You may produce or sell superior products and services, better than anything your competition offers. But if you can’t get that across to your customers, you may lose business to companies with inferior products. Does content marketing help drive sales? Yes, it certainly can help drive sales, but you aren’t going to influence people to buy if you are pushing out keyword-stuffed word salad without any real value or appeal. Instead of only focusing on keywords, try the age-old power of storytelling.

Storytelling has mesmerized audiences with stories from time immemorial. Attraction to stories is embedded deep in our DNA. Use the power of storytelling to attract customers, keep their attention and give them positive feelings about your company.

How Can Storytelling Help My Company?

Following are some of the many ways storytelling can benefit your company.

1. Create a Human Bond

It can be hard for customers to remember the differences between products or services when all they see is a dry list of features. Although a feature list may be important to solidify a sale, it’s not going to jump out at people and capture their imaginations.

However, people can always relate to a good story. A good story engenders emotion, touches our hearts and becomes memorable.

2. Build Credibility

Once you have an emotional bond, trust is not far behind. People are suspicious of faceless corporations these days. Giving your company a human face through a good story can be a solid foundation for building trust.

3. Clarify

Some products and services can be a bit complicated. In many industries, it may be difficult to tell the difference between your product and that of the competition. Storytelling can illustrate the differences in a way that’s easily understandable. Real life success stories for your products and services are one way you can use storytelling to reach your customers.

4. Attract Attention and Engage

It takes a lot to get the attention of customers these days. But an interesting story can do just that. And once you have your customer’s attention, it’s not hard to engage them about the story they just read or saw. Your story might educate, inspire, surprise or just entertain. But it should capture and keep customer attention.

5. Create Loyalty and Community

Companies can even use stories to bring people together and give a sense of purpose. Consider the video shown at the iPhone 15 launch which showed eight people who were able to celebrate another birthday because their lives were saved by a feature on an Apple device.

6. Motivate

Once you have people’s attention, trust, and loyalty, the next obvious step is to drive them to action. Storytelling can be instrumental in increasing conversions.

How Can I Use Storytelling Effectively? 

1. Know Your Audience

Different types of stories are going to resonate with different types of audiences. Create customer personas, segment your audience, and fashion stories aimed at each segment. Think about your segment’s challenges and goals, and create stories they can relate to.

2. Be True to Your Company’s Messaging

Before you start marketing, it’s important to develop your company’s messaging. When writing a story, make sure it is in sync with your brand’s messaging. Also, be sure the story you create furthers your goal for the campaign, whether that’s increasing brand awareness, educating your audience, driving a quick purchase or some other goal.

3. Use Storytelling Throughout Your Marketing

Before writing your story, determine where and how you plan to use it. You can tell your story using various media, but you may need to tailor it for each platform. For example, the video you show in your webinar might be a longer version of the short form video you show on YouTube. Needless to say, images and videos can make a story’s impact much stronger.

You can link to story videos in your email, tell your stories in blog posts and feature them on social media, Google Ads, Facebook ads and your website. A story video can be the focus of your trade show booth or play in the background of your store. You can use storytelling in almost all your marketing. Encourage people to share it where possible.

4. Flesh Out Your Characters

Give a lot of thought to your characters. You want your audience to be able to relate to them and even see through their eyes. Think about their appearance, personality traits, feelings and idiosyncrasies.

5. Develop Your Story

When you are telling a story, you need to write all parts: introduction, conflict and resolution. Introduce your relatable characters and move on to a conflict of some sort. Maybe Suzie wants to win the swim meet or Joe wants to get his tech product to the market by deadline. You want people to care about what happens to the character.

Then, finally, you present the resolution of the conflict. Suzie comes in second, but beats her personal best time because she’s eating well with the help of your company’s healthy snacks. Joe gets his product in on time to a cheering market with the help of your effective team management software.

6. Structure Your Story

Your story shouldn’t bounce all over the place. You are not going to have a lot of time to present your story, so keep your plot focused and fairly simple. Make sure your flow is logical.

7. Don’t Tell Your Story in a Vacuum

Show your characters’ surroundings, be it a scary forest, a cozy home or a high end office building. Indicate something about their demographics and values. Are they up and coming young professionals in a city? Hard-working tradesmen in a small town?

8. Go for an Emotional Response

To break through the thousands of commercial messages your customers hear every day, you need to touch them on an emotional, human level. Data and features will support a customer’s decision to buy, but buying decisions are usually made on an emotional level.

Budweiser has long used a Clydesdale team to tell heartwarming stories and generate good will toward the brand. Consider the donkey who since he was born wanted to be a Budweiser Clydesdale. He practiced the walk, he tried hair extensions on his lower legs. Finally, he was allowed to interview with the Clydesdale team, he and was hired! At the end we see the little donkey in harness, leading the Budweiser Clydesdales. He had realized his life’s dream. along with the Clydesdale team.

9. Call Your Audience to Action

Know what call to action you want to put at the end of your story. It may be hard or soft depending on your goal. For example, you may want them to buy now or you may want them to just share your story on social media.

10. Consider a Series

Many stories aren’t one-offs when it comes to marketing. We just talked about the Budweiser Clydesdales who appear in many ads and videos. Many people look forward to Budweiser showing a new commercial that features the Clydesdales.

Develop Storytelling for Your Company

If you are interested in developing compelling stories for your company, you can set up a free consultation with an Umbrella Local Expert. You can schedule on the Umbrella Local website or by calling (646)440-1426.