There’s a big difference between a direct product pitch and what we at our agency refer to as “storytelling.” The former can often be ignored or lost in the constantly rising sea of information, while true storytelling builds a compelling, memorable vignette that has lasting impact with your audience.
One note: By using the term “storytelling,” we aren’t talking about lying! We’re talking about presenting your company’s true story in a way that provides both interest and meaning for prospects. One of the best (albeit consumer) examples of this can be seen in Chipotle’s “The Scarecrow” campaign, which illustrates the company’s quest for real, sustainable food. And while this campaign is much bigger than most of us have budget for, it serves as an inspirational example.
In the digital age, especially, relaying your company’s vision in a soft sell manner that informs and engages is much better received than yesterday’s screams of “buy us!” One of the key things we do here, in fact, is help our technology and B2B clients craft compelling stories.
Below are three tried-and-true tips for better storytelling:
What does your customer really, really want? Before you can build a truly effective story, you must first understand what keeps your prospects up at night. What dilemma are they facing and how can you uniquely resolve it? For good storytelling, you must first start with what your customers truly want or need. It’s their journey. Your story should always be about them, with your business as the end solution.
Color with all the Crayons. The written word isn’t going away, but these days, we have so many engaging mediums at our disposal. Infographics, animations, web-based video and mobile apps are all ways to reach and better engage our audience. Imagine a Facebook or LinkedIn post that’s just text. Now re-imagine that post replaced or complemented by embedded video. Which form of storytelling do you think will have the most impact? As competition increases for audiences’ attention, your story must be presented in the most compelling way.
Make it personal. Even in the digital age, people are seeking connections that are true, emotional and personal. Customer case studies are a great, personal way to convey how a real company is benefiting from your solution. Tell stories that involve real people – your customers, your management team and employees – in real-world situations. An adage in novel writing reminds authors to “show, not tell.” Stories that show how others think and feel about your company are far more engaging than ones that merely tell prospects why they should buy.
Does your company have a story to tell? In the digital age, have you implemented methods of storytelling that go beyond the written word? Leave your comments here.