Us, Why Us and Who Are You pages are the perfect place to tell the story of your brand. Let your buyers understand your values, why your brand and products were invented and the difference they have made in people’s lives. Continue the story in your content management strategy. Talk about it in blogs, social media posts and website copy. Be consistent on all platforms to make the most impact.
Is It Worth It?
Yes. Tell your buyers a good story and they will remember you. It’s as simple as that. In a study of 42 companies, brand storytelling produced far greater financial rewards than traditional advertising. The work involved in storytelling resulted in better ROI for these companies, and it can for you too. In the years 2008 to 2013, the businesses studied had about twice as many mentions in social media compared to traditional advertising. Their annual rate of growth from 2007 through 2011 was 70% higher.