Many experts agree that telling your business’ story to customers helps them learn more about you and make you more personable. However, several marketing studies show that customers are not only more likely to ‘buy’ what you are selling if you attach a story to that item.
Indeed, storytelling has proven effective at improving marketing strategies, for everything from boosting purchase cost and rate to increasing conversion rate.
Need some proof? Sure – you don’t have to purchase research paper on the topic; just try google it. For example, a study by Origin tested a group of 3,000 consumers by presenting each with a different product page for a bottle of wine; one that contained the typical product description with notes of flavor and a second that told the story of the winemaker who produced the bottle. The results are fascinating: There’s a 5% increase in the number of bottles purchased from the page with the winemaker’s story and a willingness to pay a 6% higher cost.
Those same principles can be used to boost conversion rates with storytelling; here are some strategies for using storytelling for your company.
Strategy 1: Focus on How You Fit into the Lead’s Life
Think back to the last time you made a purchase serious enough that you did research. For example, when you chose a car dealership to lease your new car through or booked a hotel for a romantic getaway or a relaxing stay-cation. Did you want to read the generic listing about features of the hotel and the hotel room or did you scroll through customer reviews and read stories about people who had great times? Did you consider what the car dealership said about their services or what previous customers shared about how the dealership improved their life or benefited their family?
Today’s customer is interested in the story—not the product or service. By using storytelling, the product or service becomes real to the customer. They start to visualize where this item may fit into their life. For example, a website that offers paper writing help is more likely to attract customers by advertising the different ways they have helped students and businesses who found themselves in a tight spot.
Strategy 2: Create a Visual Image
In 2014, DemandGen Reports did a study and concluded that the use of infographics in marketing jumped from 9% to 52%. It only makes sense that creating a visual image with your story excites that same visual center in the brain that drives conversions. Not only does creating that visual image help increase conversion rate, pairing storytelling with an image drastically increases views and shares across social media platforms.
Strategy 3: Use Storytelling Over Statistics
Everywhere people look, they are bombarded with facts and yet another sales ad, trying to push some product on them. Rather than being aggressive when you want a potential client to do something, be it sign up for your e-mailing list or consider your service in the future, the research shows it is best to let them come to you.
The numbers do little to convince someone of something—they don’t care if 4 out of 5 homeowners share their problem. Instead, you must paint a picture of the problem. Use storytelling to tell them about a similar problem, about yourself or a fictional character. Then, explain where you come in. Create that connection first and then tell your potential client how to take the next step.
Strategy 4: Connect with the Customer’s Struggles
Have you ever listened to an advertisement or read an article where it started off with a strong statement like, “We’ve all been there.” This first statement creates intrigue—you want to know what they are talking about and why they think you understand the experience. Typically, a type of struggle follows, be it the anger that comes from being jerked around by your car insurance company after an accident or the constant worry that comes with being a first-time parent.
When you use storytelling to prove that you understand how the reader is feeling about a certain situation, you earn their trust. They know that you understand what they are going through. Then, you become the person that is best able to solve this problem, whether it is by providing insider tips through your e-mail, connecting them to all the latest marketing news through your blog, or selling them a product or service.
Storytelling is a practice as old as time—much of the history of various cultures around the world has been pieced together using stories passed down through the generations and ancient artifacts. By using storytelling, you can connect with potential leads in a more effective way. This can boost conversion rates, promotes sales, and create that long-term connection that you need for a successful business-to-client or business-to-business relationship.