The best way to make your customers relate to your marketing message, and feel a personal attachment to you, your products and services, is to tell a great story. But what makes a great story? How do you put one together? What do you say and what make a great story a great story in the first place?
Dissecting the Art of Storytelling for Marketing Online
A great story in marketing isn’t just something that is compelling, or funny, or memorable. It’s not the same kind of water cooler chatter you hear around the office that improves your day a little. Great stories are something else, and they succeed because they are able to capture the imagination of a specific audience – yours.
Great stories, above all else, are true. Not because they are necessarily factual, but because they feel authentic. Trust us when we tell you that your customers are professionals when it comes to sniffing out inconsistencies in a story being pushed by a marketer, manager or salesman.
When you’re telling a great story, you’re making a promise. Great stories always promise something, whether it’s a fun punchline, safety, a shortcut, a solution, etc. The promise made by the story needs to be bold. It needs to stand out because a great story is either audacious and exceptional or it’s not worth listening to.
Trust in the Story
Great stories are trusted, and that’s something to covet. Trust is one of the scarcest resources we have left, especially in the business world. With the scams that exist, and people flinging lawsuits, people rarely trust one another anymore. Think about your own contacts. How many people do you REALLY trust? Would you trust a beautiful woman ordering a specific type of vodka? Not likely – she’s a paid spokesperson for the company. People don’t trust celebrity endorsements or other people in commercials because they’re paid to say what they need to say. No individual, marketer or business owner is going to succeed in telling a story until they earn credibility.
Balancing Audacious with Subtle
With all of that, would you believe that a great story needs to be subtle? It’s amazing how the fewer details you spell out, the more powerful a story can become. A talented salesman will tell you that when you allow people to draw their own conclusions, a great story becomes more effective than a clearly drawn punch line.
To succeed at being subtle, you don’t need an 8 page brochure or face to face meetings. You don’t need stoic handshakes or professional attire. And you certainly don’t need to appeal to logic. A great story succeeds at being subtle by appealing to our senses. A great story can be made with visual cues, and broken with the wrong tone.
Lastly, remember that great stories are rarely aimed at everyone. Think of a few stories you’ve told in the past, whether humorous or not. You likely took a moment to consider if the people in attendance, or the individual you were speaking with, would appreciate the story. How often have you had something happen, and you instantly knew you wanted to share it with a particular group of people because they would share your view of it? If you water down your story to appeal to everyone, then it will appeal to no one and your marketing message will be lost. The most effective stories in your marketing will match the world view of a very select audience.
And then that audience spreads your story.
What does your marketing message look like? How does it speak to your customers? If it’s time to start telling stories, revealing the personality behind your company, come and talk to us at Tulsa Internet Marketing. We’d love to hear your story.
Clarence Fisher has spent more than a decade in the Internet marketing trenches honing his online marketing skills. After helping national companies go from concept to millions of dollars in revenues, he decided to focus his Internet marketing powers on helping local business owners achieve their goals. Clarence has a keen eye for finding out what works in a marketplace and positioning his clients’ companies to dominate their markets.
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