school work, write, still life

How to be Effective at Business Storytelling

Engaging with customers is essential to growing your brand. A great way of doing this is with storytelling.

In this blog, we’ll cover how business storytelling works, why it matters to your business, and some key tips to help you do it well.

What is Business Storytelling?

Business Storytelling is content designed to create a connection between your brand and your customer using a story.

It increases engagement and brand advocacy with your existing customers and helps reach out to new audiences as well.

Using a storytelling strategy throughout your business allows an audience to understand what you stand for and your goals. With this knowledge, audience members can choose to stand with you and help achieve your goals by keeping you accountable or moving on.

Almost any piece of content you create can be made into a story and you can use it on your website, in social media posts, launching a new product, or to summarise events.

Why is storytelling important?

Stories are a great way to create a connection with the reader because it promotes emotion and relatability.

Building this emotional connection and trust with your readers makes them more likely to become an advocate for your business and buy into your product/service.

It shows your audience what you stand for and how you want to impact the world.

Your audience is more likely to buy from you if they feel they can help you to make a positive impact.

4 Types of Business Storytelling

Four different types of business storytelling can help engage and market to an audience.

1. Customer stories

The most effective use of customer stories is through testimonials. A testimonial acts as a review that showcases positive attributes from the product/service

When audience members see a testimonial from a product/service, they are more likely to purchase it.

With the rise of social media, public positive and negative testimonials have flourished.

Fabletics, a sportswear company, has benefited from social media testimonials with their own hashtag #MyFabletics. This hashtag is showcased in their Instagram bio with “Use #MyFabletics to be featured.” to encourage posting. Fabletics receive promotions and in turn, the poster may receive promotion back.

At the time of writing, there have been 135,357 posts.

Fabletics used this to their advantage on their website, with a page dedicated to showing the latest looks using the hashtag. Links to the products being worn in the photos are provided.

2. Origin stories

These types of stories allow the audience to gain an understanding of the origin of the business.

This can help to promote what the business stands for and is a great way to show what your business cares about, sharing this information, you can gain an audience that stands for the same things you do.

Dannijo started when a psychology student called Danielle went on a trip to Lwala in Kenya where she noticed high rates of HIV but no nearby hospital. From this Danielle and her sister designed jewelry to sell and create funds for the first health facility for the community, later in 2008, they launched Dannijo.

This story informs the reader why the business sells its products and also gives inspiration with the empowerment of its customers. Customers are more likely to buy their products because they feel like their money is supporting more than just the business and customers feel greater about their purchases compared to other businesses.

Sisters Danielle and Jodie, founders of Dannijo

3. Event-based stories

After hosting a public event for your business, create a story explaining why you ran the event.

Giving the reason why you did something and showing the outcome engages an audience. It shows you are actively trying to make a difference.

Since 2003, Innocent Smoothies held The Big Knit. This is an event where smoothies are sold with knitted hats and for every bottle purchase, 25p is donated to AgeUK. In total, they have raised just under £3 million for AgeUk and plan for the event to be held again.

This was successful because anyone could get involved by either participating in knitting the hats or just buying a smoothie with a hat on. A separate website was created providing information on the event and tutorials on how to knit certain hat patterns.

4. Unveil products with a story

When introducing new products, it is essential to create demand.

One of the best ways to do this is through a subtle story about the product. This creates emotion around the product which makes the product more wanted.

Levi Strauss & Co is a fashion company that was founded in 1853 and because they evolved their product lines, they are still popular today.

From advertising in California during the gold rush to miners with their rugged pants now to young people, Levi Strauss & Co has created a deep, meaningful product story that evolves through generations and continues to resonate with their audience.

Levi Strauss & Co has a section on their website that is dedicated to showcasing the history of their jeans and how they have evolved in design. This leveraging of the business’s history has brung success because customers feel they are buying more than just jeans.

Tips for how to tell a story effectively

These are some things to keep in mind when planning and delivering a story:

Identify what makes your business unique

First, identify what the business stands for (why are you doing what you are doing?). Use that to make yourself stand out from your competitors.

Cliques are boring and predictable, remember to share emotion and a story that empowers your audience to make it memorable.

Utilize the Golden Circle framework

The Golden Circle is based on three questions, “Why are you doing what you’re doing?”, “How will this help your audience?” and “What are you offering?”.

This framework, if used effectively, can connect your audience to the business via emotion and human behavior, using an admission statement at the end sets the tone for the business.

Use essential story elements (character, story, and resolution)

Every story should contain a character, conflict, and resolution. Having a character gives the audience a person/entity to follow and relate to, the use of first, second, or third person can affect the results.

Putting a character through conflict spikes emotion in the audience.  Bring clarity to the audience by providing a resolution.

Be authentic and consistent

Businesses that use a story to portray the reasons they have their goals should be authentic in doing so. They set an expectation for themselves to keep. If they don’t keep to the expectation, they can lose customers

Be clear and concise

It is essential to make sure your story is easy to understand and read. Make sure the story is straight to the point. Lengthy content leads to the reader becoming overwhelmed and they will move on to a different piece of content.

When forming a story, keep in mind these elements to create an engaging story for your audience.

The 4 P’s

People, Plot, Place, and Purpose, when writing a story is an essential structure to formulate an engaging story. To do this, focus on who your character is, have an interesting plot, and set a scene that is easy to imagine. When writing the story, ensure the content is easy to follow with a purpose. This is so your readers can take something away from it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.