You read a lot about storytelling in marketing circles today. It might sound like something fun, but maybe like something that doesn’t quite apply to your business. But every business has a story, and every story has a setting, characters, and even conflict. Storytelling creates a personal, emotional connection with your audience. Don’t worry—you don’t need an MFA in creative writing to take advantage of it. Here are some ways you can bring the element of storytelling into your content and your brand.
1. What’s your origin story?
All the best superheroes have an origin story to explain their superpowers and their mission to save the world. Don’t think you have superpowers? Yes, you do. You’re a small business owner who makes an amazing product or service, aren’t you? And you definitely have a mission: to make the world a little better for your customers. How did your mission come about? Where did you get your skills? Share this story with your customers and your audience. Make yourself into a hero to root for.
2. Build your supporting characters: Your employees.
You have a compelling roster of characters right under your nose: Your employees. Every one of them has a story and a unique point of view. Share it with your audience. Let the personality of your business come through—it will help people better remember you and your business. Don’t be afraid to show the man (or woman) behind the curtain.
3. The plot thickens: Don’t shy away from conflict.
A story is boring without conflict and villains. Is there a challenge that your business has overcome? What setbacks have you faced and conquered as a company? There’s a human side to your business, and it’s particularly easy for small businesses to express it. Again, people will remember your brand when they make an emotional connection.
4. The good guys: Use your customers as protagonists.
Let your customers be the heroes of your story. Put a spotlight on a client to give your target audience someone to identify with. What real-life problem has your company or product solved for a customer? How did it begin? How was it resolved? A customer testimonial is a kind of story, but you can expand it beyond a simple sentence or two. Tell their story with a beginning, middle, and end.
5. Choose the right storytelling medium.
So how to get that story out there? Any kind of content can work to spread your story, depending on your audience and your own personality as a business:
- Social media: Create posts with images that invite sharing.
- Email newsletters: Include updates about your company or customer spotlights.
- Your website: Inject your personality and your story into your blog and your “About Us” page.
- Marketing collateral: Take advantage of the medium with great images and stories, whether printed or digital.
Compelling storytelling cuts through content clutter. By making personal, authentic connections, you can engage your audience and even drive them to action. What’s the story behind your company? What’s the story you want your audience and customers to hear? You don’t have to be a bestselling novelist to create a great story for your brand. Just let your personality come through—and remember your customers are your best characters.