The Modern Marketer Series: Selling through Storytelling
Updated: Mar 21, 2020
If you would have asked me a few years ago what Marketing was, I would have been able to define it in 4 simple words: Product, Place, Price and Promotion. Sounds familiar? That knowledge is what we learned in class, what we applied in our first entry-level job, and what we keep in the back of our minds today, at all times.
However, today, Marketing means so much more. For example, you couldn’t help but think about social media, as soon as you read this title. Yes, social media is part of the Promotion pillar, but it has become a new aspect of marketing because of its ability to document the product/service’s journey.
Today, marketers are expected to reveal a “behind the scenes” look of the brand they represent. This concept is known as storytelling and it has proven to be the most interesting practice of modern marketing. The better you tell your story, the more traffic you attract. So… how do you tell a good story?
1. Think like a Customer
Yes, you’re a marketer, but you’re also, first and foremost, a customer. Therefore, you have access to the thoughts of the most critical customer you know: YOU. Would you buy anything that you aren’t sold on? I like to think that the answer to this is no. When you’re working on your content creation, ask yourself the following questions:
Do I think this is valuable?
Do I like the brand? Why?
Would I buy the product/service? Why or Why not?
Is there anything that they can say that would make me buy the product/service?
These 4 questions have been incredibly useful in developing content and can generate insightful results. We are our harshest critics, after all. So, Step 1? Easy - Think like YOU.
2. Use Videos
Yes, videos. You’re probably sighing right now thinking to yourself that your boss would never allow a budget for this. Well guess what? You don’t need budget. You need a presentation tool (Powerpoint, Google Slides, Prezi, whatever you like) and a basic video editing software (iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, etc.).
Did you know you could save your presentations as movies? Add a nice little rhythm in the back, some animations, transitions, a voiceover (if you like) - and voilà!
Tips for videos. They must:
Be 1 minute long (maximum)
Have valuable content
Have animations and transitions
Have ONE clear message that your audience should take away
3. Offer Free Knowledge
Our sponge-like generation absorbs knowledge from literally everywhere. We are attracted to it and with all the amazing tools at our disposition, we just cannot get enough. As a storyteller, you have to make sure you’re offering some sort of valuable knowledge to your audience, as well. Not only about your own product/service, but also about the industry, about trends/news, about what inspires you, or any knowledge that is related to your business and that can feed your audience’s curiosity. This is a beneficial strategy for building relationships with your prospects who will eventually turn into customers, if you do it right.
4. Use Instagram Stories
One of the most common tools of storytelling is Instagram stories. Before you say anything, yes, it’s true that most people will go through them really fast, but that is exactly why it is important to use them. One split second of an interesting story will transform new visitors into returning visitors. Try to be original and creative in your Instagram Stories.
Looking for ideas?
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There’s a reason THE OFFICE was such a success. It is literally the story of the daily office life. Think like Michael Scott.
5. Be consistent
It’s really important to post things that are consistent. I like to think of my content ideas as episodes that I categorize and I use each type every week. Plan accordingly and give the audience something to look forward to.
For example, if you decide to do an employee highlight on monday, make sure every monday you are offering something similar to your audience. They will come back to continue the story. You just have to keep feeding their curiosity, otherwise they will lose interest. Frequency isn’t as important as consistency, in this case. Even if you post only 3 times a week, keep your audience guessing, and you will definitely be catching the right amount of visitors.
My fellow marketers, use this knowledge to help you tell your stories. We have slowly started to embrace this new practice, and I hope you can all find these tips and tricks useful in continuing to dive into the world of storytelling through marketing content. Stay tuned for more.