Storytelling has become an important part of brand marketing in recent years, as marketers find that customers crave a connection with businesses. From your YouTube channel to the About Me section on your website, when you create a story, you make a personal connection that boosts loyalty.
But in addition to engaging customers, storytelling can also improve your business's credibility with customers. Here are a few ways your story wins new customers and builds a loyal customer base.
It Shows Longevity
Many businesses tell a story in the form of a company history, which documents how the company began, as well as all of its milestones. Often this is in the form of the date new locations were opened or new team members were added. It can also be a story that defines the culture of a brand, such as history or ancestry that inspired a particular product. The key is that once customers have read the story, they feel as though they're part of that culture, which leads them to want to buy from the company again.
It Allows Bragging Space
Storytelling creates the perfect opportunity for businesses to inform customers of their many accomplishments. Brands now incorporate the awards they've won, the sum total of their successes, and investment capital they've achieved in the time they've been operational. These announcements are no longer relegated to a brand's About Us page, though. Some businesses, like this lawyer, find ways to place their accomplishments directly on their main page, telling a story from the first time a customer clicks over from search results.
It Provides Visual Stimulation
Visual content is more popular than ever as marketers struggle to make their content stand out on text-loaded newsfeeds. Storytelling is often done through photos or videos, which can speak in ways that text can't. Infographics have become a popular way to accomplish this, with brands paying top dollar for designs that combine great storytelling with eye-catching design. However, there are right ways and wrong ways to use infographics to tell a story. Be sure you carefully plan the content of your infographic in advance so you'll have the content you need. The visual is added as a complement to the information you provide.
It Lets Customers Speak
Businesses often tell a story through customer testimonials, which let customers provide their own stories about interacting with that company. This is perhaps the most powerful form of storytelling, since it serves as a type of review of the service or product. Best of all, companies can either choose from a large number of reviews and handpick the most powerful or personally solicit testimonials from loyal customers. This ensures, unlike review sites, that website visitors see only the most positive commentary on a business.
The best storytelling pulls in verified facts, preferably incorporating new information that informs and enlightens. Prior to implementing a new storytelling-based marketing strategy, brands should gather statistics and data, then work the content around it. When new facts are presented, a blog post, infographic, or social media update is more likely to be shared than when a business merely crafts a salesy marketing message or regurgitates the same information consumers have heard repeatedly.
It Starts a Conversation
Customers are more likely to react positively when they feel as though they're part of the story. Companies can accomplish this by personalizing interactions based on the customers they know are following. When any customers comment, the business should reply to those comments if possible. Most importantly, demonstrate to customers that when they express an opinion, you pay attention to what they say and put their feedback to use. If you post a ballot to ask for preferences on a new product you're launching, for instance, incorporate the winning choice and post a new update with photos of the product that customers chose. This will make it more likely they'll not only continue to interact but purchase the product once it's available.
Storytelling is a great way to capture the attention of today's online consumers. It's important to take the right approach for your own customer base and continue to monitor results. Over time, you'll be able to develop a brand strategy that incorporates both storytelling and visual content in a way that drives results.