Story marketing is a big buzzword in marketing circles right now and deservedly so. I think the reason stories work so well for business is because they speak to your client or customer on a human level. As humans, we respond to stories, we connect to their messages.
The truth is that story marketing is nothing really new, just a different spin on what’s always been a primary driver in marketing – creating an emotional connection with your clients or customers. But story marketing is particularly effective for social media – and let me give you three reasons why.
First, people buy from businesses they “know, like, and trust” and social media provides multiple venues for your prospects to meet you in a comfortable place.
So one key aspect to social media strategy is finding out where your “peeps” are in the social media space. Not everyone is comfortable in 140 characters. Others prefer to communicate with photos instead of words. The point is that once you know where your prospects hang out, it narrows your marketing focus so that your business stories can stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Second, from my point of view as a content producer, story marketing is great in solving the plaintive cries I hear from clients trying to produce their own tweets, blog entries, and posts: “What do I do? What do I say?”
One answer is to turn your focus around when creating content. Yes, technically, it’s “your” story, but really the story is about your customers and clients, the benefits you provide to them with your books, your programs, services. So changing the point-of-view from, “we offer this, that, and the other” – to, “your life will be better because of our widget and here’s how” – is a more appealing route to reach your prospects.
And if you approach social media from a story marketing perspective, you’ll realize that you have hundreds of stories to share – about your company, your clients or customers, your employees – and that’s just to start. New products are coming online, new books being written, new customer success stories created – there’s always going to be something you can share.
Finally, social media and business storytelling go hand-in-hand for providing content that drives people to your website so you can start a relationship and make a connection.
Think of this as traditional storytelling. Your client or customer has a challenge to solve – and while it may not be dragons invading the kingdom, it’s important to them! Your book, product, service – the hero of the story – helps them solve the problem and get great results. Voila! Everyone lives happily ever after.
The “bite-size” nature of social media makes it ideal for sharing “teaser” pieces of the story and then sending them back to your website to read the whole story. Share the challenge – “After a year of internal review and policy changes, ABC Corporation still faced very low employee morale. And then they called us….” Or share part of the solution – “ABC Corporation reports 25% increase in employee productivity over six months – and we helped!”
If you’ve ever been stopped in your social media tracks, not knowing what to do or say, remember all the stories you have to tell, stories that can engage website visitors, add subscribers to your ezine, and promote your books, services, and products. And then go and write them – don’t stop with just one!
Tell me something! What story can you share with your audience this weekend?
Karen Kanakanui is a content marketing consultant who helps businesses create engaging content that builds trust and drives sales. Visit her at www.CopyVox.com to learn more about how she can help you tell your best stories, put your best foot forward, and reach out to your customers. Connect with Karen on Facebook, Linked-In, or Google+. She also blogs at www.StoriesTasteGood.com.
photo credit: Mike Shaheen