Stories have always shaped us as humans – from being tucked into beds to getting on the phone to catch up with peers. With our innate desire for learning and entertainment, it’s no surprise that storytelling has grown to become a way for people to connect and, more recently, to sell.
What makes stories powerful is that it’s an excellent way to let your audience immerse themselves entirely in your brand. With its ability to build lasting connections with your brand image, it’s no wonder that marketers are now injecting digital storytelling into their content marketing strategy.
The two Cs of Digital Storytelling
The primary purpose of storytelling is to share information – more specifically, narratives that hold meanings. When you share a story, your goal is ultimately to communicate a plot and to connect to your audience.
Nothing builds connections more than communicating content that is true and relatable. Because of this, storytelling allows marketers to give its audience a pseudo-experience of the product or service they’re trying to market.
With storytelling, you give your audience an alternate reality through fictional content. But if you’re looking to focus more on nonfiction, or actual experiences, stories are still sufficient to motivate and inspire.
An appeal to emotions
If you ask a marketer why they’re investing their content marketing strategy into storytelling, the reason will most likely be: Emotions are an ultimate purchase decision driver. Purchases are firmly based on impulses, which is what marketers anchor on when reaching out to potential customers.
An effective ad that triggers deep feelings bypasses the need for a hard sell. If there’s anything that puts off a potential customer more than anything, it’s sales pitches that come off as too aggressive. With storytelling, your audience connects to a story that subtly persuades them to make a purchasing decision.
Whys vs. Whats
What separates storytelling from a traditional content marketing strategy is that it’s focused on sharing experiences (the whys) rather than facts and numbers (the whats).
When we refer to stories, we focus on sharing the core values of your business. Why do you operate? Appealing narratives tap on the limbic system or the structure of your brain that is responsible for feelings such as trust and loyalty.
On the contrary, presenting statistics and customer satisfaction rates, for example, taps on the rational part of the brain. What does your business do?
Storytelling entails creating content that humanizes your brand image – one that your audience can relate to – to help you stand out and engage more with your potential customers.
Building a sense of trust
How do you create loyal customers? You prove that you are a trustworthy business.
It’s no secret that brand image is crucial. According to research by Google in partnership with Motista and CEB, 68.8% of B2B clients are more likely to buy if they can connect with your brand. When it comes to B2B, personal value plays a significant role in elevating customer satisfaction and interest. While these aren’t the kind of emotions one might usually target (happiness, sadness, shock, and the like), it’s enough to influence their decisions.
Positive emotions lead to a greater sense of customer loyalty. Digital storytelling provides businesses with an effective way to turn customers into brand advocates. And for B2B companies, returning clients are everything.
Storytelling on a professional network
With digital storytelling, choosing a platform that you can put out your content is a crucial decision that can make or break your content marketing strategy. For B2B businesses, LinkedIn is an effective platform to connect with professionals and establish your position in your industry.
How exactly should you execute storytelling on your LinkedIn page? The following are great examples of compelling storytelling on the platform:
1. Customer stories
There’s nothing more effective than genuine recommendations to drive sales. Most true today, customers value authenticity above anything. Paid shout outs mean little to nothing, as more customers use reviews and real experiences to help them make the final purchase decision.
When you feature real customer stories, especially ones that appeal to their emotions, you’ll have an opportunity to demonstrate your credibility. Give your potential clients reviews that they can trust with no-filter documentation. One way to do this is by following an existing customer’s journey and publish real outcomes.
2. Stories about the world
Do you remember hearing stories about The Giving Tree as a child? When it comes to marketing, stories that simplify values are an effective way to reach out to your audience.
Using analogies to illustrate your brand and product is an excellent way to grab your audience’s attention. A quick example: If you’re a B2B company, you could liken your business to putting a wheel on someone else’s load – that load being your target clients – in that you exist to help them move their business forward with ease.
Simplified stories convey your ideas to your audience in an inspiring and engaging way, compared to merely narrating what you do.
3. Buyer persona
Another exciting way to share a story with your followers is by allowing them to see your business from a buyer perspective. Put them in the shoes of your current clients and explore your opportunities deeper, so they can connect with your brand on a more personal level. By providing them with a positive glimpse of what it’s like to work with you, you’re one step closer to influencing them to make that decision.
There’s no contesting that any content on your Linkedin page, if backed up by research and executed correctly, is a great way to boost engagement. However, as effective as it is, it doesn’t quite do the most crucial part of selling for you – making that pitch.
Very few people get excited over bullet points, percentages, and facts. Social storytelling is responsible for 65% of our conversations. And if your main goal for boosting content online is to engage with users, then you’ve found the perfect content marketing strategy for your brand.