The Power of Storytelling
Storytelling. It’s not a foreign concept to many of us. We’ve been reading and telling stories since we can remember. But, what about business storytelling? What’s the benefit? Why does your business even need a story? This blog will do a deep dive into how effective storytelling can help your company’s brand image and increase customer engagement.
So, first off, why does your brand need a story?
People want to feel a connection. If they can connect with you emotionally, their desire to engage with you will increase dramatically. A story gives you a reason to communicate and relate to your customers. Tell them what you value! Your goal is to resonate with people, especially those who could use your help. An important thing to remember is a story is not just your company’s history—it’s about WHY you do what you do. Tap into their emotional side. This is what people will remember and resonate with most.
Okay, great, now we know the importance of having a story. But, how do you communicate it?
A good story has to stand out. Think about what sets your company apart and highlight these unique qualities. When beginning your storytelling process, always refer back to the golden circle. This magical tool is an inside-out way of thinking:
Start with WHY you do what you do
Move to HOW this helps your audience
End with WHAT it is you offer
Many companies think the “what” is the most important aspect of their brand. However, the “why” is what customers want to hear about.
Now, let’s dive a little deeper.
What are the key ingredients to a good story?
Every story needs at least one character, and many times, this will be your customer or prospect. To create an effective story, you have to value and understand your audience’s wants and needs. Use your buyer personas (semi-fictional representation of your ideal buyer) to understand their goals and challenges. Think about the ways you can help them.
You also need to determine your point of view and be consistent with it throughout your entire story. Are you talking about yourself? Are you talking to someone? Are you talking about someone? Decide whether first, second, or third person fits your story best.
HubSpot defines the conflict as the lesson in how the character transforms through a challenge. Without this aspect, you aren’t telling a story—instead, it’s a pitch, statement, tagline, etc. This type of messaging won’t help your engagement or make your brand memorable in the minds of consumers.
Conflict should be the driving force throughout your story. It should fit your prospect or customer’s problems, needs, and specific buyer’s journey stage. Make sure you understand potential problems your customers may have and how you can help fix them. Utilize these types of conflicts in the stories you tell.
Don’t leave your customers hanging! Your resolution should bring your story to an end in a way that doesn't leave your customer’s questioning. In addition, it’s important to create a call to action so there is more for the customer or prospect to explore.
So, with every story you create, remember five key things:
Use content to create emotional appeal
Communicate WHY you do what you do before addressing how it benefits the audience and what solutions you may provide
Have at least one character, a conflict, and a resolution
Be consistent and authentic
Keep the story clear and concise
With these tips, your company will be able to draw in customers solely based off of your ability to connect with them on an emotional level. Creating this authentic relationship will help customers trust you and the products/services you provide. And, now, you’re a storytelling expert—get to sharing!