Think about the amount of information you interact with every day - blog posts, newsletters, YouTube videos, Facebook status updates, images and the list goes on. Now, how much of that information do you really come back to and act on? The truth is, not many. You are being very selective not only with your Attention, but with your money as well.
Given the endless stream of online information, what do you think are the chances that your own piece of content reaches your target audience? How do you make your audience to click, read, share and interact with your content on a daily basis? How are you moving your way up to their wallets?
If you can make an impact on your audience, then they will remember you and come back for another blog post, video and will even subscribe to your email list. But for tat you need to have a story. Or better said, you need to be able to tell your story in a way that's meaningful and inspiring.
Who doesn't love stories? Whether it's about your customer who has changed his life as a result of using your product or service, or about your own journey of building your company against all odds, people want to hear it. The more dramatic the story, the better. The more honestly you share your challenges, the more memorable you are.
People love hearing stories - there is always a lesson to be learned and a transformation to be remembered. Using storytelling in your marketing is a great way to connect with your audience and share your core values with them. By adding stories to your marketing mix, you inspire people to try out your products and even become fierce advocates of your brand.
Storytelling is also powerful because it sets examples for everybody else - "If this person could do it, then maybe I can do it too". Just by sharing stories related to what your business is about will inspire and motivate people and help them connect on an emotional level with your brand. Stories get people fired up in a way that salesy tactics simply cannot.
Here are three ways you can start using storytelling into your marketing:
1. Tell People About Your Early Days.
Share the beginnings and tell people how you started your business, how you came up with the idea and how you struggled to reach the tipping point. Why do you do what you do? What do you believe in?
These are all strong motivators that excite people and want to know more about you. Use your story to differentiate yourself and tell people why they should
buy from you instead of your competition. Today, the real differentiator in business is having a good story.
Think about Apple. Haters keep saying that iFans are delusional, paying double the money for a device that's no better than the competition. They may not be entirely right, but there is some truth in that. People buy (into) the Apple story and the feeling associated with the brand.
Stories are memorable and exciting and regardless of what you're selling, there is always a point in telling people about your beginnings. People want to know how you started, how you brought your idea to life, who's been there for you and what were your drawbacks. These elements is what makes you relatable.
Talk about these defining moments and let people see behind the doors - your fears, struggles and how you've crushed the obstacles in the way. Being transparent with your journey will make a huge difference in how people perceive your business and you'll be showered with tremendous amounts of good will.
A great example is Robert Herjavec , the Croatian-born Canadian business mogul. He is most known for his role as an investor in the SharkTank TV show, but few people know that he was born in a Croatian village and he and his family immigrated to Canada on a ship. He started at ground level and worked his way up to become one of the richest people in North America. This is the kind of story that makes people to pay attention and appreciate your brand even more.
2. Make Information More Accessible To Others.
Piggyback-riding trends is another way of leveraging the power of storytelling. New stories burst every minute, but not all of it matters to your audience. Or not all the news can be easily digested and comprehended by your audience. However, if you add clarity to a news story and put your spin on it, then you might get your readers interested.
Framing a trending story in a way that is useful to your audience will give you the merit of being a diligent curator. Extract the essence from a story and give people the golden nuggets in a way that's relevant to them. The more quality content you share, the more relevant you become and the less likely for people to look elsewhere when they need timely and relevant information.
If you're running Facebook ads then chances are that you'd probably be interested to know that last year Mark Zuckerberg held a Q & A session in China. Not only that, but he had learned Chinese specifically for this event. Now this is getting interesting. For you as a marketer this news might come as a huge opportunity to keep an eye on the Chinese market because Facebook could be allowed to enter a trillion-dollar Asian market.
3. Let Your Customers Do The Talking
There is no better endorsement for a business than its happy customers. So reach out to your most enthusiastic customers and ask for their testimonials, do a case study, interview these guys and let their success stories become your cheerleading team.
Some brands have developed excellent relationships with their customers and one of them is Starbucks. Just take a look at their Facebook or Instagram feeds and you'll be hooked. All the happy, delighted customers can't be wrong - they do enjoy their Starbucks experience in different places around the world. And Starbucks leverages their happy times to promote their brand even further.
Now is the time to shift your focus from "You" to your customers and try to give them meaningful experiences. This is when you stop competing on price a cup of coffee and a mobile device become experiences and identities rather than commodities.
Storytelling isn't exclusive to writers anymore - it's for any business that understands the way people make purchases. It's very little logic involved - buying is an emotional decision, so why not address that part of being human and give your customers the stories you need they crave for?
Your story will make you memorable and irreplaceable. And the more irreplaceable you are, the more you can charge for your products and services. Telling stories helps you to bridge the gap between you and your customers and make them feel like they're part of your journey.
Show your customers that you trust them enough to be transparent about your business and they will reward you with their time and money. Become their go-to solution and you'll win them as customers for life - this will future-proof your business and create amazing ripple effects and growth opportunities.
Always make your customers see themselves achieving success using your products and services. By planting the seeds of possibility in their mind you will become the only solution they'll ever need to solve their problem.
So how are you using the power of storytelling to enchant your audience? How has it been for you so far? If not, I encourage you to start implementing these ideas into your content marketing and come back to share your experience.