7 Ways to Use Digital Storytelling to Grow Your Business
Since the dawn of time religious leaders and politicians have weaved stories into their sermons and speeches.
Because people like stories. They pay attention. They remember details and facts. They connect emotionally. And they follow.
And of course business leaders tell stories because they know stories make us connect and buy in emotionally to their products. Thanks to storytelling brands like Apple and Virgin seem to ‘come alive’ in front of our eyes. We connect emotionally… and buy. Again and again.
Digital Storytelling is simply the art of telling stories using digital media. The media can be text, images, audio, video or a combination of them all.
So telling stories to connect buyers and make sales is not new… but what is new, and what is very quickly shifting the business landscape, is the power digital storytelling gives to every business – whatever their size.
- It’s now relatively simple and inexpensive to deliver sophisticated presentation – previously only the big guys had the budgets to look amazing
- Social media puts targeted story distribution onto steroids for a relatively small financial outlay and
- Digital media is instant. Small and medium businesses can make fast decisions for instant impact while large corporates are left behind in meetings and battling through layers of bureaucracy.
Here’s 7 ways you can jump on the power of digital storytelling today to grow your business.
Tell a story to demonstrate that you care
When prospects read about you on your website they don’t actually give a monkeys about you and your qualifications and achievements.
What they actually want to know is whether you care. Whether you care about what you do and whether you are going to do the right thing by them. Whether they can trust you.
So tell people why you’re passionate about what you do. Tell them what excites you about your work. Talk about the things that energise you to get up in the morning and come to work.
Tell them a story about how you helped someone navigate through a difficult situation to a great outcome.
Stories like these will build trust and connection and be so much more effective than the dry, boring resumes most people paste into their websites.
Tell the 'why' story behind the business
The most successful brands in the world have big ‘why’ statements. Google exists to ‘organise the world’s information’ and TED creates ‘ideas worth spreading.’
Follow their lead.
Tell readers what your business aspires to accomplish. Explain the big mission behind your business that solves a big problem for your customers.
You will be more successful.
Share some success stories
Consumers are hungry to learn about someone who has a solution to a big problem they have. They’re keen to read, listen to or watch the story of how your company solved that person’s problem.
Buyers are looking for transformation here.
So explain how your company took that person from struggling to happy and how they feel now.
Visitors will buy if they can identify with the journey and picture themselves getting the same result.
Tell some buying mistake stories
Buying mistakes stories go something like this.
“People often come to us after they have bought a cheap copy of our widget from they guy down the road to fix a problem.
“They’re upset because the cheap widget didn’t fix the problem. This caused a further problem x which led to new problem y.
“The cheap widget ended up costing a lot of time and money. But when they came to us and bought our quality widget their problem went away. They wish they’d bought quality in the first place.”
These stories are powerful when they are about real problems your customers face every day. Create a few for the common buying mistakes your customers make and you have a set of very powerful stories that will deliver new business.
Explain how your product solves problems
People don’t buy your product or service because of its features.
They buy it because it fixes their problems.
40 somethings buy a Porsche 911 because it makes them feel happy when they drive it and they can forget about their worries for a while.
They talk about impressive safety features to their partner to help justify the decision… but the safety features are not the reason they bought the car.
Work out what your consumers biggest problems are, then tell the story of how your product fixes those problems and you’re on to a winner.
Take people on a journey
If you’re launching something new and exciting take consumers on a journey with you.
Tell the design story. Show pictures of the designer working on every detail to make it perfect.
Share the video of the machine making the parts and meticulously assembling the item. Get clients excited about the first live product and the launch.
Talk about the first customers to buy and how it’s made their lives richer. Show how excited you and your team are about that.
If you can hook buyers into a story where they’re as excited as you are… you’ve got them!
Get your customers to tell their story
Man is this effective.
Mainly because it doesn’t come from you.
Getting your customer to tell the story of how your product took them from point A to point B and how that changed their lives forever is solid gold.
A video testimonial is the most effective… but words work well if that’s all you’ve got.
If the story contains numbers x% increase in profit or y% reduction in cost you’ve got the trump storytelling card.
Get it out there.