In past blog posts, I’ve discussed emotional marketing. It’s an essential tool in your marketing toolbox but it’s not anything new. Everyone from car salesman to politicians have been using it for years! How else do you think they sold all those cars and themselves? Take a moment and think about purchases that you have personally made or votes you have cast for a particular candidate. What was the deciding factor in the purchase or vote, especially of bigger ticket items or national elections? What emotions came into play?

Consider this:

”The London School of Business found that people retain 65 to 70 percent of information shared via a story versus only 5 to 10 percent of information conveyed through statistics.” Source

So now are you convinced, but wondering how you use a story to reach your target audience? Fret no longer!

Start engaging your audience. Your efforts with social media are designed to build relationships, inspire loyalty and build awareness of your business. The primary way that many businesses, both large and small, are doing this today is by telling a story with their company vision.

Get at the heart of the matter. People want products but they don’t want you trying to get their money all the time. Instead, create a social media plan that involves demonstrating the value of your products to your target audience. This means finding your story and learning how to relate it in useful ways to your visitors.

Here are a few tips for using storytelling to engage your audience.

Be authentic – what is it that your product or service will do for a customer? What problem does it solve? What would the results be? Stay true to your business vision as you craft your story. One way to do this is by using actual customer stories. This enables you to harness the power of User Generated Content (UGC).

HIT Virtual Be relatableBe relatable – who is your target audience? If they are in their 20s or 30s, use language and images that speak to that generation.

Be compelling – give your story’s characters added depth with a backstory. Cardboard cutout people are not going to impress or resonate with anyone especially in this age of video. You may want to invest in an animated or live video.

Be relevant – choose your medium for telling the story. A video format is popular but it can also be told with images and words, actors, cartoon-like drawings, voice overs and the like. It depends on your product and what your audience responds to.

Retailers cite 40 percent increases in purchases as a result of video. (Source)

Stay focused – use keywords and concise wording to send your message effectively. Attention spans are short these days so you have to capture their attention from the first second and keep it until the last. A short production is best to begin with to test the waters with your audience.

Everyone has a story and that includes your business. Poll your target audience to find out why they buy certain products. Use their information to assist you with providing content for your storytelling that they can identify with.

What is your story? How can you communicate it to your target audience? Add this important tool to your marketing tool box today.

Do you have other tips or creative ways to engage your market with storytelling? I would love to hear them! Leave me a comment below or on one of my social media channels.

Read more: Keep Your Customers Wanting More: How to Engage Your Audience with an Effective Brand Story