Imagine you are launching an innovative washing machine business; your revolutionary washing machines are small enough that even renters can easily utilize your product. Since renters are not accustomed to investing in their homes, you have the tough job of convincing young consumers to make the splurge on your expensive appliance. What do you do?
While data and specs will be an important part of your consumer education process, stories are much more likely to get attention and build an emotional connection between consumer and product. Stories will help you close more deals, and grow your business. Tell stories.
If you don’t know where to start, keep it simple. Look through articles and pictures that relate to your industry as well as your customers’ needs until something catches your attention; use that piece of inspiration to spark a fictional story, or to remind you of a real experience that could be told as a catchy story.
For example, for your imaginary washing machine business, you could tell a story (or stories) based on the girl in the picture featured above; your potential customers will likely feel her pain, and also think you understand their pain. These emotional reactions will move you significantly closer to gaining a new customer.
Stories will help you break the ice with your audience, and build lasting relationships with your customers. To help you get started with storytelling for your business, here are 5 potential ways you can use storytelling to grow your brand:
1. Social Media
Storytelling is the heart and soul of social media. People want social media posts to feel personal, even if the post is from a company profile. Stories have the ability to give a human element and personality to even the most corporate social media profiles.
Instead of only sharing links to your latest blog articles and occasionally alerting your audience when you have a great deal, develop opportunities to share stories with your social media audience. To keep it simple, you can simply highlight customer experiences with your brand, or share the story of your company’s beginning.
The social media stories do not need to be long, or take a traditional storytelling structure. You can cut loose and let go of your preconceived notions about stories when crafting a storytelling plan for social media. For example, you can tweet snippets that report a relevant story as it unfolds in real-time, or use Instagram to tell a story using only images, no words.
You can also go wild and create an entire imaginary world based on stories of a fictional character. Remember though – even wildly creative ideas need to relate to both the customer and the brand.
Once you have tested your stories on social media, transform your best narratives into visual presentations for your SlideShare profile. The added visuals will increase the emotional impact of your stories, as well as make your stories more memorable, and more fun to share on other sites.
3. Blog Content
If you are blogging consistently, you might find it challenging to integrate a story into every one of your posts. Don’t try to force a story if it is not relevant to your content, however you should strive to incorporate narratives into your writing as much as possible. Use a story to craft a compelling opening. Close with a memorable anecdote. Or, recapture your audience’s attention in the middle of your content if your post is lengthy.
4. Public Speaking
Public speaking is a great way to build your credibility, enhance your resume, and make new connections. Don’t waste a public speaking opportunity by delivering a dull presentation. Activate your audience members’ imaginations by telling stories, and skipping bullet points and graphs. Identify stories that can deliver the same messages as your data and main points, and insert your best stories as pivotal moments in your speech.
Conclusion: Connect with your prospects and customers by telling stories. Get started by sharing your stories on social media, Slideshare, your company blog, and the stage. Anything can inspire stories – even boring washing machines.
Need help communicating your stories? Let’s talk. Connect with Astute Communications here.