Pulling Your Customers Through Great Storytelling

Originally published on Linkedin.com on March 10, 2016 By Cath Pascual
Pulling Your Customers Through Great Storytelling
Storytelling — stories or narratives shared that are meant to entertain, introduce values or to simply educate people. Storytelling can also serve as a reminder that words are powerful, listening is important and effective communication is a form of art.
Brands nowadays are using this technique in their marketing strategies to reach out to their audiences (Why wouldn’t they, right?). Sharing their story is a way to charm and eventually get people to care about their business. You can either use a personal approach or an advocative one, depending on the origin of your business. Let’s get real here, not all businesses has a back story and that is not a bad thing. The truth is, every business is interesting and worth recognizing, the only thing you have to look for is that special factor that sets you apart from everyone else, like how one star outshines the other.
Now let’s dig deeper between both approaches and determine which fits your business.
Pulling Your Customers Through Great Storytelling_2Personal Storytelling
This approach is experiential — an “in the moment” occurrence in your life or a presence of one’s experience that triggered a business idea. Usually, this is used by businesses that have histories with them: a backstory, a timeline, or a sequence of events that resulted in the evolution of their business. Chanel is one example that uses this strategy to market their iconic brand.
But what if your business doesn’t have a bedtime story written and ready to be told? This might be the approach to go.
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Advocative Storytelling
This approach is a shared goal that your business already has and eventually wanted to champion on and recommend to your customers. This strategy is mostly used by brands that wanted to promote a cause. One good example of a brand that uses this approach is Dove on their “Self-Esteem Project”, which evangelizes the world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.
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What Makes Up A Great Story?
1. Subjective
A story that particularly sees the story through the eyes of a character you’re projecting.
2. Relatable and Valuable
Stories that take people on a journey — a starting point and a destination. You don’t want your stories to abruptly end midstory, right? Also, your audience must be able to pick up a lesson or two from a story that is universal: an experience we all go through.
3. Jargon-free
If your audience is the general public, avoid using any specialized or technical terms. All the terms you use should be plain and simple which most people will be able to understand.
There, you’re all set to begin your narrative. But let me tell you a secret. Perfection is a good thing, but it’s not what holds an audience. The key to a great storytelling is this: Imperfection = Make your brand human.
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Author Cath Pascual
Innovator of Social Media Engagement. Actively Seeking Opportunities. Digital Marketing Nut. Pop Culture Junkie.