Stories forge strong connections between people and ideas. According to Psychology Today, stories engage the right side of the brain, which stimulates the imagination and allows people to feel that they’re a part of the narrative.
When you’re selling your product or service, in marketing, it’s often important to use stories to connect with your customers to guide them along the buyer’s journey. This article will dig deeper to uncover how you can use the art of storytelling to boost your online business.
Know your audience
How well a story compels your buyers to take action often boils down to how well the audience can relate. Before you incorporate stories into your marketing, it’s critical to research your target audience and know what appeals to them.
Online sales courses often emphasize the importance of getting a glimpse into the buyer’s needs and wants. Then, you can more easily figure out how to craft appealing stories to market your offering.
Take the time to dig deeper into discovering who your potential customers are and create a detailed buyer persona. A buyer persona involves developing a clear outline about all there is to know about an ideal or typical customer, such as:
- Income level
- Behavioral traits
Once you have a picture of your target audience, you’ll be better placed to craft stories that resonate with your customers.
Choose the right platform for your stories
The success of your stories often goes hand in hand with where you share your stories. Tell the right story on the wrong platform, and your storytelling could miss the mark and fail to drive marketing efforts.
You may want to consider taking online courses to learn how to harmonize your stories across different platforms. This helps avoid stories feeling repetitious if customers follow you on multiple platforms and maximizes your use of content.
Different kinds of customers will also often have different things that make them tick. So, consider using various kinds of media to reach out to different customers to avoid your stories falling on deaf ears.
You can use your blog to craft stories that engage your customers to help raise sales. According to Demand Metrics, companies that blog get 67% more leads than companies that don’t blog. Video content is another sound strategy that helps tell your stories in a short, interactive, and stimulating way. Videos often hit the right notes with people who don’t have the time to read your blog.
Plan your stories
For your stories to be compelling, you have to lay out a clear plan of action about what you want to say. It also helps to know how you will measure the story’s effectiveness.
Decide on your story angle and the message you want your audience to grasp.
Some examples of story angles that resonate with customers include:
- Rags to riches stories. These can show the struggles your business went through before it shot to fame. Consider the example of Richard Branson. The story of how he went bankrupt several times before he landed success helps people identify with his guts and chutzpah that have defined the Virgin brand.
- Personal stories and testimonials. Online social proof helps other customers see how your offering can turn around their pain points.
- Fictional stories. Use example situations that detail how your product or service can shine as a solution to a problem. A sampling of how the customer can anticipate your offering can benefit them is an effective way of demonstrating your value.
As most sales courses teach, you often need to review the results you’re getting in response to your marketing stories. If your stories don’t click with your audience, it’s wise to adjust your plans.
Use emotional appeal to pull customers in
Studies by psychologists show that a well-told story engages the brain’s sensory, motor, and frontal cortex. These centres influence memory, cognition, and action.
Stories can also cause the brain to pump out dopamine in response to emotional stimuli. This causes neural coupling – where you identify with the story and adopt the experience as your own.
By telling your marketing stories well, you stand a higher chance of stirring the right emotions in your customers, which often drives customers to buy.
For example, a small business automation software seller can tell a story through a video that shows small business owners drowning under mounds of work without the right online automation tools. The feelings of desperation, fear, and relief that the story can elicit will help customers see how your software tools provide the solution to improve their work effectiveness, leading to more sales.
It often helps to learn more about invoking emotions by taking storytelling courses. Alternatively, consider engaging a marketing pro who’s experienced in crafting storyboards with a strong emotional appeal.
All in all, storytelling can be a powerful tool to draw in more customers by fanning the flames of emotional appeal and triggering the part of the brain that spurs action. Remember to plan and perform your research beforehand. Use the most suitable platforms to reach your ideal customers to heighten your chances of leapfrogging your sales.