Story-based marketing has been growing by leaps and bounds, changing the way prospective customers see business and connecting with them in all new ways. These new connections can help gain sales and customer loyalty.
There are a number of best practices when it comes to marketing using storytelling. Here are a few to consider.
Your brand story is important but it is not all about you
Your brand story tells why you got into business and what drives your efforts, but it is not only about you. It is about the effect your story has on your target audience. You want them to feel an emotional connection that will make them eager to join your mission. For example, a lot of people admired Steve Jobs because he founded Apple in his parents’ garage. He had a vision of success and followed it, even when he lost control of the company for a time.
You may have gone into business just to start a college fund for the kids, but consider what your wider concerns might be – such as going green, helping with animal rights, and so on. Then your mission will be about so much more than just making money.
Your brand is not just about shopping; it’s about enhancing lives, so anything you can include in your story that emphasizes this should resonate with your audience.
You Won’t Always Have Control of the Stories Told about You
As soon as reviews and testimonials start to come in and get published on sites like Amazon or comments are made on social media, your brand’s image and reputation, and people’s perceptions, can change significantly – and not always for the better. If this happens, don’t turn a spark into a forest fire. Just redouble your efforts to get honest, positive reviews to drown out any negativity. Get them from real people. Don’t write them yourself in an attempt to fool people. It will make things that much worse if you get caught.
On the upside, consumer-generated content that is positive will help with content creation and give an authentic ring of truth to your sales materials.
Your story should be consistent across all your channels. Who are you, what do you do, and what motivates you to do it?
Different Voices, Same Story
Anyone in your company can contribute to the storytelling. They can talk about where they get their ideas to help people, why it is so great working for a green company, and so on.
Offer written stories, video and audio. Encourage your customers to record their testimonials. Consider giving them a few questions or prompts to help get the ball rolling.
Everyone loves good images that support what the text is talking about. Use images, memes, infographics and more to make your stories stand out.
Your story should feel real, honest, and authentic – not hype. If your content isn’t getting passed around a lot, chances are it might not feel authentic enough to your target audience. Or perhaps they feel they have seen it before and your story is a bit stale, or not unique enough.
Storytelling can take your brand to a whole new level. Use these best practices to make the most of this form of marketing.