When was the last time you heard a great story? Did it get your undivided attention?
It's not "the" key to business success (I think customer service is), but storytelling can help elevate your brand from just another business to being a business that people can relate to and make a human connection with.
Storytelling has been a part of human culture for eons now. People would sit around the campfires and relay stories that were passed down from their elders. As the stories were told, the imaginations would go to work as people listening to these stories visualized the people, places, and events that happened.
As the years have gone by, the way we tell stories has changed. We can tell stories through videos, text messaging, or good old fashioned oral presentations. Perhaps that's why TEDx talks are so popular nowadays. I subscribe to the TEDx channel on YouTube and enjoy listening to speakers tell stories that inspire and move me.
In his book, Epic Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi talks about the 3 different types of content producers of which "Storyteller" is the final stage. Joe says:
The storyteller strategy educates, entertains, engages, and has an impact on audiences because the content goes well beyond the scope of the product or service into why the organization exists at all...It creates excitement and interest in those who aren't customers, makes evangelists out of existing customers, and focuses on drawing audiences in to engage with the brand in numerous ways.The best way I think businesses can tell their story is through a company blog. People often ask me why they should start a business blog. How exactly do they make sales through a blog? Well, if done right, a blog can bring in much more business than your traditional newspaper ad or other online paid advertising. I've already written an article about building a successful business blog, but I'd like to elaborate more on the idea of storytelling...
Let's say that you sell dog clothing, and a woman (let's call her Sally) who loves her poodle is doing an Internet search for cute dog clothing. Sally comes across your business blog and reads a post about one of your long-time customers who entered their dog in a dog talent show and everyone was going crazy over the cute t-shirt the dog was wearing. As Sally continues to read your blog, she discovers that you, too, own a poodle because of a blog post you wrote talking about taking your dog to the vet and how it was an emotional time for you. Sally decides to subscribe to your blog and later she ends up purchasing a few items from your business.
Why did Sally ultimately end up buying from you? It's because she made a personal connection with you. It's a virtual connection, but a connection nonetheless. She may not have met you, but she likes that you have the same love and passion for your dog that she does for hers. This is not something that you could have relayed if you didn't have a blog.
It's true that everything has a story behind it. Even if you think you have a not-so-sexy product or business, you can tell the story of why you went into this type of business. Instead of a boring old testimonials page, you can share stories through articles or videos of how customers have used your product/service to improve their lives. You could even get a little creative and turn your products into "characters" with their own names and personalities.
Are you a good storyteller? How has storytelling helped your business?
If you're in need of a good storyteller to help drive more traffic and sales to your business, contact me to see how I can help!