For a business to thrive in today’s marketplace, the brand needs to find a way to connect to customers. Shoppers don’t want a single transaction with a store anymore, they want a meaningful relationship that helps them to trust the business they are shopping with.
How can business owners transcend the mass amount of advertising to connect to customers? Through storytelling, a proven and effective way to help your audience emotionally engage with your brand, thereby increasing sales.
What is Storytelling?
Storytelling is a communication technique whereby the sender sends messages to the receiver via a “story.” Instead of single advertising and marketing slogans, messages and announcements, the business owners present a single, clear and concise story about the company, its history, products, goals and commitments. Every single message, whether content-based or visual, needs to tell the same story, captivating the audience’s attention and creating an emotional bond to promote loyalty.
Ways to Incorporate Storytelling into Your Business Communications
About Us Section
Most company websites feature a couple of paragraphs in their about us section about their history and staff. However, this is the perfect space to engage your readers with a carefully crafted story.
Although you can’t personally meet every single one of your clients face-to-face, you can help them learn more about you and forge a connection by divulging details about yourself and your company in this space.
Start by providing your personal history, where you came from and why you started your business. The more relatable you are, the more the readers will feel like they can identify with you.
Discuss your vision for your company and your plans on getting there. Explain why success is important to you, and why your customers should shop with you over your competition.
The more emotionally-driven, concise and detailed your story, the better the connection with your customers!
As long as your business is in operation, your “story” never ends, which is why it’s imperative to utilize storytelling techniques in your blogs. This content can be updated on your website and social media accounts, as well as emailed to your subscribers to keep them up-to-date on your news and developments.
It’s important to pick a storytelling technique in your blogs to capture your readers with these proven techniques:
In Medias Res
The problem many business owners have in engaging with their audience through blogs is that they don’t stay on the page long enough to read through the entire thing. If your bounce rate is high, that means you are failing to capture your audience’s attention right away. To help with this, consider implementing the in medias res storytelling technique into your blogs, which skips the boring introduction and focuses on the most intriguing parts of the story right away!
“Life happens in chronological order – that’s boring!” states John Bates, an executive coach. “Start in the middle, where things are exciting. It’s much more interesting.”
Begin the story by outlining the most important and interesting parts, and then circle your way back to the beginning to connect all the dots.
This is an effective storytelling tool to explain to your readers how different ideas, or ideas born from the minds of different people, converged together to form a single idea, product or action. This is a great technique for explaining how teamwork helped your staff develop a new product, or how the executives’ commitment to a certain cause sparked a philanthropic initiative.
This is a classic example of an age old folktale, also known as a hero’s journey. It focuses on an individual who is set out to explore the unknown, leaving behind their homeland in a quest to gain new experiences and skills. This type of tale can take the readers on an emotional journey of a risk your company had to take or a hard decision which ultimately came out in your favor!
Changing the messages your company sends out to customers into a consistent story will take time and resources.