Buy this innovative product because it’s the best one on the market–plus it’s affordable and it has great features…
Ouch. Please, stop it.
By the way, which product do these marketing buzzwords describe? Frankly speaking, almost every one. But the main question is if you get interested or eager to buy it. Probably, this ‘selling’ copy hasn’t hooked your attention or convinced to make a purchase. If that’s so, why are the majority of companies still using these dry-as-dust expressions that nobody cares about?
Great content marketing is about sharing experience, solving prospects’ issues and creating emotional connections, not delivering boring to death facts or salesy headlines. Moreover, it’s about generating leads, standing out from the rivals and providing Return on Investments (ROI).
What underlays admirable content marketing is storytelling. Behind every person, every company, every thing there is a story. Storytelling, done properly, is a powerful marketing tool for fostering content conversion and generating engagement around your business, maybe not immediately, but over time. In this article, you will find some apparent and hidden storytelling perks that are ramping up business growth.
Building emotional connection
We are used to focusing on logical, financial and pragmatic things in business. For example, let’s take a look at our landing pages as the main digital representative objects. Corporate sites are often full of big numbers, specific statistics, obscure diagrams, scrupulous feature descriptions and lifeless clichés. What is their conversion rate? Next to nothing.
Meanwhile, our brain is starving for a good story resonating with them. Studies show people want a more personal connection in the way they consume information, especially promotional materials. Therefore, storytelling should be applied to your content marketing strategy and every acquisition channel: social media accounts, paid advertising, your landing page, corporate blog, etc.
Storytelling will help make the prospects feel about your product in the way you feel about it. This phenomenon is called ‘mirroring’ and happens in the brain when we hear stories. In addition, real-life experience gains access to human emotions, evoke empathy, and resonates deeply with their own personal story. Whatever emotion a particular story triggers, our gut feelings often become the basis of making decisions—to engage with a company in some way, to tell your friends about it, to purchase.
Converting your prospects into brand ambassadors
Let’s face it: promotional materials, both visual and text-based, surround us here, there and everywhere. You can see a selling mantra ‘SALE!’ in every nook and cranny. Today we are so used to aggressive promotions that just ignore most of them.
People are tired of advertising. They want to be engaged. By telling an entertaining and noteworthy story, we captivate brands to customers and turn fans into influencers. Recognizing themselves in your brand’s values and mission, they can become your company’s ‘social voice’.
Keeping people back for more
Worrying about Daenerys Stormborn’s destiny keeps us watching Games of Thrones. We keep reading Harry Potter to see if a cute young magician triumphs over Lord Voldemort.
One of the most effective ways to keep them coming back is storytelling. Every company in the world wants its prospects and customers come back for more, whether it’s valuable blog articles or funny social media posts. Eventually, retaining your customers will result in more sales which have a direct connection with revenue.
Technically speaking, reading a first-hand story light up those parts of our brains which we would use experiencing a described event in our lives. In other words, stop boring your prospects with just numbers, even the whopping ones. Every business has stats they want to share. Instead, tell people a story and they’ll become connected with your brand and get involved in your company narrative. Once connected emotionally, prospecting customers will come back for a new portion of the emotional contact.
Making something new out of something old
Let’s pretend that you promote a business messenger as we at Chanty do. In this case, you will tackle a high competitive market which is invaded by tons of great, satisfactory and bad communication tools.
Then you will probably face the following issue: your target audience is tech-savvy people who know almost everything about team collaboration and productivity software. And chances are that your competition has already created something similar to the ‘brand new’ article idea you thought up on your drive to work.
Nearly half of content marketers publish fresh content to their website daily, or at least several times a week. Therefore, it can be challenging to generate fresh content that truly offers value to your target audience, time after time.
Storytelling can help you put an original spin on already covered topics and specifically meet the needs and interests of your prospects. This approach increases conversions and makes the content creation process run smoother for your marketing team.
Generating hot leads
One of the most efficient acquisition channels that we have found here at Chanty, is publishing valuable content on our corporate blog. The conversion rate of our articles hits 30 percent. What have our team done to achieve this result? Being a Slack competitor, we have created articles on the topics related to Slack and its alternatives that our potential customers are searching for on the web. Prospects find our helpful content on Google, enjoy reading, find answers to their questions, solve their needs and leave emails in our sign up forms. As simple as that.
The key here is sharing first-hand experience in form of stories. We share our real-life struggles of building a SaaS startup, collaboration and management issues that we face every day, teammates feedback on industry-related topics, etc. Using this storytelling strategy we are constantly getting rewards in terms of high quality leads and new blog subscribers.
Fostering the sharable effect
Telling and sharing stories is the fundamental human activity. We used to talk even to ourselves when lacking company. So, put your blog articles and corporate stories in a format that is easily consumed and shared, whether it’s a white paper, video, GIF or a noteworthy blog post. Being impressed and feeling involved in your story, people may want to engage with it via shares, retweets and reposts. The more your story resonates, the more buzz around your brand spreads.
Building loyalty and trust through customer success stories
The majority of your corporate content shouldn’t always be about specifically your company. Among all stories to share, the ones about successful customer experience may be the most powerful and convincing. Time after time, these stories build a solid foundation of loyalty and trust around your brand.
Moreover, keep in mind that just telling a great story doesn’t reach your marketing goals. The type of storytelling you need is the one that would make people buy the product. Don’t be salesy. Instead, share customer success stories and leave the decision of buying your product to prospects.
Almost all buying is based on emotions. The ultimate goal of storytelling is tapping into human feelings. Even B2B buyers are people who are prone to emotions because they are often trying to make the smartest decision possible. So, emotions matter in what’s largely thought as a rational purchasing process.
Taking into account the importance of storytelling, it remains a mystery why many companies are bad storytellers. Maybe, the reason is that storytelling requires a different approach to sales and marketing.
Here comes the first tip to keep in mind: focus on the real needs of the audience and deliver answers to prospects’ biggest questions instead of talking about features and pricing, and don’t forget to make your stories customer-centric.
Then, be prepared for blood, tears and sweat building your storytelling marketing. It is not a quick or seamless process. You should consistently share high quality, first-hand content that points back to your company’s core values and beliefs.
Have your business ever benefitted from storytelling marketing? Share your findings with us in the comments.