Have you considered storytelling as part of your marketing objectives? As you read this blog post, you’ll discover some of the best kept secrets of storytelling, and how you can use them to get people excited about your brand.
I could tell you a story right now, but that’s not why you’re here. You want to know how you can use the art of storytelling to your advantage, and as a secret weapon in your marketing.
Before we dive right into to the juicy secrets, let’s look at the importance of storytelling in marketing.
Storytelling has been around for more than 10 thousand years and has been the foundation of communication. Stories have the power to shape the morals, ideas, behaviours, and trends of society. You only need to look at a popular Disney story to see how powerful storytelling is in terms of creating lasting influence.
Now let’s get to the relevance in a business sense. Let’s face it, very few people enjoy being sold to, but most people enjoy a good story.
When you can tell a good story that indirectly demonstrates why someone should use your product, you’re in a great position. Why? Because stories bypass the mental resistance and objections people have to being sold to. We live in an age where we’ve been bombarded with advertising. It’s all around us from television, radio, and even our Facebook timelines. Somebody is always trying to sell you something and it’s got to the point where we’ve become almost desensitised to advertising.
If you’re not an established brand already, without a compelling story, it will be tough to stand out from the noise thats out there online and in the advertising space. Your job as a brand owner is to get into the know like and trust circle. How? By becoming a great storyteller.
Storytelling is a great skill to have in business. Historically, the best sales people have always been the best storytellers, and not much has changed. It’s much easier to persuade someone to your way of thinking by telling a story, than it is to tell them what to do directly. Storytelling directs people to take action on a subconscious level, so if you want to have greater influence over your potential customers, you’ll need to using stories to get your point across. Let’s quickly dive into those 3 storytelling secrets.
Secret No 1
A good story in a business conversation can offer a glimpse into the prospects future, creating positive expectancy by taking them on a mental journey; through someone else’s experience.
Secret No 2
The simple 3 step formula for structuring your story is:
1) The Situation
2) The Problem
Secret No 3
The best stories use descriptive, hypnotic and colourful language that will help the listener create vivid mental images, making them more open to suggestion.
Here’s an example of how you can put the storytelling method into practice
One of them is to take a previous customer who’s problem was solved by your product or service, and make them your main character. Ask yourself; is the customer relatable to the current audience?If they are, your audience will have an easier task identifying with the main character in your story. You’ll see why this is important later.
Your introduction to your story should set the scene, highlight the situation and the pain points of your customer before they discovered your product. Once you’ve established these, your audience will feel a sense of empathy towards the character in your story. This builds a high level of interest as they are now curious as to what happens next, and how the problem was solved.
Now you’ve got their attention, you can show them the solution. Attention is the key to the your customer’s subconscious mind, and without it, your chances of selling successfully are much lower. Once you have their attention, you simply illustrate how your product or service solves their problem. You should engage your audience on an emotional level by being detailed how your customer felt highlighting their emotions of joy, and excitement about the positive experience they had with your product.
When your audience sees this, there is a psychological process going on here. They want to experience those emotions that they’ve now associated with using your product. They are secretly thinking ‘Well if it worked for them, it could surely work for me’. Because they’ve experienced your product through the eyes of your character, they’ve seen the benefits of your product without being sold to. So now you’ve built trust, credibility (because you’ve demonstrated how it’s worked for someone else) and successfully got your point across without being a pushy sales person! Clever isn’t it?
Where can I start telling my stories?
There are many places you can tell stories to position your business. If you’re not speaking on stage, it could be in a blog, a video, or even a powerpoint presentation. It really doesn’t matter as long as you follow the 3 step formula and follow it up with a powerful call to action clearly telling them what to do next (eg. make a booking, make a purchase, visit a website etc.)
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to storytelling in marketing. There’s loads more to learn about storytelling and you can really dive deep into this subject and get some really amazing results in your business. Below are some resources where you can learn more and actually see it in action.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos
Ty Bennet : Storytelling Workshop (Skip to 2:50)
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