Online Marketing and The Art of Storytelling
Whether you want to touch a nerve, reach a new audience, or boost your sales, storytelling is the most powerful tool in your arsenal. As humans, we love a good story, and when it resonates with us, it can drive us to take action when nothing else can.
Think about it. Which would you rather read, an interesting story, or a sales letter? Which are you more likely to remember a week from now, a compelling story, or a features and benefits comparison? And which are you more likely to buy, a story you can see yourself in, or a product that does x, y, and z?
If you think back on your most recent purchases, from the business coach you hired to the car you bought last summer, chances are you’ll find a story that resonated with you, and that drove your decision to purchase.
Stories About You Build Trust
You’ve heard it time and time again: People buy from those they know, like, and trust. And part of getting to know you is hearing your stories. Your potential clients want to know how you came to be in business, what experiences you’ve had that drove your decisions, what lessons you learned along the way.
Your stories don’t have to be directly related to business to be powerful, either. That anecdote about the time you nearly got refused entry at the Airport because your passport was nearly expired is the perfect lead into a blog post about better record keeping. Or the story about how your partner accidentally seated two warring couples together at your wedding reception? It’s just what you need to drive home a point about relationship building.
Stories About Your Clients = Social Proof
Otherwise known as social proof, stories about your clients are incredibly useful in your marketing and branding strategy. Case studies, testimonials, white papers and similar are all just stories, after all, and they showcase how you and your products and services have changed a business or a client’s life for the better.
Stories About Your Products
Yes, even your products have stories to tell. Why did you decide to create that new training program? What will it help your clients achieve? Who is it not suited to? These stories and more can show your potential clients more about your products and services than any sales page ever will. When you openly share your thought processes as you were creating your program, buyers will instantly know if it’s a product that will work for them or not.
Clearly, stories have a lot of power when it comes to branding and marketing, but you have to use caution. Beware of the awkward insertion of a story just because you’ve heard it’s good for your marketing. If you find yourself midway through a blog post and you write something like, “but anyway, enough of that, let’s get on with business” and then making a total shift to a completely different subject, chances are the story isn’t working.
But if you can tie your story in naturally to what follows, that’s your golden ticket to better branding, more sales, and a more profitable business. We love stories. Don’t be afraid to tell yours.