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Why Storytelling is a Marketing Strategy

Some of the most powerful hours of television are aired during the olympics.  Not only do they cover the footage of the neck-to-neck competitions and the victory celebrations, but mostly, they focus on the back stories of the featured athletes and what they’ve overcome to be the best in the world. Their stories have power. They inspire, motivate and even challenge us. These background stories also help us emotionally connect, and I often find myself rooting for someone because I feel like I know them.

Marketing is about connecting with your audience. And in order to connect with your audience, stories must be told. Here’s an example of an iphone commercial that uses this story-telling strategy to engage with the audience emotionally. Rather than highlighting the features and functions of the iphone, they simply tell a holiday story from a misunderstood teen expressing his love for the family through technology that the iphone offers. Brilliant!

Google uses the same strategy and emphasizes the importance of family rather than the product itself by showing how a father connects all of google’s technology and tools for his child.

So, what does that mean for us? We don’t have an advertising budget like Apple or Google to create engaging and beautiful videos which emotionally connect the audience to a brand. But what we do have are the stories to cultivate client loyalty and to continue to attract new clients into our business. Craft your stories and share them on your company blog, post them on social media, email blast them through your newsletter or tell them during your seminars, other marketing functions, and/or sales meetings. Also, keep in mind the following 3 types of stories that you can share to effectively gain trust and loyalty.

Your customers’ stories: Just like your own story, your client also has a story. Ask permission to share the story of how your product or service helped them overcome their challenges. These stories will attract other companies facing similar challenges, and they will more likely work with you.

Educational stories: Use stories to educate and explain concepts and strategies to your clients. Use your own personal examples or analogies. It’s what people will remember and resinate with.

Your own personal story: Tell your own personal story. Share how your company was birthed and what brought you into the industry. Share your failures and your pivotal moments of success. Be authentic and even vulnerable to really get the people to know you. They will learn to trust you as you share your experiences, failures, and life lessons along the way.

Hanju is the owner of BOS Media Group, a marketing, consulting and creative agency in Orange County, CA. Hanju has a passion for working with entrepreneurs and small businesses to inspire, teach and resource their vision to help become a reality. He also loves anything outdoors, he prefers fancy restaurants with outdoor seating…like McDonalds.
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