Are You Using Storytelling Marketing to Grow Your Business?
Recently, I was looking for a product to help solve a problem. As I was combing the internet for possible solutions, I stumbled upon a company’s website. What intrigued me right off the bat was that the site’s homepage did not start by featuring the product. There was no glitzy packaging or flashing sale prices designed to catch my eye. Instead, it started with a story.
The story was the first-hand account of a customer who, by chance, stumbled upon this new-to-market product. The story detailed how the customer skeptically tried the product and the surprising positive outcome they experienced.
What’s interesting about the story is that the product’s name was mentioned only once. The customer detailed how the product helped solve the issue but details about the product’s specifications were never mentioned. It wasn’t until the very end of the story that the product’s name was revealed.
Now you might be thinking that this is a poor marketing strategy but let me tell you, I’m not likely to forget the name of that product anytime soon. The story was told in such an emotionally captivating way that I started to put my trust in this product before I even knew what it was called. Now that is the power of storytelling marketing.
What is Storytelling Marketing?
As the above example demonstrates, stories are a way for people to connect with and remember something they are told. Because stories create connections, marketers have learned to use the storytelling strategy to help consumers connect with brands.Marketers have learned to use the storytelling strategy to help consumers connect with brands. Click To Tweet
To create a marketing strategy, marketers begin by creating an ideal customer profile. This allows them to figure out who is most likely to consume the product or service. Once a company knows their target audience, they can use storytelling marketing to describe situations that would resonate with this audience. If done correctly, a properly crafted story can captivate the reader and convert them to a customer.
How Does Storytelling Marketing Work?
So why is storytelling marketing an effective marketing tool? Neil Patel explains it well by breaking down the science behind neural coupling.
The purpose of a story is to connect the storyteller to the reader/listener. When a connection is established, it is more than the listener simply acknowledging that someone is speaking. The connection established is a physiological connection in which the listener’s brain synchronizes to the story.
This synchronization is called neural coupling and it allows the listener greater comprehension, anticipation and receptivity of the subject matter. This is important because these effects can also lead to trust. If the listener can connect with the story, the subject matter gains credibility. If a brand can establish enough credibility with the listener, trust is formed. Once brand trust has been established, brand loyalty and purchasing of the brand are possible.
Types of Storytelling Marketing
Now that you understand why this marketing strategy is important, you may be wondering how to get started. It’s important to note one thing though before proceeding. No matter which approach you chose to use, that approach must resonate with your readers. No matter how great the story is, if it doesn’t resonate with your audience, you won’t be able to form a connection and build trust.
Storytelling strategies can be as diverse as the stories they tell. There are, however, certain themes that arise in storytelling marketing. Here are a few ideas to help you get started on your own brand’s story.
1. The inspiration behind the business
One story audiences love is a good origin story. You only need to look to the latest blockbusters to see that this technique is in demand. Waves of movies have been made that delve into the backgrounds of previous main characters to show audiences how the original story came to be. We, as an audience, want to know more and want to understand why things happen.
This desire to know more doesn’t stop at the local theater. It carries on to your readers as they want to know why they should use your product instead of another. If you have a great reason why you started your business (other than wanting to make money), tell that to your readers. This helps them understand where you are coming from and why they should trust you.
2. How You Have Helped Others
Our brain is hardwired to seek out solutions to problems. By sharing a story of how your product or service helped a customer solve one of their problems, you are presenting a solution to your audience’s potential problem. This is a great way to connect with your readers and establish credibility with them.
If you chose this storytelling approach, it’s important to keep the story focused on the audience. You need to show them how your company will help them. If you take the other approach and use this story as an opportunity to sing your own praises on how great you are, you will lose your audience very quickly. You will come off as self-serving and boastful, both of which are undesirable qualities in establishing bonds.
3. What Sets You Apart
Some markets are saturated with companies offering very similar products to the consumer. By using the art of storytelling, you can tell that consumer what sets you apart from the competition. By describing to your audience how your product can solve their problems better or faster or more efficiently, you can create a compelling case for them to chose you over the competition.
While there are several ways a product can be marketed to an audience, very few create connections better than storytelling marketing. This technique captivates audiences and makes brands memorable. In a world of stiff competition, creating connections and becoming memorable is how companies increase their customer base and maintain their longevity.
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