It’s 4 pm, and the clock is ticking. Only an hour left before my deadline and all I’ve got on the page is a blinking cursor. I contemplate smashing my laptop in frustration, but remember that everything automatically saves to “The Cloud.” So I’ve got no choice but to find a way to start this post. That’s when it hit me. All I need to do is tell a story.
If you’re still with me, then you’ve just witnessed the impact that storytelling can have and how it can pull people into hearing your message. Now imagine if you used this engagement tactic in your inbound marketing strategy. Big brands like Coca-Cola have mastered the art of storytelling, which entices audiences to buy their products in an attempt to be a part of the stories they create. After all, who hasn’t seen a commercial of someone sipping an ice cold drink on the beach and wished we were there?
But just how critical are stories to your inbound marketing success? Let’s find out.
Why are Stories Important to Inbound Marketing
We’re often taught that a good headline is the key to increasing traffic to business’ website or blog. The more enticing a headline, the more traffic you’ll get. While in some ways this is true, an attractive headline won’t be enough to keep a prospective lead on a page. Stories, however, are.
By nature, our brains crave stories. When we listen to or read a story, our brains become more active and act as if we’re living the tale rather than hearing about it or reading it. Because of this, we become more engaged in a story and are likely to remember details from it more than a list of facts. That’s why when we find a good story, we can’t seem to tear ourselves away from it.
Think about it. Have you ever gotten lost in a really good book that you couldn’t put it down? The same concept applies when we use stories for inbound marketing.
Structuring your website and blog with compelling stories and great headlines won’t just attract more website traffic, it’ll boost reader interest and increase leads and conversions for your business as well.
How to Use Storytelling in Inbound Marketing
The options are endless when it comes to using stories in your inbound marketing strategy. Here are some of the best practices you should consider.
Understand Your Target Audience
Before you should even start developing a story for your inbound marketing strategy, take the time to understand your target audience. What types of content topics would they be interested in? What are the solutions they need? Once you’ve gotten to know your target audience, you’re ready to start the structure of your story.
Think About Your Writing Style
You also want to think about your writing style. It’s best to create website copy in a more conversational tone. Doing this provides an easier way to incorporate stories naturally. Most importantly, it delivers the personal tone that attracts and entices your consumers.
Make the Story Personable
Consumers can sniff out a sales piece and exit your website within seconds. However, implementing stories into your inbound marketing strategy can keep them on the page longer and even turn them into customers. Why? Because storytelling can provide the interpersonal relationship consumers crave. According to Business2Community.com, topics that focus on human interest like customer success stories can captivate their attention and evoke a positive, emotional connection to your business.
Using storytelling tactics in your inbound marketing strategy should spark emotion within your readers. These emotions can play a big role in whether your potential customers will choose your service or product. Use these emotions to structure the content in a way that shows that you can provide the solutions to their problems. The best way to do this is to tell a story of how you can solve the issues they are currently facing.
Make Your Copy Descriptive
According the Sensible Marketing, the most effective stories paint a picture with words. So avoid using graphs and tables. Instead, describe the benefits of your product and services. For example, if you’re ta dealership, try writing a guide to why a customer should to choose a specific model in your inventory and describe the benefits its most important features can provide for them. This will hold the readers’ interests better than just providing a list of features and will show them the exact reasons why they should purchase that car.
Inbound marketing and storytelling go hand in hand. So take the steps needed to ensure marketing success for your business and incorporate these best storytelling practices to your next campaign.
And to really help you ensure inbound marketing success, check out our free Create Killer Landing Pages eBook to help you better engage visitors and convert leads.
Stream’s Kick-Start Step
Storytelling isn’t limited to your website’s blogs. You can also use it to give potential customers an inside look at your company to build trust. One way to do this is sharing the story of your business’ founder and how they build your company. You can also post employee and customer stories about how your product or service has helped them.
Until next time,
Jennica Torio is an Inbound Marketing Copywriter at Stream Companies, a full-service Philadelphia-area advertising agency.