Content is still king when it comes to making sales. However, all the blog posts, social posts, and landing pages your business produces are just dry words unless they tell a meaningful story about your brand, and how it relates to your target customers. The difference between companies that are successful at converting leads and those that struggle often comes down to how compelling their stories are, and how they are able to apply this approach to their digital content, sales, pitches, and marketing messages. Let’s look a bit deeper at what storytelling means in practice in marketing and sales.
Clicks Are Just Clicks
These days, it is not sufficient just to attract visitors to your website, or get clicks on your content, unless this interest translates into revenue. To grow your business, you need to use proven tactics to achieve conversions and sales, and this problem lies at the root of why digital marketing efforts sometimes fall flat. People ultimately buy from other people, not from faceless adverts and websites. Successful marketing recognises this, and reinjects the personal element into your sales content by weaving a story about your brand that connects with your audience. ‘Storytelling’, in this context, involves replicating the rapport that you build with a prospect at a face to face meeting, through the digital channels of emails, blogs, and social media. How do you do this?
Building Rapport With Your Personal Story
It comes from acknowledging that the modern consumer cares about what your company stands for, not just what you sell – its why reputation and testimonials are so important. People will listen to the story you tell them and are drawn to the notion of a higher purpose – the principles and ethics at the heart of your business that say so much about your commitment to quality, customer service, and long term support.. As well as enabling you to stand out from the crowd, a good story educates people about your brand and makes them root for you, encouraging long term loyalty.
This doesn’t mean using your marketing channels to drone on about your own background and successes – prospects shouldn’t be expected to have time to prop up your ego. No, the story you tell should be about them. Let's examine how to devise an original story and forge a lasting connection with your audience:
Setting The Scene – Imaging Your Customer’s World
Before you can meaningfully engage with prospective customers, you must learn more about them, and the stories they tell about themselves, in order to know where your business fits in. Think of it as setting the scene. Researching your prospect’s motivations, frustrations, and daily challenges is the cornerstone of any effective marketing plan. You should find out who they look up to, what their values and aspirations are, and what they are afraid of – as well as what they actually spend their day doing! Gaining a detailed insight into your audience will help you to empathise with them. In turn, this will give your story greater authenticity and make it resonate with the wider public.
Light And Darkness, Problems And Solutions
To emotionally hook your audience in, your story requires a human element, a narrative of how adversity is overcome against the odds. This is a key consideration, because the subconscious mind governs the vast majority of our buying decisions. With all stories, the start and the finish are the most memorable parts. Also, a simple story structure will resonate easier and captivate the audience's attention quicker.
Start – the darkness: Your story should start with an issue that needs addressing (the customer’s need, or the ‘darkness’ in story terms),
The quest: Then go on to describe the steps you take to rectify it (the process of how your service addresses these needs – the equivalent of a quest in standard stories) .
Conclusion – the light: The end of your story should explain how you succeed in delivering what you’ve promised (in true hero fashion!). You do not have to include elaborate plot twists to make the story of your brand fascinating.
How To Tell Your Story
When crafting your content, you should use a variety of media to inspire and captivate your audience, so they gain a positive impression of your company. This content should be published on several platforms. People only have short attention spans, so every detail is important. All words should be carefully chosen to convey the right message. Every colour selection should be analysed. Each element, including the line spacing, font choice and image placements, need to be thoroughly scrutinised to ensure that you project an appealing vision.
Introducing The Storyteller
Behind every business is a story of who launched it, what motivated them to do it, and what their future ambitions are, but this is a secondary concern in marketing and sales. When converting customers, your role is the storyteller – the story is that of the prospect and the challenges they face. How well you succeed depends on your ability to write your brand into that story as the hero or heroine who delivers the goods and saves the day.
Find Out More
Technology enables us to better understand the mindset of our customers, and what triggers their desire to purchase something. A business development partner, like the JDR Group, has the expertise to help your brand achieve its goals through creative, out-of-the-box content marketing. Contact our experienced team today for more information.