Do you find that the messaging of your print collateral, digital content, and social media channels isn’t increasing conversions? Maybe your content doesn’t drive more traffic to your site, or lead to growth in your business? Your problem could lie in the story you are conveying.
Your narrative may not be clear to your audience. We are going to explore why story is important for your company. We’ll also look at how to (intentionally) tell the story you want your consumers/clients to respond to. And do it clearly as well as concisely.
Why Use Story?
There are several reasons for using story to sell and market your company and your products/services. We as humans use story to communicate. We use it communicate thoughts, ideas and feelings. We also use story to connect and relate. Through story we interact and engage with others.
If you want to better communicate, connect, and engage with your audience it makes sense to use story since it’s a proven method of calling people to action. It’s through stories (not slide presentations, or phone calls, or sales points) that we are compelled to do things. That’s why documentaries, film, and books can start movements.
Story in Marketing and Branding That Sells
Nike and Apple are two prime examples of companies/brands who weave compelling stories into their ads to sell us their products. When reeling audiences in, they connect with a wide audience in very specific ways. They don’t just spit out stats and specs and how many years they’ve been providing their goods and services. Most people don’t look into that info until you’ve at least piqued their interest.
Nike is great at connecting with people by showing that everyday, ordinary people have greatness within. They show in their commercials that people can have drive, work through hurt, accomplish their dreams, and do it again the next day. They make us believe that we can be a Lebron James. They make us believe that we can lead and motivate people and do great things. They make us believe that we can persevere.
Then they flash the “Swoosh” across the scene along with the phrase “Just do it”. And we believe that we can. Not only that, we believe we can do it with Nike. Nike shoes, apparel, gear, you name it. They sold us Nikes without saying a single word.
Apple too, has found ways to make us want their products through stories. Some of their stories include creatives collaborating. Some of their stories include musicians and other artists working on their craft, ironing out their process. Some of their stories include families connecting; though miles, states, or even oceans apart. Some of their stories include kids or college students capturing moments, memories, or adventures and sharing with friends around the world.
One thing that connects all these stories: all of these people are using Apple products. Apple shows their products as relatable, reliable, and intuitive. People of all ages and backgrounds and disciplines welcome.
Some Important Storytelling Elements to Include
A Hero & a Plot
Every story has a main character. As sellers and service providers, the main character of the stories you tell should be the audience. Before any action or transaction can take place, they need to know that they are the most important person in “their story”. They are the hero. And if they’re the hero the plot should revolve around them. The consumers’ goals are what should matter most to you, and they need to know that their goals and their story matter to you.
Like most stories, the main character needs a guide to help them on their journey and assist them in reaching their goal(s). This is where your company comes in. You’ll be their mentor and guide. The Yoda to their Luke; the Morpheus to their Neo. To create “buy in” for your products or services you’ll need to be able to show them you (as the guide) will help them accomplish their goals.
Whether their goal is to catch fish, explore places they haven’t yet been, spend quality time with family/friends, bond with their kids, or experience adventures away from home, they need to know how your boats, your gear, your lodge, or your services will enable them to make those goals a reality.
The Why & The How
Although the “Who” and the “What” are important to the story, the “Why” is most important to the audience. They want to know why you do what you do. They want to know how your products will help them gain new stories to tell and find the experiences they’re looking for.
Killing the Clutter
The best way to get your story across to your audience is through clarity. Nothing kills clarity like clutter. When conveying your story, avoid using industry jargon. It’s also best to steer clear of business buzzwords. When people are browsing your site it’s best to use clear, direct statements. And do your best not to inaccurately use words or phrases, or misuse quotes. The easier it is for a consumer to understand your story or what you’re selling, the more likely they are to follow through with an action or a purchase. The more brain power and energy they spend trying to figure what you do or how you can best serve them or simply navigate your website, the worse off you are. People like an intuitive and seamless experience. Even if they end up taking the action you want them to take, you’re less likely get repeat business. So it’s best to just keep it simple.
How This Translates to the Outdoor Industry
Using compelling stories that resonate with your audience is a sure-fire way to get them to follow through with a purchase. Here are two industry examples of stories that can help you better connect with your audience.
A Boat Retailer
You can say that your boats will get them back to the adventure of the outdoors. Whether their goals are to:
- Relax out on the open sea
- Explore or fish in areas you otherwise couldn’t experience
- Bond and create stories of your own (father/son, day on the water with friends)
A Gear and Accessories Shop
As a shop owner, you could tell your audience how your gear (rods/reels/clothing/accessories) can help your consumer have richer fishing experiences by giving them versatility to fish in various environments and conditions. Selling them on longevity/durability/quality of gear. Gear for all anglers (men, women, kids).
What’s Your Story?
If you have a brand or a product, you have a story to tell. If you need help crafting the right story, we’d love to help! Together we can give your customers the “who”, “what”, and “why” they should choose you.
Give us a shout at 407-971-2244 or fill out our short contact form to get started!
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