How Telling a Good Story Can Increase Brand Trust and Boost Sales!
Many of us grew up asking our parents to read us a story. Whether the story was intended to entertain, educate or perhaps inspire, it was all rooted around one purpose: to establish a connection.
I always say connection is the heart of marketing. If you can’t connect with your audience, they will not keep interest or purchase.
You can have the prettiest website, stellar graphics, and even a showstopping product or service; however, if you cannot find a way to attract your audience, and show them exactly why they should care about what you do (especially when a million others do or sell the same thing), not even those can create a profitable business.
That is where harnessing the power of storytelling can help set you apart and establish a solid connection with your customer. Research shows that stories can be 22 times more memorable than facts alone. When you integrate storytelling in your marketing strategy, particularly social and email marketing, it can be the difference between crickets and coins.
Despite sharing stories all the time in casual conversation, many business owners struggle deciding which ones to share in their business.
Today, I will cover:
- Why your brand needs to tap into storytelling and how to stand out amongst the copy and paste content in social media platforms.
- Why you shouldn’t be the hero of your story (just follow me on this one).
- How to craft a story that sells by building an emotional connection.
Why Storytelling Is An Essential Element of Your Brand
I’m a total foodie, so let’s use the example of an omelet. Sure you can eat the egg cooked as is and it would be great, but you can also improve the recipe by incorporating more flavors.
Now, take the elements of your business such as your paid ads, social, and email marketing and imagine they were the ham, peppers, and cheese. If you ate those without the egg, it would definitely be noticeable that something was missing. The egg in combination with the additional fillings are what make an omelet great.
The same principle applies to your brand story. You need it in conjunction with your marketing for it truly to work.
Another reason that storytelling is important is that it makes your brand memorable and can have a direct influence on your customer’s purchasing decision. According to Harvard Business School Professor, Gerald Zaltman, 95% of our purchasing decision takes place in our subconscious minds with emotional-based campaigns being the most effective.
Storytelling is powerful because it makes your brand memorable, intriguing, and most importantly, trustworthy. People buy from brands they trust. When you combine that with an emotional connection, you create the foundation of brand loyalty.
Elements of a Great Story
I’m going to go ahead and rip the band-aid off now. The most important and often overlooked aspect of a great brand story is that it is not about you. I repeat, it is not about you.
The best stories are about your customers and are ones where they can personally relate. The great thing about stories is that this marketing strategy can be incorporated at every level of the customer buyer journey. A lot of people focus on the engagement or lack thereof in some cases they receive from their content. However, engagement is only an effective metric if it leads to an actual conversion. A powerful story is one that inspires and drives your intended audience to take action. Action results in money!
Crafting a Story that Sells
So, how do you write a customer-centric story?
The first thing you want to do when crafting a story is to take into consideration the viewpoint of your target audience and the value they seek.
Next, you want to establish what emotional connection does your target customer seek? How do you want them to feel when they encounter your brand? You will want to tap into both the pain and pleasures of your target customer and use sensory-based copy that brings these feelings to life. These are the foundational pieces that will create the outline of your story.
Every story you create should always be based upon this framework. It will be the difference between someone saying, “Oh, that’s a nice story” and then scrolling and someone saying “Wow, I felt that” and then clicking to purchase.
The final element to your story is to pave the way to the solution. In the book StoryBrand, by Donald Miller, he breaks down the marketing concept of the Hero and the Guide.
Often, brands make the mistake of casting themselves as the Hero in their story. As a huge fan of Wonder Woman, trust me, I wanted to put on the cape and be the star of my brand too! This is a mistake and is costing you customers. Let that mindset go.
In Miller’s strategy, the hero is your customer and your brand is the guide. As the guide, you help lead your customer to the solution which will drive them to take action.
“When we position our customer as the hero and ourselves as the guide, we will be recognized as a trusted resource to help them overcome their challenges.” – Donald Miller
As I mentioned earlier, people buy from brands that they trust. It all comes full circle in your story to establish the emotional connection that in turn builds a lasting trust with your brand that results in a loyal buyer.
Regardless of the industry in which you operate, storytelling should be a tool that you integrate into your marketing strategy. It not only helps you craft content that generates revenue, but it also helps you create a personal brand that creates a community of people who seek, like, and best of all support your business.
Christina Sims is a mother, wife, and mompreneur. She is a Branding and Marketing Coach, speaker, and founder of Mom Meets Life. She is also the Chief Operations Officer of Terry Foster Consulting, a Pittsburgh digital marketing agency.
Christina’s mission is to empower women to create profitable brands through story and a strong online presence. Her bold, forward thinking, and unapologetic mindset sets her apart in an industry that is focused on perfectionism and scripted approaches. She has helped hundreds of women achieve time and financial freedom to live a life on their own terms and provide for their family.
Christina spent 10 years in marketing before she launched her business. She spent her career creating branding, content, and digital strategies for brands in a variety of industries. A near-devastating birth experience ignited her inspiration to launch her business.