Did you hear the one about…?
Man walks into a pub…
A funny thing happened to me on the way here…
Get my point?
We’re a storytelling species so when we want to explain something our gut instinct is to wrap it up into a story.
Business-wise, that’s why so many people struggle to write marketing copy – they try to get all factual and detailed and forget the most significant aspect of communication – storytelling.
So in trying to describe what we do – whether it is a service, a product, a skill, events or courses or our ethics and values (the things that motivate us and will hopefully appeal to you) – we all too often miss the point.
It’s all about the message and using visual imagery to create thoughts in our minds.
Check my involuntary language here – instinct, imagery, creativity, imagination. Exciting stuff, right?
That’s why storytelling isn’t an airy-fairy marketing concept. It is crucial – and that’s why it has a rightful place as an annual theme in our Business Media Club calendar.
The power of storytelling is immense.
It is how we learn from babies at bathtime, to bedtime stories as small children through to devouring books, films, radio, TV, theatre or any other ways we choose to absorb our culture from War and Peace to the three-minute pop song.
So – why not bring your business to life by allowing your creative juices to flow freely and naturally?
Just look at the plethora of ways we can choose to do that nowadays – speeches, blogs, podcasts, video, infographics etc.
And you don’t have to be too creative. Just keep it real. Reality is often stranger than fiction.
For example, last year we received a cracking testimonial from a client that summed up everything we ever aspired to be in a few words and which we now use in our marketing all the time.
Try as we might, we’d never have found those words or that feeling.
Sometimes it is better to just listen to what people say about you, your service, products and how you do business (your character) and use that in your storytelling promotion.
‘Lifting it off the page’ is a skill broadcasters and filmmakers use to emotionally connect with their audiences.
We’re willing storytelling participants and are open to persuasion. A good story connects like nothing else.
On the other hand, we also know when we’re being sold to and will recoil if the message comes on too strong.
Better to tell than to sell if you want to make a point – and condense it into a compelling story people will remember.
Show and tell is the basis of all education – and if you’re seeking to persuade a potential customer why wouldn’t storytelling be your most powerful marketing tool?
So, go on, get out there and start telling (true) stories – in PR, blogs, case studies, testimonials and video (vlogs in particular).
You’ll never look back.
The Power of Storytelling is the theme of our next Business Media Club meeting on Friday, January 25 (9.45am-12.30pm) at the CGM Media Centre in Worcester.