SCORE St. Louis August 2019

The Marketing Secret as Old as Mankind Tell Me a Story

CONVEY: Use stories to convey your expertise, relevance, humanity, and values.

the story is about the value you can deliver to your customers — or about the common ground you share with them.Your company is just a supporting character.You created your product or service for a purpose; you know the scenarios in which it’s most important. Why not share that knowledge with your demographic? You can harness these tips through a variety of media, so don’t be afraid to tell your story through blog posts, case studies, your website’s home page, FAQs, newsletter articles, videos, podcasts, and more. Infusing your marketing with human storytelling is a remarkably effective way to engage and connect with your audience.You can take advantage of it right now by revisiting your brand message and marketing collateral to see where storytelling makes your business stand out to your customers. Once you start engaging with your prospects and clients in a way that brings the narrative to them, you’ll find your own story has a very happy ending. With SCORE, you’re never alone!We offer workshops and seminars each month to help you develop the skills you need to succeed.Visit today!

It’s not hard to imagine a marketing manager crying out in frustration somewhere because their marketing messages are being utterly ignored.You’ve likely been there too. No, this isn’t a worldwide conspiracy among consumers to make your job harder; rather, it’s the result of consumers seeing trillions of ads per year on the web alone. If you want your marketing to break through the clutter, you need to give people what they want: stories. While Americans consume more than 100,000 digital words every day, 92% of consumers want to internalize those words in the form of a story. In the Information Age, branding is less about flashy logos and more about forming true relationships between customers and companies. John Naisbitt, author of the world-renowned book “Megatrends:Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives” says,“The more high-tech we create, the more high-touch we will want.” A great brand can help you stand out and give your business a unique way to differentiate itself in a crowded marketplace. To really succeed, you have to captivate your audience with a story. By doing so, you give your products and services context, as well as an identity that exists beyond the basic problem-solving your business offers. Best of all, you connect with your target audience on an emotional level, making your message more meaningful, more memorable, and easier to pass along. In fact, science shows that digesting brand stories prompts the brain to perform at a higher function, as opposed to the basic functions employed to digest plain data. Entrepreneurship author Jim Blasingame, who penned “Three Minutes to Success,” says that the power of small-business storytelling lies in the three C’s: CONNECT: Use stories to connect with prospects and convert them into customers.

CREATE: Use stories to create customer memories that compel them to come back.

So, what does a great brand story look like? It should be factual, but not biographical; the story should always convey what’s in it for the reader. For example, aWeightWatchers testimonial may feature someone with an amazing story of overcoming adversity and achieving their lifelong goal weight, while addressing the “what’s in it for me” factor. Readers may think if someone else can do it, they can too. In an interactive marketing campaign a few years ago,WeightWatchers posted hundreds of scales on a wall, and on each scale was written an intangible thing, such as “laughter,” “feeling free,” or “playing with my kids.” It told observers the stories of the things they could weigh in their lives, if they weren’t so busy being preoccupied with a scale! A marketing story can also be diluted by including too many details.Too many specifics take away the impact, and too few have the same effect. Make sure the story you craft is compelling and relevant to your brand. Know who you’re selling to. Most importantly, keep in mind that the story is never about you or your company. Even if you’re talking about your business,


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