Why Stories Are Great For Marketing

As Remembrance Day approaches we watch, read and listen to stories of heroism, bravery and tragedy ...

It's those stories that will be embedded into our consciousness. As humans, we've been conditioned for thousands of years to listen to stories.

From infancy, we are read fairy tales, and throughout our lives, we connect to stories through books, films, advertising and word of mouth. It is how knowledge has been passed from generation to generation down over the ages.

"Nothing is more engaging than a good story!"

When we start telling a story, people just relax, sit back and take it in. We engage our senses. They are essential to the human condition, and they sit right at the heart of any business marketing strategy.

Great stories allow readers to draw their own conclusions, resulting in a higher level of buy-in than would otherwise be the case. They also work fast. The reader is engaged the moment it clicks into place. This often eliminates the need for twelve-page colour brochures or face-to-face meetings.

That's really what pulls people in. Stories are unbelievably powerful as:

To get our audience to act, they need to be told a story.

Your story is the key to an education-based marketing approach that will open doors faster and more easily and allows you to build more rapport and close more sales in a fraction of the time.

"That's why successful marketers are good at telling compelling ones!"

And that story creates word-of-mouth. They don't talk about features or even benefits. They tell a story that we intuitively embrace, buy into, then pass on to other people.

Before you can write your story you must be very clear as to who and where your prime target audience is. There is no point in aiming at people on the fringe who may, someday, perhaps, possibly be interested in your product, service or expertise. That will just dissipate your energies to little or no effect.

It should focus solely on satisfying the wants, needs and desires of your prime target audience. As such it must connect immediately, clearly, powerfully and directly to that audience, and to no one else.

It will:

Companies go from start-up to market leadership through the correct use of stories. By articulating everything you do in a compelling manner, you bring everything alive, you make the invisible visible, you enable everyone in your team to rapidly understand exactly what you're about, and deliver your product, service or expertise in a better and more consistent manner.

Present your story to the right people in the right way, and they will intuitively embrace it, buy into it, develop a passion for what you do and pass it on for you. And this will happen in a fraction of the time it would take to get your message across by any other means.

Stories must always be honest/truthful when used for marketing and should:

There are many different types of stories that you could tell, but developing your 'behind-the-scenes' story is one of the most potent and valuable things you can do for your business or organisation.

You need to explain 'what' you do and 'how' you do it:

It's just as important to explain 'why' you do things in certain ways; why what you do is in your clients' best interests; why your product or service performs better for the client; why your product or service is more appropriate, superior or desirable for your client than someone else's; why your product or service is priced the way it is; why it will help the reader in their life or their business; why they should buy from or do business with you; why they should put their faith in your product, service or company; why they should act today.

It is also important to construct layer upon layer of comparable value, contrast and measurable ways in which readers can see the benefit, the intrinsic value and worth of your product or service.

"The entire thrust of your story should be focused on your prospect's interests!"

It should advise and guide them and provide meaningful recommendations, suggestions, counsel, direction and advice on everything they need to do to solve their problems and achieve the outcomes they're seeking.

If you don't have a compelling story to tell, one that explicitly sets out everything you do and how and why you do it - and very few businesses do by the way - then there's a very good chance that everyone in your business will have a different response to a simple question like "why should I buy from you?" That's because everyone probably sees and buys into your product, service or expertise in different ways.

Putting together the right behind-the-scenes story will allow everyone in your team to understand and communicate what you do from the same perspective. It will allow everyone to buy into your values and deliver according to those values. It will often promote a passion for what you do. And it should form the basis for virtually every marketing message you'll ever need to communicate.

So, what's your story?

If you're interested in coaching for your small business, do call me on 07521 790284 or leave a comment below and let's arrange a free consultation.