Powerful Storytelling Techniques to Share with Your Clients
At the heart of any great marketing campaign is a compelling story. People can do business with any number of businesses and brands; what makes your client’s brand stand out is storytelling that builds a strong sense of trust and loyalty.
Storytelling may seem like an ambiguous concept, but there are some concrete steps that you can take to ensure that your clients are telling a clear, compelling, and cohesive brand story everywhere.
Share Their Passion
No one starts a business because they feel lukewarm about their work, but businesses aren’t always great at sharing the why behind their business idea. Enthusiasm is contagious, so when you’re able to help your clients’ customers really see their passion, you can help to build a strong brand with a high likelihood of winning return business.
Using video is a great way to create engaging and dynamic content that reaches out and grabs viewers. It’s much more interesting to see business owners and their dedicated employees speak about their passion on camera than it is to read some paragraphs about what the company does.
Of course, you can’t create compelling video if you don’t have great content. The most important step in sharing a business owner’s passion is in getting really specific about defining the business’s value proposition. Helping your client to identify their ideal customer and come to understand why their existing customers like them will allow you to develop clear messaging around what it is that makes their business special.
Go Behind the Scenes
Customers love to feel like they have a personal connection to the people behind the brand. Think of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson. These are founders who have established global identities not just for their businesses, but for themselves. Part of the allure of the Virgin brand is that Richard Branson has branded himself as a visionary and a bit of a maverick. People are drawn to his individual story, and want to do business with the Virgin brands, at least in part, because he seems like a cool person.
Letting your clients’ customers get a behind-the-scenes look at their businesses can help them stand out from the pack as well. Have the founders attend events or host webinars or online chats where customers can interact with them and get to know them on a more personal level.
Ask enthusiastic team members to get involved, too. Having different employees from departments across the business share a little bit about themselves—whether that’s through a guest blog post on the company blog, a “social media takeover” day where they give customers a look at their daily work life on the company’s social platforms, or even an interactive and fun “About the Team” page on the website where employees share a bit about their favorite activities outside of work—is a great way to help customers feel like they’re engaging with real people when they do business with the brand. It also lets customers feel good about supporting a small business when they can put an actual face to the company name, and understand that they’re helping these individuals to keep their business going.
Engage Their Fans
The stories that a business tells about their own brand are important, but it’s just as critical to make sure that their customers are telling the same story (and, ideally, with the same level of passion and commitment).
Engaging brand ambassadors, loyal customers who love a brand, is a great way to spread your client’s story. You don’t need a lot of brand ambassadors in order to create a lasting and significant impact—you only need to select a few customers who have the right platform and level of excitement to share the story.
Turn to existing online platforms and identify the customers who are already posting positive reviews about your client’s business. Once you’ve identified the most passionate fans, turn your attention to those who have the largest social media followings or some other platform for sharing their views and opinions (a YouTube channel or blog, perhaps). Reach out to those users and engage them in conversation about the brand and your client’s products or services.
If your client’s business isn’t yet on the radar screen of anyone with significant pull online, you can also consider targeting influencers who are similar to your client’s customer base. It’s common for brands to reach out to someone with an online following and to offer a sample of the good or service they provide. If the influencer is impressed with the product, it’s likely they’ll make a mention to their online community.
Leaning on voices of fans lends another layer of legitimacy to the brand’s claims. If an outsider is that excited about what the brand is doing, then the company must really be doing something right.
Create Value for the Customer
The most important element of brand storytelling is showcasing your client’s value for their customer. This goes beyond the value proposition. Every piece of content that you create for your client should add value for their customers. If you’re creating blog content, make sure that it’s results-driven and provides readers with information that they can put into action in their life. If you’re managing social media, make sure you’re sharing content that will resonate with your client’s customer base. If you’re redesigning their website, make sure it’s easy to navigate and succinctly answers the questions that prospects will be looking for.
Once you’ve created that valuable content for customers, you then need to ensure that they have a way to act on what they’ve seen. All content that you create for your clients should include a call to action. On their website, you should ask them to reach out to your client for a consultation. On social media, you should ask followers to get involved in chats and forums where the brand can be a resource for answering questions. Facebook and LinkedIn now have advertising capabilities that allow you to include forms where users can fill out contact information and submit to the brand.
Always make sure that you’re fully leveraging the valuable content you’re creating for your client by providing their prospects and customers with a clear call to action and means to reach out to the business for help.
Storytelling is one of humanity’s greatest and oldest traditions. Humans want to feel a real connection to others, and developing a compelling story for a brand can help to drive customer loyalty and trust for your clients.