You are getting loads of ‘Likes’ and Retweets, perhaps you are even lucky enough to get shares and comments on some of your posts, but that just isn’t converting into sales or more business, what do you do?
What do you do if you are a heart based business who has no interest at all in a sales pitch and corporate sales approach? What if doing that makes you so uncomfortable you could curl up in a ball and hide?
In this series of posts I will show you ways to create the kind of posts using language and conversation you already use daily and turn your fans and followers into paying customers and brand advocates.
Tell Brand Stories – everyone tells stories all the time, in conversations with friends every conversation is littered with cool stories, they make you laugh, they make you cry, they make you go “Oh”.
A good narrative is not an ad or a sales pitch—it has an emotional factor that harnesses the communal element of storytelling, bringing people together and connecting them through shared experiences. A powerful and effective brand story communicates to customers how your service can impact their daily lives. Identify and study the patterns of the people your products serve, and use this understanding to develop a brand narrative.
One important fact you need to remember in all this story telling, brand story telling is not just one post , image or article; IT IS THE SUM TOTAL OF EVERYTHING YOU SAY AND EVERY STORY YOU TELL ABOUT YOUR BRAND – consistency is key, be consistent in your personality, your message, your vision.
What cool stories can you tell about your brand and your products or services?
- Could you tell the one about the client who came to you with a problem to solve who went home not only with the initial problem solved but even more than they bargained for?
- Could you tell the one about how your product can be used to create amazing results e.g. if you’re selling a hedge clipper a pic of an amazing topiary would create a story in your audiences mind that tells the story of how they could create something like that if they bought your hedge clipper.
- Could you tell the one about how you came across the product or service when your need was dire and found your answer?
- Could you tell how you use these products yourself in your own life because of the effect they have and the problems they solve for you?
- Could you tell a story that’s quirky, fun or just plain weird that captures the imagination and compels more sharing – here I am going to inject another caveat BE SURE ANYTHING YOU POST THAT IS QUIRKY IS YOUR HUMOUR AND WITHIN YOUR GUIDELINES it is not meant to make you look silly but to allow your audience to connect authentically with your humanity and humour.
These are stories we tell daily, imagine if I asked you where’s the best coffee shop in town what would you say? Immediately you would tell me the name of a your fav coffee place and then tell me why it’s your fav, wouldn’t you? This is the art of conversational recommendation and we all know how to do it, we have just not yet applied it to our own products and services.
I don’t want you do hard sell anything or become pitchy or advertorial in your heart based marketing, I want you to recommend your products and services because you use them, and are passionate about them, and they are the whole reason you got into this business in the first place.
One small interjection here: If the last statement does not apply to your products and services then perhaps a rethink is in order right now!
So how do you pull stories out of your organization and tell them in a way that relates to your customer? Remember my catch cry “Meet them where THEY are”, you have to be relevant to your perfect customer for this to work and that takes some preparation. You have to give them what they want right now using the What’s In It For Me, formula and create an emotional bond between the product or service your business offers and your perfect customer who will come out of that audience who is already engaging with your content.
Let’s start with a few characteristics of a compelling story:
It’s true. Make truth and authenticity the cornerstone of everything you create. Your marketing content should feature real people, real situations, genuine emotions and facts. As much as possible, it should show, not tell. It should explain–in terms people can relate to–how your company adds value to the lives of your customers.
It’s human. Even if your company sells to other companies, focus on how your products or services touch the lives of real people. By the way, when writing about people, follow this rule: Be specific enough to be believable and universal enough to be relevant. (That’s a gem from my writing school days.) Apply the “they didn’t come to buy a shovel, they came because they needed a hole”, to everything you write about your brand.
It’s original. Your story should offer a fresh perspective: What’s interesting about your company? Why is that important?
It serves the customer. I’ve read many brand stories that were badly produced or just flat-out boring. According to writing teacher Don Murray: “The reader doesn’t turn the page because of a hunger to applaud.” In today’s marketing context, that applies to anything you produce: video, audio, slideshows. Armed with these fundamentals, ask yourself some questions:
- What is unique about your business?
- What is interesting about how it was founded? About the founder? What’s YOUR SUPERPOWER?
- What problem is your company trying to solve in a YOUnique way?
- What inspired the business?
- What “aha” moments have you had?
- How has your business evolved?
- What’s a non-obvious way to tell your story? Can you look to analogy or metaphor instead of example?
- What about your business that you consider normal and mundane would others think is cool?
A big brand version of storytelling done exceptionally well, it’s watchable, engaging and emotional
An example of quirky of storytelling done well: