With National Storytelling Week starting this weekend the question you might be asking is “why is storytelling so important?” Storytelling has been around since the dawn of time, it’s a powerful tool and one that businesses should learn to master to convert their readers into leads and over time into loyal customers.
Stories create a connection with the reader
Today’s customers want to feel part of the brand they are buying from, they are looking for a connection with the organisation. This is where storytelling can play an enormous role, by telling the right stories you are humanising your business and creating emotions. This connection creates an attachment and bond between yourself and your customers thereby making your products or services more appealing.
Storytelling can be used across all forms of marketing, from blogs and web pages to selling on the ‘shop floor’. Telling stories makes things memorable, when listening to a story you may not remember the exact words used but you will remember the message or moral behind the story. A good story will make the message stick with its listeners, a captivated and engaged audience is much closer to a sale than customers with little or no connection with the brand.
Keep stories relatable
Real life stories, using examples from your customers for example, connects us and helps to communicate our values and beliefs, it makes your product or service relatable. Customers can then apply that story to their lives and see the relevance and benefit of having the product or service and by tapping into their emotions help secure a sale.
So how do you write a good story that will engage, and become the foundation of your marketing strategy?
#1 Consider your audience. Once you have identified who you are telling the story to you can pin point what would interest them in a story, speaking to them in a voice they will listen to and about a topic that they can relate to.
#2 Identify the key message you want to communicate. It’s a bit like the moral of a story…… where are you heading with your storytelling and what message do you want your audience to take away with them when they’ve finished reading.
#3 Find inspiration in your real life experiences. Make it relatable and real, customers like honesty and authenticity, you can play to their emotions. Talk to existing customers and staff to find your inspiration.
#4 Don’t make yourself the main character. No one likes a bore at a party who only talks about themselves, in the same way it’s not all about you. You are not the hero - the customer, or lesson you’ve learnt or event witnessed, is the star of the show.
#5 Keep the story short and simple, it will keep the reader engaged and interested, unnecessary details will only help them to switch off from your key message.
#6 Tell the truth. It may seem obvious but customers are savvy and can spot a fake or an over ambiguous claim a mile off.
Rudyard Kipling was spot on when he said “words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind”. With these few simple tips and a great story you can use storytelling for your business, develop a strong brand, generate a long lasting marketing strategy, winning loyalty and creating familiarity and reliability with your customers.