Expert Advice on Using Storytelling To Grow Your Business
Last week, we talked about the importance of audience building for small businesses. Whether you want to grow your audience or reach your current followers more effectively, storytelling in business is a topic you need to be familiar with. We gathered some valuable expert content on the topic to demonstrate the value of storytelling in your business and how you can implement it.
On Storytelling Trumping Branding
For too many businesses, marketing strategy is equated with big budget Google Adwords campaigns, expensive direct mail pieces and an aggressive use of “Buy Now!” types of emails. The size and cost of these are supposed to somehow make them more legitimate than other forms of marketing – especially a strategic use of storytelling.
When those businesses tire of those strategies, they often turn to branding in the form a new logo, website design or new brochures to try and drum up new business. Yet, as happens with so many businesses, they will see that this limited view of branding only goes so far. In his post about storytelling being a hot topic in 2013, Andrew Grossman points out that the real power of branding is using genuine stories that make people feel something about what you do and what makes you unique. Andrew then shares how investing in the community through cash or services can be a part of the storytelling process.
On Conveying Who You Are
Real storytelling happens when you tear down the curtain that separates you from your audience. In his post on how storytelling helps to build consumer trust, Jeff Adelson-Yan empowers businesses like yours to be relatable to consumers. This means telling stories in a way that may seem odd or not “business-y” to you, including sharing some of the failures you have experienced.
If you have people in your organization, you have fascinating stories to tell. Jeff encourages you to “share quirky information about employees.” After all, they are more than just a degree or a list of skills. The benefits of doing this are more than just feel-good marketing – your audience will reward you by being more likely to do business with you once they actually know the people behind the brand.
On Creating and Sharing Content That Encourages Guests to Share Your Story
Traditional advertising isn’t known for its power to spread across the Internet (unless you’re paying big dollars for it.) Content on the Internet doesn’t go viral because a company has a goal to “create a viral video.” Rather, content can go viral because it made people feel something. When you make people feel something and make your content easy to share, that’s when content starts to build momentum and appear in Twitter and Facebook feeds across the world.
Making your audience feel something should be the goal of your marketing in 2013 according to Josh Burns’ post on storytelling being important to businesses. Josh speaks boldly on this topic when he says your failure or success in marketing will depend on your ability to make people feel something. The way to accomplish this is learning to let go of the need to push your message and to put all of your efforts into sharing compelling stories about your business that connect with your audience.
Now that you know the importance of storytelling for your business, what next steps are you going to take? Leave a comment below and let us know how you’re going to implement this advice from the experts.
Jeff Machado is a content marketing strategist at Fiore Communications. You can follow him on Twitter for more insights on storytelling for content marketing.