Storytelling is at the heart of a results-producing marketing strategy. Communicating what your business does best, how you’re different and sharing why you’re passionate about your work is the way to connect with your prospects, win their trust and convert them into customers who buy what you sell. Your story can explain how your products and/or services solve a problem, how they can change the way people do things, how they meet a specific need.
Start by Acknowledging Their Problem
People who come to your website do so because they have a problem, or a frustration or a challenge that needs solved, eased or fixed. They’ve arrived at your website because they think your business could be the one to help them.
You must prove that you are, in fact, the best solution to their problem. Clearly define the problem and acknowledge the pain your prospects are feeling to put them at ease.
You want the prospect to think: “Here’s a business that gets me and has what I need.”
Let’s use a coffee company that sells roasted beans and custom blends online via subscription as an example of how to use storytelling. A quick Google search shows there is lots of competition for this type of business.
What problems might a coffee drinker have? How about running out of coffee and facing a morning without their caffeine fix?
The Fictional Coffee Roasters could start their story by saying something like:
“Has this happened to you? You wake up (sort of) and stagger to the kitchen to prepare a cup of eye-opening coffee. And – worst possible scenario – you have no coffee.”
You're Not Alone
After you’ve acknowledged your ideal customer’s problem, you want to make them aware that they’re not alone. You want them to feel like it’s not their fault they have this problem. Express your empathy for their problem by acknowledging that you’re like them.
The Fictional Coffee Roasters’ story continues.
“We totally get your frustration at discovering you’re out of coffee at the most inopportune time. It’s happened to us. In fact, it happened so many times that we got tired of waking up and having no coffee so we decided to do something about it. We started Fictional Coffee Roasters for that very reason.”
How Can You Help?
Your storytelling captured your prospect’s attention because you told them you understand what their problem is, you’ve admitted that you had the same problem, and best of all, you have the solution.
Now is the time to explain that it’s possible for them to live in a world without their problem. Continue your story with what their life would look like without the problem in it.
The Fictional Coffee Roasters’ story continues.
“We started our subscription service to ensure than YOU NEVER RUN OUT OF COFFEE AGAIN. Here’s how it works: Every two or four weeks you'll receive a half, whole, or two whole bags of our premium in-house roasted coffee of your choice, together with a card with brewing tips. AND you can choose between whole beans or ground coffee.”
Make it Personal
In today’s digital age, it’s possible to be a customer of a business and never interact with an actual human being at the company. That’s cold.
Customers like to feel they have a personal connection to the people behind the brand. Letting your customers get a behind-the-scenes look at your business can help you stand out.
When you get “real” in your story, that is when you get transparent and authentic, it helps prospects connect with you and your business, and further, the people behind your business.
No one starts a business because they feel so-so about their work. Express your passion for what you do, that you’re not in it just for the money. You love what you do and so do your employees.
A human connection is the reason a prospect chooses to buy from a small business rather than a faceless corporation.
The Fictional Coffee Roasters again:
“We love a good cup of coffee. The team here at Fictional Coffee Roasters were all devoted coffee drinkers way long before the company came to life. FCR was born from the idea that we wanted to share our love for a good cup of joe with fellow enthusiasts who wanted to ensure they never ran out of good coffee again.”
Make It Personal
It’s always a good idea to include recommendations and glowing reviews from satisfied customers. It proves you’re legit, builds trust and reinforces the idea that your prospect is not alone in considering your products and services.
“I am so thankful that I discovered Fictional Coffee Roasters subscription service! From the very first bag of coffee I received, I have been a satisfied customer. And now I’m never out of coffee. Thank you. P.S. Love how the coffee smells when I first open it.” – Leslie M., Alexandria, VA
It's Not "Happily Ever After" Just Yet
It’s not enough to simply tell them you can solve their problem. You have to – figuratively -- take them by the hand and show them how to sign up, purchase, subscribe – whatever action you want them to take. You have to convert them from a story-reading prospect into a paying customer.
You’ve demonstrated your empathy by identifying their problem, you’ve reassured them that they’re not alone in experiencing their problem, and you’ve explained that you can help them move into a problem-free future.
Now it’s time to invite them to take the action you want them to take. You’ve made your case for what you offer, now it’s up to take the next step.
Fictional Coffee Roasters concludes its story:
“Take the first step toward never being without coffee again. Join our subscription service and personalize it to your exact requirements. Money back guarantee. Click here.”
Your call-to-action will establish the action you’d like your audience to take after reading. Naturally, yours will be easy to see and easy to use.
Don't Forget to Share
To get the most value from your story, share and promote it on social media, on your blog and by email to your prospects and subscribers. Facebook has a dedicated space for Your Story – use it. The more places your story gets shared, the more people you’ll reach and the more engagement you can expect from your readers.
Take the time to interact with your followers on social media—provide answers to their questions, react to photos related to your business they’ve shared, respond to reviews, etc. Make them feel seen, make them feel special. Then you can drive those prospects to your website.
The best way to get your business noticed in today’s crowded online environment is to tell a compelling brand story that’s uniquely your own, filled with problem-solving solutions, empathy for your prospects’ frustrations and passion for your products and services. Good storytelling that follows the suggestions outlined in this article will help your conversion rate and keep customers coming back for more.
The digital marketing experts at DigitalMX Online are available to help you tell your story. Our attention-getting content will educate and delight prospects and convert them into satisfied customers. Contact us today to get started.