Who hasn’t got time to stop for a good story? Even if you’re busy, it’s hard to resist a quick catch up on weekend gossip at the water cooler, or hear the highlights of a colleague’s overseas trip on your coffee break, stories are a fun and stress-free way to connect with others.
So it’s not surprising that many well-known brands have recognized this and have built storytelling into their marketing strategies. Some are more successful at it than others. But any business, small or large, that has the ability to clearly communicate their story has a chance to connect with their customers on a deeper level.
So what goes into making a good story? Here are some suggestions that can help you cultivate strategic storytelling into your content marketing.
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Stories Can Make Emotional Connections
Never underestimate the power of emotion. If you can make a customer feel more emotionally connected to your brand then you’re well on the way to not only touching their hearts, but also tapping into their wallets. Stories are an effective vehicle for humanizing your business so potential customers can relate to it.
Stories can capture people’s attention without needing to be overly dramatic. Why not share team members personal stories on your blog? Or perhaps your own story of why you started the business and how you overcame obstacles to make it the success it is today?
Stories Don’t Have to be Serious
Humor is a great way to get potential customers to notice your brand without the hard sell. Even if your brand sells a product or offers a service that’s not particularly exciting, humor can work to engage people and keep you front of mind.
Most importantly humor can encourage a greater level of sharing because people love to like and share funny content to their followers, and if there’s enough sharing and likes, a humorous story can go viral, take for example the Dollar Shave Club’s YouTube video that’s racked up over 25 million views.
The important part of using humor in storytelling is to understand your audience, and make sure that nothing you post can be taken as offensive. Not everyone shares the same sense of humor after all.
Stories from the Customer’s Point of View
If your team is reluctant to share their stories, then what about your customers? Communicating your customers’ stories via your various online channels can be a powerful way to boost your brand awareness and attract new customers. Not only do customer stories add authenticity to your business, they showcase your brand identity and overall purpose to the outside world.
A face-to-face interview with a customer posted on your blog and/or social media about a certain product or service you offer, can build more awareness and trust about your brand than 10 faceless reviews that may or may not be genuine.
Stories That Go Behind the Scenes
If your business has had a growth spurt recently and is about to move offices, share this with your audience. You may not be like Steve Jobs moving Apple from his garage to a proper office but sharing behind the scenes photos of where you were, and where you’re going, can still be an effective way to convey your success.
Stories of this nature can show that your business is run by actual people, rather than robots. Another option is to display team members’ photos in your ‘About Us’ section, along with a blurb about who they are and what they like to do in their spare time. This can help your customers to realize that there are real human beings working behind a fancy logo.
Stories have been used for thousands of years as an effective and enjoyable way of sharing information. Businesses are using strategic storytelling as a way to connect with their target audience, build brand awareness, and stand out from the competition. To be successful, storytelling needs to be authentic, attention grabbing and engage people’s emotions in some way. If you can combine these three elements, then you have the makings of a good story.
Matt Ramage has been marketing websites for over 20 years. He loves helping businesses improve their user experience and searchability on the Internet. Matt now heads Emarketed which is located in Los Angeles, California. They specialize in SEO, social media marketing and web development.