Children love stories. That is a fact most everyone knows. But why? According to YoExperts, “Story reading bonds the reader to the listener and the listener to the reader.”
With this knowledge in hand, we can surmise the same is true for consumers. When you provide a story for your customers, you bond your business to them and vice versa.
One study tells us that public speakers should tell stories to make their presentations stick in the minds of their listeners. This can also be said for the story you create for your brand. The same study tells us a few more things:
• Stories motivate listeners/readers to act.
• Stories help brands connect with their audiences more effectively than charts, graphs and stats.
• People are more accepting of ideas when their minds are in story mode than in analytical mode.
For all of the above mentioned reasons, we want to emphasize the importance of creating a story for your business. In this article, we’re going to discuss seven reasons you need to create a story around your brand.
Reason #1: Stories Help People Care About Your Brand
Consumers don’t care about catchy taglines for long. While they might boost business for several weeks, catchy slogans aren’t what drives customer loyalty.
When you create a story around your brand, you give people something to care about for much longer than a catchy slogan. Let’s take grocery store giant, Whole Foods.
You know their story, right? They are a natural food supermarket. Their story revolves around food ethically grown and prepared the natural way – they are America’s Healthiest Grocery Store.
What’s so important about the story Whole Foods created is that it permeates every aspect of their business right down to their employees. They have some of the friendliest, most caring staff. Coupled with their food offerings, their brand story “makes” customers want to shop there.
Create a story that your customers want to care about, that creates powerful bonds and generates loyalty. Your customer’s relationship with your brand begins with your story, perhaps long before they go online to make a purchase.
Reason #2: Stories Help People Relate to Your Brand
When you hear a story, and it resonates with you, then it automatically begins to mean something. Your customers have a better chance of relating to your brand when they make a real connection with you through your stories.
Consider the success of social media. For example, Instagram allows users to create a visual story for their brand to great success. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow brands to use text, images and videos to weave a story.
Reason #3: Stories Lead People to the Big Picture
Each story you tell weaves itself into the big picture you create for your brand. Think about each press release, blog post, social media update, photo or video as a piece to your larger story.
You can consider all of your marketing avenues as the elements to your story. It’s important that they all work together to create a story around your brand.
Each little content element works with the big story – the one that helps your customers relate and connect with you.
Reason #4: Stories Motivate Consumers to Take an Action
Whether it’s to make a purchase or become your brand advocate, a well-woven and well-told story can move your customers to action.
Let’s look at online shoe company, Tom’s. They’ve woven a story around their brand’s mission: one for one. You purchase one shoe, and they give one to someone in need.
They use their story to move customers to action by appealing to their minds and their hearts. Consider the message on the front of their webpage: “This year we have restored sight, helped save lives, provided safe water, and given a lot of shoes. Think of all we can do in 2016.”
This story resonates strongly with their customers.
Their message, from providing shoes and glasses to those in need to helping stop bullying, create a story that compels people to make a purchase. It engenders customer loyalty as well.
Reason #5: People Share Stories
Using the example of Tom’s again, are you more likely to share a photo of a cute pair of red shoes on their own, or when they are accompanied by a story showing a young girl in a third world country benefiting from the same pair of red shoes?
That’s right. You’re more apt to share the shoes when they’re accompanied by a compelling story.
Every day we share stories in the form of text, photos, videos, infographics and more. In fact, we’re sharing nearly two billion photos per day. Your customers are interested in your story – your funny, happy, sad, emotion-generating story.
When you create a story around your brand and add to it on an ongoing basis, you give people a reason to share it thus increasing your brand’s reach.
Reason #6: Stories Work Better Than Outright Marketing
In today’s incredibly busy digital world, your customers are hit with hundreds of offers each day. It’s so easy for them to turn away and not listen. They simply don’t have time to view them all.
But, enter the story you’ve created around your brand. If compelling enough, they’ll listen. With your brand story, you integrate your message with your marketing without the customer ever knowing it.
Reason #7: Stories Build Trust
We already mentioned the proliferation of marketing materials consumers see each day. They also begin to trust them less and less.
Enter the brand who tells an interesting, compelling story and weaves a tale. These stories build trust because the customer sees that you are offering them something of value instead of always selling to them.
Your brand’s story is an important piece of your marketing. It’s more than just written content. It’s more than a simple narrative.
Your story binds your customer to your brand. When well done, the story you create around your brand has the ability to help you market your business successfully and in the process increase customer loyalty.
Lastly, keep your story simple. This isn’t the time to weave a 400-page novel. Think about Tom’s and how simple their story is. It’s one of helping and service. It’s one they can tell again and again in different ways. It has a beginning, middle and an end.
Remember, your story is all about building a connection with your customer. You create a story around your brand, and you build authenticity.
If you’d like more information on how to create a story around your brand, we can help. Lead generation and conversion rate optimization are our specialty. We can help you improve your content and create a story to increase the likelihood your customers will become brand advocates and customers. Contact us today.
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