Storytelling is as simple as sharing what you’re doing with your brand. Everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. All the time. That story makes you what you are. It puts your brand in front of eyeballs. We build ourselves out of that story.
According to The Delhi school of internet marketing, statistics have it that business storytelling can boost conversion rates by 30%.
It may be hard to believe that what started in a garage as an entrepreneurship quest has turned out to be the largest online retailer. Can you guess who? You’re right, Amazon!
Jeff Bezos, CEO and Founder, Amazon named his enterprise Amazon because he believed it would grow to become the largest online store- Just like Amazon, the largest river in the world.
The journey wasn’t easy for Bezos, but he was a man of thick skin. Barnes and Noble once sued him for claiming that Amazon was the largest online bookstore in the world. But he won the case.
So why am I telling you this story? Because I believe there is power in storytelling, especially for marketers.
Giant companies are utilizing the technique of storytelling to fuel the success of their businesses. An outstanding example is Safaricom, an original Kenyan telecommunications company. They are using entrepreneur stories to tell how their products have changed the lives of their customers. Similarly to Equity Bank.
Other international brands that use storytelling include Google, Apple, Barclays, ABSA among others. You can lose count of brands that use storytelling. So, how can you use the power of storytelling to fuel the growth of your business?
What is business storytelling?
There isn’t a clear definition of what business storytelling is. But I’d like to put it in the simplest terms that will make you understand it.
Business storytelling is the technique that businesses use to share the stories of their brand.
The aim of these stories is to engage their audience and make them take the desired action. It could be signing up for their newsletter, buying a product, or even sharing their post on social media.
So, how is storytelling important to marketers of brands?
How can storytelling improve my marketing?
Here is a quick breakdown of the benefits of storytelling to your business:
- Storytelling creates an emotional connection with your audience.
Since the ages of the great Roman kingdom, stories have always been a great way to communicate. Even the bible uses stories to communicate.
Telling a story to your audience activates up to seven areas in their mind. Among them is the zone that triggers emotions.
For instance, when you tell your audience how you struggled to create a product that’ll make their lives better, their mind triggers emotions of love and thus they’re bound to love you and your business. This might in turn make them loyal to your brand and thus lifetime customers.
Remember, you should only tell true stories. The human mind is wired to detect unreal stories in a spur of a moment. So don’t get clever!
“Human beings have always loved good stories and professional marketers use it to their advantage. Do not write fake stories and never claim a story is true while everyone knows it’s not” -Max Tsypliaev, CEO Comindware
- Storytelling increases the chances of customers referring your brand to other customers
I don’t think there is a tool that is more powerful in marketing than referrals. Why? It’s free and comes from a satisfied customer, which means it comes out with the enthusiasm it deserves.
When you tell a great story about your brand, it sticks in the mind of your customers. And wherever they go, they’re more likely to tell their friends about how your brand cares. They act as evangelists of your brand.
So, next time tell a great story and you’re bound to increase your conversion rate.
- It’s a great way to capture the attention of your audience.
Considering that stories engage up to seven areas of the mind, it is without a doubt that a great story will act as an attention-magnet to any customer who hears or reads your story.
Talking about engaging several parts of the mind, my next point is…
- Great stories create purpose and drive action.
A brilliant story hooks up your customer, then engages their mind. Their mind is able to create images of how your story relates to their life experiences. And when this happens, they feel that whatever recommendations you give are true. This inspires them to take immediate action in efforts to solve their problems or find pleasure.
Tell life-moving stories about your business if you want to grow your revenues or get your customers to do some desired action.
- It can be a great way to transfer your beliefs and values to your customers.
Every glorious business (including yours) started with a mission to help make the world a better place.
Through storytelling, you’re able to share such visions with your audience. When your audience hears these stories, they become empathetic. And by osmosis, their mind encodes your business values and beliefs into their system.
How to use storytelling in business?
There are various methods you can use to tell stories about your business to your audience. I chose some of my best techniques to share with you. And they’re:
- Using storytelling techniques to trigger story effects.
How do you feel after hearing a great story or after watching a great movie?
You feel moved, inspired, and even ready to take immediate action. Do you know why? Because it involves the use of most of your senses.
When you’re telling a story to your audience, make sure you engage almost all the senses of your target audience.
Use words that activate their;
i) Smell senses. E.g aroma, pungent smell
ii) Touch/feel senses e.g. goosebumps, soft, rough, smooth
iii) Taste senses e.g bitter, sweat, yummy!
iv) Sight senses e.g enormous, blue, wide
v) Hearing senses e.g loud, ringing, rhythm, bang
- use anecdotes to illustrate your points
When sharing facts with your audience, try using anecdotes or short stories to make the point stick.
It could be stories about you, your co-founder, or even a customer that was satisfied because of your product or service.
- Introduce your presentation with a story about your topic
The Great Dr., Martin Luther King, and other elegant speakers started most of their speeches with a great story.
Starting your presentation with a great story hooks up your audience and makes them concentrate throughout the story or the speech.
So, next time remember to start with an awesome story, just like I did in this article.
The don’ts of business storytelling
When telling stories, it is important to deliver the right message to your audience. Most content marketers don’t realize the power of delivering the right message to their audience and thus end up messing.
To prevent you from making such mistakes, here are some quick and easy-to-grasp methods of delivering a clear brand story.
i) Use metaphors sparingly and carefully.
A misused metaphor might send the wrong impression to your audience.
Also, some metaphors can be hard for your audience to understand. This leads to a break in communication. Something you don’t want.
ii) Avoid buzzwords
Buzzwords like metaphors break communication.
iii) Avoid industry jargon unless you’re addressing experts in your industry.
iv) Avoid writing and formatting styles that will make it hard for your audience to understand your story. For example, avoid long paragraphs because they make a reader lazy to read just by looking at the paragraph.
In the words of Maya Angelou,
|“At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did. They will remember how you made them feel.” |
Brand storytelling is too powerful to be ignored. It connects customers on a deeper level. To achieve this, let the stories be about your customers and their experiences with your products and services. So the next time you tell your brand story, make sure you connect emotionally with your audience. Storytelling is the easiest way to change the story of success in your content marketing efforts.