Storytelling In Business: Impact And Amaze With These Expert Tips
Why is storytelling in business the most powerful approach to building your sales and marketing success?
What is Storytelling In Business?
Storytelling in business applies to any type of media content that uses stories or narrative structure for your marketing purposes.
To be clear, marketing purposes doesn’t only mean closing sales. It also can include building awareness, developing a relationship online, or building trust with your audience.
What form of media can storytelling in business take?
It could be a blog, a case study, a social media post, or a brand video.
Storytelling has many major benefits, and can greatly improve the success of your marketing video.
When it comes to video, there are several types of videos you can make that leverage storytelling in business.
You can make a 1-2 minute video that is structured like a mini-documentary. These often perform well and make your brand more appealing to new audiences.
You can also create an animated explainer video. These are great at explaining your product or service in a simple and visual story that anyone can grasp.
Emotional stories from your customers create lots of impact, and make great marketing content.
These can take the shape of Testimonial videos or Case studies, which are known to help close more sales.
Without using storytelling in business, your content can run the risk of coming off too salesy, and will get ignored.
If you aren’t using storytelling in business for your brand, it’s definitely time to start!
Why Is Storytelling In Business So Critical?
Storytelling Elicits Emotion
Storytelling is so powerful because it sparks emotions which can be tied to your brand.
Psychology Today did a report on this, and discovered that when evaluating brands, people tend to relate to the brand the same way they would a human-person, instead of facts, figures, and attributes.
(Yes, I just used human-person in a sentence.)
Relating to a brand like a person is called Functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Simply put, if you can use storytelling to elicit emotion in an impactful way, people will start to relate to your brand like they would a friend. And that is good for your sales!
Storytelling Builds Trust
Storytelling in business is known to build trust, especially when your story is honest.
“A great story is true. Not true because it’s factual, but because it’s consistent and authentic. Consumers are too good at sniffing out inconsistencies for a marketer to get away with a story that’s just slapped on.” – Seth Godin
If you tell an authentic and honest story in your video, people will start to trust you and appreciate your brand. This is so critical, in a world where so much marketing and advertising is inauthentic.
Go in the direction of authenticity, and you will really impress your audience.
Story Keeps Attention
We live in a world of ever-diminishing attention span.
If people aren’t familiar with your brand, they aren’t gonna give you much face-time (or any kind of time).
Great storytelling keeps attention in such a powerful way that even someone unfamiliar with you will watch to the end.
This is where you can really leverage storytelling in business. I’ll get into some tips for great storytelling down below.
Simplifies Complex Concepts
Got an innovative product or service, or just something that the average person has a hard time understanding?
Storytelling can simplify and clarify unlike anything else.
This is why story books are so commonly used to teach children family values. By following along a narrative, a lesson can get absorbed by our subconscious.
We adults are no different.
By using storytelling, you can get your demographic to understand your uniqueness much easier, no matter how complex it may be at first.
Expert Storytelling Tips
So how then, do you tell a great story? Here are a couple expert tips.
Big Picture Narrative
Telling a story that focuses on your overall brand impact will help produce a compelling story. Big brands understand this well.
Nike videos rarely focus on their product; they focus on values and attitudes of athletes.
Red Bull doesn’t ever sell their drink. They highlight a lifestyle. By watching their videos, you’ll start to identify their product with that way of life. If you start living that lifestyle, you’ll start drinking their drink.
It’s simple, but brilliant.
Create A Conflict
A story without conflict is boring. In fact, conflict is the foundation of all good storytelling.
But many brands are afraid to address conflict in their content.
If you want to take your story from mediocre to great but aren’t sure about how to address conflict, I’d suggest consulting a story expert on how you can fuse more conflict into your content, in a professional manner.
Trust me, it will make all the difference.
Your concept and idea is the most important stage of your video, but often the hardest for people to grasp. This makes sense, because you’re not an expert in the field of story development.
One way we’re able to create exciting and innovative concepts at UpMedia, is simply studying and researching what others are doing. Once we gather enough reference, we can add or subtract different ideas and create a hybrid – which gives us something brand new and original.
This is our secret to great storytelling! It’s like I literally just taught you how “the force” works. And may the force be with you.
Explain Your Uniqueness
Make sure that you find a compelling way to explain what makes you unique. Many marketing experts call this your Unique Selling Proposition. Essentially it explains what makes you different from anyone else in your industry.
Yes, everyone has something they do different, it’s just not always clearly understood or explained. If your video can do this well, you will have a great story to tell!
Humour is a big part of great storytelling. If you can find a way to include even a simple joke or pun in your video, enough to make someone laugh, you will instantly become more memorable to your audience.
Here’s an example of storytelling in business that uses humour:
Be Honest And Authentic
I mentioned this earlier, but I will say it again because it’s so important. Be honest and authentic.
Being inauthentic in your video can backfire, and people are smarter than you may think when it comes to seeing your BS.
An honest story hits hard, and rouses emotions, and emotions lead to sales!
Even comedy and humour requires honesty. In fact, if you’re poking fun at yourself, that’s a form of honesty.
Great Examples of Storytelling For Business
Here’s a brilliant idea for a mock-documentary using humour to build brand awareness:
We believe in a good story so much, we created our own video that tells our story.
Earlier I mentioned the power of animation, as well as how storytelling can be used to simplify something complex. Here is a great example of both of those tools in action:
When it comes to building emotions, this is a great example for small businesses to follow.
If you’ve got a breakthrough client story, why not film it and use it to showcase your client impact.