Storytelling is something that is embedded in every culture. It is as old as communication itself. Storytelling is one of the most effective mechanisms for sharing history, explaining concepts, and connecting with others.
As consumers of information, storytelling helps us learn. When consumers are engaged with stories, they tend to pay better attention, and retain information more easily. The challenge in e commerce is figuring out how to best use stories. Storytelling is more than simply sharing interesting anecdotes. It must engage, and ultimately increase sales.
Here are five tips on business storytelling that you can use to accomplish this goal.
1. Use Storytelling to Relate: Not to Boast
A story shouldn’t be used as a thinly-veiled delivery system for your accomplishments. Remember, the idea is to get your customers to relate to you. It isn’t to get them to look up to you, or to annoy them by boasting. Yes, your stories can be used to share information about your expertise, but your approach is very important.
Don’t just share your triumph. Share the process. Let people know about your struggles, and the problems you had to solve. These are the things that will make your stories, and ultimately your business, more relatable to them. These are the stories that show your human side.
There’s a reason that you know that Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first television job, that Walt Disney was once called untalented and not very creative, and that Fred Smith received a failing grade on the business assignment where he first conceptualized Fed Ex. These are the stories that create connections.
2. Involve Customers in The Storytelling Process
Let your audience be the heroes in the stories that you tell. Encourage them to share their stories. Then, give them a platform to do that. Ask open-ended questions. Provide a supportive environment for them to share pictures and videos that relate to your brand.
The idea of sharing audience stories isn’t just about scoring testimonials. In fact, some of the most impactful stories about your audience don’t need to relate to your audience at all. Instead, they’re about shared experiences.
It’s also about creating empowerment. One example of this is Always brand’s #LikeaGirl campaign. This effort highlighted stories of girls using their talents and hard work to upend sexist stereotypes about their capabilities.
3. Make Stories Compelling And Readable
Your stories will only be as effective as they are readable and interesting to your audience. A good story is:
- Written with a relatable voice.
- Missing distracting spelling and grammatical errors.
- Full of compelling examples.
- Made interesting with emotionally compelling language.
- Geared to your target audience.
It’s not enough to have a great story to tell. You have to be able to communicate the story effectively. That takes skill and talent that doesn’t come naturally for everyone. Fortunately, there are a variety of resources that you can use as you create compelling stories.
- Hemingway App: This app helps to instill focus and self-discipline in your writing. It will point out when your sentences are overly complex, you use big words, and encourage you to write clearly and concisely.
- Grammarly: This simple yet effective grammar checking utility is free. Even better, it works in Windows, Chrome, and as a download for Word. It automatically checks your text and flags potentially embarrassing mistakes.
- Hot Essay Service: This is a great resource for proofreading and editing assistance. The website also has informative writing samples on a variety of topics.
- White Smoke: A great alternative to Grammarly. This English grammar checking tool also helps you to ensure your writing is top-notch.
- Supreme Dissertations: You’ll find great writing samples here. Don’t forget to check out the blog posts as well. There are plenty of posts with useful writing advice.
- Language Tool: This is a great tool if you use Google Docs. Use this add-on to enhance Docs’ functionality with a truly useful grammar and spelling utility.
- Rewarded Essays: This is yet another ‘one stop’ resource for writing help. It includes writing, proofreading, and editing assistance. You can also find useful writing examples.
- Readability Score: The more people your stories touch, the better. Readability score will help you accomplish this goal.
4. Enhance Stories With Data And Visuals
Data is an important component of storytelling. It provides the facts and information to bolster an emotionally compelling story. In addition to this, if you have data to present to an audience, combining it with a story can make the data easier to understand.
There’s another reason to combine data with storytelling. Your audience is comprised with people each with unique learning styles and experiences. Some can be won over with a relatable stories. Others read a story, and think, ‘Great! Where’s the proof?’ When you put the two together, you are able to convince more people.
Finally, great stories need a visual element. First, visuals can be used to present data in a way that is easily understood by audiences. In addition to this, imagery adds a compelling, emotional component to stories that help to keep audiences engaged.
5. Know Where to Find Storytelling Opportunities
Where do you tell your stories? One very important component of using stories in marketing is finding opportunities to tell stories, and making the most of those chances. Brands use storytelling in their blogs, paid advertising, product pages, company history, and their sales pitches.
The key is to find the right opportunities first. Then, identify the exact stories that are the best fit for any given situation. Finally, tell the story in a compelling way.
Take any concept and present it in the form of a story, and you’ll have a much easier time generating interest and engagement. Even better, good storytelling can boost online sales. Remember that the lack of face to face contact in e commerce must be replaced with compelling content, and that includes storytelling.
Author’s Bio: Bridgette Hernandez is a Master in Anthropology who is interested in writing and planning to publish her own book in the nearest future. She finished her study last year but is already a true expert when it comes to presenting text in a creative and understandable manner. Bridgette has been working as a contributor writer at IsAccurate.