Why Stories Are Great For Marketing
Once upon a time ...
POSTED BY KIRSTY PARRIS ON 05/07/2019 @ 8:00AM
Whenever Remembrance Day approaches we are inundated with not just the facts of World War I, but more importantly we watch, read and listen to stories of heroism, bravery and tragedy ...
When it comes to your marketing, stories are really engaging!
copyright: michaklootwijk / 123rf
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:
they can open up the mind of the reader
people pay attention to stories
people learn from stories
people remember stories
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.
get people to act
acts as a mental flight simulator
multiplies their experience
prepares people to respond more quickly and effectively
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:
pull people into our marketing
set us apart from our competition
cut through the fog of marketing
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:
How you select your team members
how you and your team are trained or gained your experience
how your products or services are created
how you choose your suppliers or the components of your product or service
how your product or service performs more advantageously, beneficially or tangibly for your clients than the alternatives
how you share, appreciate and embrace your client's vision
how you're still there for your them after the transaction has been completed
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'd like to find out more about how using stories in your marketing will work for your business then do give me a call on 07521 790284 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.
Until next time ...
More about Kirsty Parris ...
I'm Kirsty Parris and I specialise in helping business owners, like you, to realise the true potential of your business. Whether that is getting you back on track with your business plan or helping to devise and implement new plans that you never thought possible.
Some of my clients see me as a coach, a mentor, a consultant and some even as a financial therapist!
Based near Milton Keynes I primarily work with owner managed and family businesses between London and Birmingham.
I offer a broad spectrum of business development services including business coaching, business growth planning, sales and marketing support, personnel support and systems reviews.
I am not just another business consultant as I see the job through with implementation should you require it and I will work with you on a retained basis as an addition to your team or on a project by project basis...your call...and there is no tie in. You work with me for as long as you are seeing the results.
Your minimum requirement? You need to be ambitious enough to reach or exceed your personal and business potential. Together we will make it happen!
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