Why is storytelling an essential marketing tool?
Storytelling is an essential marketing tool. Tell the right story and it will help to engage consumers from the start. Why? Because successful marketers need to get the consumers’ trust, convey the benefits of their service/product effectively, and convince the consumer that he/she needs the product/service. And all this needs to be done in a short space of time!
Storytelling is an excellent way to get an audience on your side. Through storytelling, you can connect with your listener and create trust, especially if the listener can identify with the characters in the story. The stories that feature real-life anecdotes of customers and their experiences with your company and your product/service, with a protagonist that is actually testifying to your excellent business, are sure to generate the necessary trust needed for consumers to take you up on your offers.
Storytelling can simplify concepts and make them easier to understand. Through storytelling it is easier for consumers to understand what you are about, and what your product/service is about. A story that serves as an explanation as to how your product/service works will give consumers greater insight into what they can expect and thereby make them more likely to want to do business to you. Clarification is important – consumers want to know what they are letting themselves in for.
Storytelling also has the potential to meet the listener at an emotional level that makes a lasting impact and draws the consumer closer to what you have on offer. The stories that point out problems and solutions, with a protagonist that touches the heartstrings of the listener goes a long way to get consumers interested in your product/service. The before-and-after story or a problem-solution story are ideal in getting consumers to see how their lives can also benefit from your product/service.
So, how can you use storytelling as a marketing tool? What would be the easiest and quickest way to promote your product/story by means of storytelling? Three prominent ways spring to mind immediately: company story, company culture, and customer story!
Give the consumer a candid view of the more human side of your existence. How did your company start, and how did it grow to where it is today. Perhaps also include the obstacles along the way and reveal how these were overcome! A story like this will install trust and admiration and create a genuine interest in your product.
Tell the story of how your company looks after its employees and after the environment and place your product/service in the center of that story! By doing so consumers may form an emotional connection with your company as they respect your work ethos. Thereby, they develop higher regard for your products/services and may want to be part of your business, as they like to be associated with what you stand for.
Tell a customer story, with a beginning, middle and happy ending! A customer story is more than just a testimonial. It is a testimonial rolled into a gripping story… We value the opinion of those we know more than we value the opinions of strangers. So, if the testimonial is presented in the form of a story, where we are made to feel that we know the characters, the impact of the testimonial will be so much more effective.
Storytelling, by nature, is a creative exercise. The creativity, in itself, will set you apart from competitors who are not making use of storytelling as their marketing tool! Consumers are subconsciously looking for reliability – they want to be able to trust your product/service. Add a bit of humor to a heart-warming feel-good story and you will have the consumers on your side in no time!