The art of storytelling is ancient, but still relevant today.
Businesses are continuously looking for ways to connect with their audience online. SEO copywriting can draw people to your business. But telling a story is the best way to connect on any meaningful level, because they are memorable. Readers won’t necessarily remember numbers or data without context.
The art of storytelling involves a compelling plot. Stories involve likable characters, and make people feel emotion. They force people to invest.
Stories have a great business application. They can involve everything from educational blog posts, to how your business arrived in its present day status on your about page. They can help your business both on and offline.
Want to grow your business? Perfect the art of storytelling. In order to tell better stories, you need a firm idea of your business and why you are here. It is time to develop an answer to these questions:
How does your business heal your customers’ pain?
What problem does your business solve? It is what your online readers want to know the moment they click on your website. The answer to these questions might just be what distinguishes your business from the competition. It might be what causes people to stick with you versus moving on to the next search result.
It is where business storytelling begins. You can tell the story of your customers’ who have overcome an obstacle using your product. Make sure they are the hero of your story, however. You can tell the story of how your business came to be where it is today. What are the obstacles you needed to overcome to make your position today a reality?
Understanding the benefits of your business is crucial in the art of storytelling.
How to Tell Your Story
There are a wide variety of stories that your business can tell, and I will talk about some of them below. You will want to pay attention to your writing tone, voice and how you speak as you begin practicing the art of storytelling.
You’ll want to make sure that you tell your story in a way that is consistent with your brand. You’ll want to find a consistency that is true to your personality, or the personality of your business. That can mean different things for different people.
Story tone is an important aspect in the art of storytelling. When finding your story tone, it might mean:
- Staying formal to fit the mentality of your business
- Using humor to grab people’s attention
- Pulling heart strings to show us someone who overcame the odds
- Keeping a friendly tone
- Explaining complicated concepts and ideas in a way your audience will understand
The Art of Storytelling Compels People
The ability to tell a story has been a driver of change throughout human history. That is why the art of storytelling is so important. There are marketers who want to utilize the web as an extension of their spammy advertising efforts. But online consumers are looking for more than a hard sell. They are looking for a connection.
Good stories make us think. They make us feel. People want a connection before they do business – and stories build trust. They are what drive readers to reach for their wallet and become customers. Make sure that your business is doing everything it can to blog better, and consequently tell better stories. Make sure your blog distinguishes your business from the competition.
Stories make ideas stick. More than 75 percent of sited statistics will be forgotten before the browser window closes (OK I made that up), and 99 percent are used solely to fit the argument that you are trying to make.
But a memorable story will stick with people for a long time. Make sure you are utilizing the art of storytelling in everything that you do. Think about the Old Spice guy, for example. Those commercials were so absurd and funny that they couldn’t help but stick in your head. That is the kind of result that good storytelling can bring.
Business Stories Can Win You Customers
If you are still scratching your head as to what kind of stories you can tell your customers, there are plenty of options. Not everything needs to follow a specific formula. In fact, there are a wide variety of ways to get blog ideas, and virtually all of them will lead you to telling better stories.
Here is the framework for a few different types of blog posts. But the art of storytelling doesn’t need to be limited to blog posts. They have their home in static webpage content, brochures, and any other form of marketing that is appropriate.
The teaching story — A lot of time your readers don’t even want to be sold to. They simply want to know how to do something related to your industry. If you can spend the time via your marketing to teach them how to do something valuable, they will likely remember you when they do want to buy.
The key with any “how-to” material that you might publish is to make it clear and concise. It needs to be something that doesn’t leave your readers scratching their heads or wondering about your industry credentials.
Value stories — You and your business hopefully have a set of values. You probably set out to treat your customers a certain way in order to keep them returning. Are there any examples of this in action? It could make for a compelling story.
Addressing concerns — Have customers repeatedly brought up a similar concern? It may be time to address them in a visible way. This is a time to be open and honest, and try to put your readers at ease. It could be some kind of shocking industry news. It could be a trend that might be disturbing to readers or customers.
This is a time to have an open and honest dialog. It is a time to tell them the truth in an effort to build and establish trust. That trust can pay off in the long run.
Your take on another industry story — Sometimes somebody else may be telling the story, and that is not always a good thing. Whether it is a competitor telling a story that you should be telling, or industry trends or news that your business should clearly weigh in on, your voice needs to be heard.
Don’t be afraid to tell people why these visible impacts in your industry are a good thing or a bad thing. It can get your name out there in a meaningful way.
Telling The Whole Story
When you think of what story you want to tell about your business, it is important to give your readers context. You have to tell enough of your story to ensure that you fully get your point across in a meaningful manner. The art of storytelling involves giving people enough to grab on to.
This goes for everything from an opening personal anecdote down to a more detailed step-by-step educational piece. Make sure that your compelling headline lives up to it’s promise. It is important that readers walk away feeling satisfied with the story.
If you’re talking about an event, make sure to list all the information for people to attend. If you are giving a step-by-step tutorial, make sure that you don’t skip any steps. The art of storytelling involves making sure that your readers understand and are moved by what you write.
Why Are You Telling Your Story
People need to know why you are telling your story. That’s where headlines help. What is the promise that you are making, in exchange for your readers’ investment?
People need context. They need to understand the point that you are trying to make, and who the players are in the story.
They also need some resolution and results. Your story needs to pay off. If it’s an educational piece, then readers need to feel like they can do something they may not have been able to do before they invested in your blog post. The characters at the beginning of your story need to be further along than they were at the beginning.
What Stories Do You Want to Tell?
Remember, your audience wants a story. They are more memorable than data on a chart. So what are the stories that you want to tell?
Learning the art of storytelling can help you to grow your business.
There are a lot of resources out there dedicated to helping you improve at the art of storytelling. Here are a few potentially helpful storytelling blogs and resources geared toward helping business professionals attract new readers and customers:
All of these sites have made me a better business writer. So go on. Practice the art of storytelling and let me know how it goes for you.