Telling stories about your business helps put your audience at ease and gives them something memorable to take away from their interaction with you.
Every day we are bombarded by messages; emails, text messages, news updates, radio and TV noise, billboards, Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, even the back of toilet doors! How can our brain retain all these messages?
Storytelling in business triggers emotion and captures your imagination. We are taught using stories from a young age, so we are naturally inclined towards anecdotes and animated descriptions of events. Stories beat facts and by telling a story you take your listener on a journey in which they can see themselves, rather than trying to argue features and benefits and compete with their pre-existing ideas and beliefs. And we remember stories.
We remember what we feel, and business stories are as powerful as any other types of stories because we remember them over and above any data, lists, offers, benefits, features and all of the other things that many businesses use in their communication. Storytelling in business will engage your audiences far more than dry marketing messages.
Cut through the clutter – tell your stories!
How to tell your brand story
Once you’ve found your stories you need to decide how they will be told. Some may be told face to face during meetings, presentations or in front of a live audience. However not all of your business stories need to be spoken. Many great brand stories are made into videos, some live action, some animated. Those videos can then be used for marketing and advertising and feed your blog, your newsletters, your website, your email campaigns, events and presentations. They help improve your [SEO] Search Engine Optimisation and of course give you a presence on You Tube and Vimeo. They can be used in customer campaigns to great effect. You don’t have to produce videos though. Written prose is just as valuable used again for all your social media and client communication, as well as staff engagement articles and company posters. Sharing stories inside the organisation during meetings and on the intranet will help colleagues understand each other’s successes or issues and further engage the teams.
Be mindful though, when using storytelling for business, endeavour to make your stories rich using everyday language, not jargon. Use visual words, sensory words and auditory words to help various audiences experience the story.
Connect your Business Story to your Business Strategy
We know that all great storytellers have great timing.
Business stories are excellent for bringing your work to life and evidencing your claims so it’s important that you tell them at the right moment and for the right reasons. For example you might want to show how you build great relationships with your clients or give them peace of mind, or you might want to explain how you support sustainability or diversity. Each story needs to be relevant to your strategic business aims and be able to offer the right message and tone for the various audiences that you are speaking to.
At Hoot we take a strategic approach to marketing. We spend time with you to understand the strategic ambitions you have for your business and the activity that you need to undertake in order to achieve those ambitions. For example if you wish to grow in a particular market we will undertake market research to gauge the size and scope of opportunity in the market. We can then be sure of the target audience for your messages and create compelling messages about your products and services for those audiences. We undertake Client Insight Research™ to understand what really matters to your clients and the things that they really value, and we listen to and document their stories. We then work with you to identify the stories that evidence the things that you do that meet their real needs and matter most to them.
Hoot will ensure that your stories are managed and planned strategically so that they match your business intent and drive the right messages to the right audiences, in the right way, at the right time.
Creating brilliant business stories
- When using storytelling for business, marketing and advertising, me sure your stories are authentic. Where the unique selling point can hardly exist anymore because most unique offerings can be copied, your stories are your own. So make sure they are authentic and never copy another company’s story
- Stay away from politics and religion – unless you are a political party planning the next conference keep clear of these types of stories as you’ll end up offending someone!
- Try not to be the hero in your stories – no one likes a bragger. By telling a story from someone else’s point of view, invariably you will be a hero as a bi-product, but it’s not your starting point. Tell stories where your customer is the hero.
- Have a relevant point to make, and make sure your story is relevant to that point
Start your stories here:
I want to find out how to tell our brand stories….