When it comes to modern marketing, content is king. Consumers are more sensitive than ever to advertising, so brands have to get creative to stand out. The best way to cut through the noise is to craft compelling content that both provides value to consumers and invites them to take a specific action.
Storytelling opens the door for you to provide value to your audience and market to them at the same time. You can provide value with storytelling in several ways:
Share customer success stories
Tell the story about how your brand got started, or how your brand continues to pursue its mission
Tell the story about how and why you developed your latest product
Tell the story of who your customer could become if they buy your product
Excellent storytelling focuses on the reader first, pulling them toward your end goal, as opposed to traditional advertising, which pushes your offer in front of people until something finally sticks. Keep reading to learn a few ways to drive more conversions through storytelling.
Start With a Goal
Before you start creating content, ask yourself this question: “Why?”
Do you just want to go viral? Don’t waste your time – followers aren’t income. Do you want to drive conversions? Well, what are you selling, and to whom?
If your target audience is homeowners, don’t tell a story targeted at renters. If your goal is to sell a webinar, don’t distract the consumer by trying to get them to follow you on other social media platforms.
If you want to drive conversions through storytelling, you should have a funnel in mind. What specific action do you want your customers to take after encountering your story? Double down on that action, and omit anything that will distract the consumer from that specific end goal.
Choose a Relatable Story
Once you know your target audience and the action you want them to take, choose a story that fits those parameters. Tell a story that either features people similar to your intended customers or features people that your customers aspire to become.
If you’re selling athletic gear, tell stories about people who overcame great obstacles to achieve their fitness goals, or tell stories about people who have accomplished amazing things in feats of peak performance.
Even better, tell stories that feature your brand. Did an Olympian win a gold medal while wearing your shoes? Tell people all about it!
Whatever brand stories you choose to tell, they should accomplish one or more of the following goals:
By crafting an entertaining, educational, or inspirational story, you’ll draw the consumer in –– even if they know you’re selling something.
Why? Because you’re providing value up-front through storytelling.
Write a Killer Hook
In a digital landscape dominated by short-form content, the first few seconds are crucial to the success of your stories. Whenever possible, begin with excitement, and reveal boring details later, in small increments.
In fiction storytelling, this practice is known as writing in media res, which is Latin for “in the midst of things.” In practice, this means you should begin your stories with something juicy:
Open with some sort of relatable conflict
Start with a mystery
Begin with a problem, and end with a solution
Your hook has one goal: stop the scroll. Skippable hooks aren’t just boring – they’re a waste of valuable time and resources. A great story with a lackluster hook won’t convert because nobody will read or watch it till the end.
Engage the Senses
What’s the difference between a textbook and a novel?
Textbooks are info-heavy, boring pieces of literature that are a chore to read, and so people only pick them up when they have to. A great novel, however, is nearly impossible to put down.
When marketers focus on explaining features instead of crafting compelling stories, their messages fall flat. However, by subtly weaving benefits into an engaging story, marketers can leave an impression on consumers without triggering their defenses.
Don’t just point at the water – bring the reader into the cold, murky depths
Don’t talk about a sidewalk – bring the consumer face-to-face with street performers, bodegas, and glistening snowfall
Don’t tell the consumer you’ll reduce their stress – plunge them into a maelstrom of conflicting appointments, overwhelming chores, and screaming children, then show them how you’ll organize their chaos
Old-fashioned advertising is invasive, presenting an offer when customers aren’t looking for one. Brand storytelling allows consumers to sense the thrill of victory or the comfort of a cozy fire in the fall, then shows them how they can get more of that feeling with your products.
Strengthen Your Story With Great Copywriting
We’ve covered some of the essential elements of crafting a great story, but even the best stories won’t convert customers unless they’re specifically crafted to do so. This is where copywriting comes into play. Your story draws consumers in, but your copywriting turns them into customers.
Copywriting utilizes both word choice and word placement to create persuasion. Great copywriting boils down to two key principles:
To be concise, use fewer words.
To be clear, use simple words.
Long-winded explanations of simple concepts might land a high grade in school, but they’ll only encourage consumers to scroll past your content for something shorter.
Likewise, mastery of large words or industry-specific jargon might help you impress your boss, but it can make your stories completely unapproachable to the average consumer.
Brand storytelling is the best way to provide value to your consumers and advertise your products at the same time. To drive more conversions through storytelling, adhere to these essential principles:
Start With A Goal – Focus on a target audience and a specific action you want them to take.
Choose A Relatable Story – Tell a story that will entertain, educate, or inspire your target audience in a way that allows you to direct them to your product.
Write A Killer Hook – Provide value up front by starting your story with something interesting, enticing, or challenging.
Engage The Senses – Textbooks suck because they focus on explanation. Don’t bore your audience.
Strength Your Story With Great Copywriting – Use simple, persuasive language, and use as few words as possible to tell your story.
Legacy marketing tries to direct people to take specific actions with flashy, pushy messaging. Modern marketing utilizes storytelling to invite consumers in by providing value and subtly encouraging action.
Storytelling helps you drive more conversions and reduce ad-spend by making each impression count.
Are you ready to leverage storytelling for your brand? Hire a writer today!