What marketing story are you telling?

Let’s face it, it’s a busy market place out there and there are lots of messages and innovative ideas literally clambering for the attention of your target audience. So how do you present your message in an interesting and memorable way to grab your target audience’s attention and make it stick?

Let me enlighten you about what you can do to stand out from the crowd!

Offer something different

Obviously the first solution is to offer something completely different. Whilst many businesses say that they have their own unique customer-centred USP, when you break down the layers, very often what they are actually offering is something not that dissimilar to their main competitors. So whilst saying you are different is one thing, delivering something that is different and can resonate with clients and potential clients because of its genuine uniqueness is quite another.

Say something different

So bring on suggestion two. This is all about saying something different, i.e. presenting your message in an interesting and memorable way that gets people's attention immediately. Essentially what I am talking about here is storytelling. If you think that the evolution of our brains has not progressed much from our pre-writing, cavemen days, it will probably come as no surprise to learn that we still absorb information best via a narrative structure.

Many brands do use stories in their communications with their customers but often this is little more than a heritage story on the website or in the brochure. Storytelling as a marketing tool has far greater potential. But don’t get hung up on the technology or the intricacies of what you do, tell a story that will get people’s attention in a way that they will hopefully remember.

True brand engagement is more than just raising awareness; it’s about active participation. A campaign’s success cannot be measured only by the number of contacts. The extent of the contact and the depth of engagement are far more important. What could be more engaging to our cavemen brains than a good story?

So my five points to help you to achieve effective storytelling for your business are:

1. Don’t fill your home page, brochure or networking slot with meaningless generalisations. Be imaginative and use words such as delightful’ and ‘magical’. 

2. Don’t force your audiences to sit through tedious hours of PowerPoint presentations full of text that you just end up reading out to them. Next time be bolder, try PowerPoint slides without any words.

3. Make your case studies very specific and very personal, and inject some emotion.

4. Know your own story. Present yourself in a way that will make people remember. And face the fact that it is rarely what you do or who you work for that will be the most memorable thing about you.

5. Understand what your audience will respond to. Customers are better informed these days. Consider then that people who visit your website probably already know what you do – that’s why they are there! So maybe you don’t need to tell them what they already know – tell them something they don’t know about you or your business, something interesting and something they will hopefully remember. Concentrate on why you do what you do or how you do it

Thanks to the internet, we have all been given the opportunity to become storytellers through blogs (like this one) and social media. And more importantly, the internet provides people who want to listen with the opportunity to follow people and companies they find interesting.  They even have the mechanisms to instantly pass on your story to other people who may like to hear what you have to say. Never before have businesses had the chance to use storytelling as a marketing tool, to build a network of followers and to pull people towards them by being interesting.

So what’s your excuse? Become a storyteller now and see the difference it can make to your business.