Secrets to Effective Storytelling

When it comes to business and online marketing, storytelling is not your average Once Upon A Time narrative. You’re not out to create some fictional genesis of your company or fairytale rise to the top. What you’re aiming for is a way to connect with your customers or potential customers by forging a common link and being relatable. Since we’re all pressed for time and when it comes to business tips, want a fast way to get to the heart of the matter, let’s jump right (or is that write?) in!  You can use the structure of effective storytelling in a variety of formats such as behind-the-scenes, meet-the-owner, about-the-business, tips & tricks, and many others.

Set the scene and introduce your main character(s).

Whether you’re talking about your business, a service you provide, a product you sell or member of your team, create the context so that it isn’t about your accomplishments but about humanity. This is what I mean when I say ‘relatable’. Us as the audience need to see ourselves in what you’re presenting. This makes it more captivating and emotional.

For example, your business is a fashion retailer for plus-sized women. You started the company because you wanted to give women beautiful and flattering casual clothing that makes them feel and look great. This sets your scene, a passionate and understandable motivation to make a difference for your customers.

Create conflict or tension.

Every story needs adversity or a challenge that drives the character or the hero forward. With your audience more emotionally invested, they will stay interested for longer. If the reasons for your business existing in the first place are the result of meeting a personal need, that only adds to the poignancy of your story.

As the fashion store owner, you might be in the same circumstances as your clientele and so it’s relevant to underscore the conflict with it being very much a personal struggle. Share the challenge of trying to find suitable products, of high enough quality or flattering cut to empower the wearer and imbue self confidence.

As you come to the resolution of your story, show change.

This type of transformation is not only inspirational for the audience, it allows the character to promote what he/she learnt from the experience and how, as a result, he/she is different. As a business you are aiming to solve someone’s needs or address gap in the market. Whatever it is you do impacts someone somehow. Your story’s resolution should demonstrate that.

In this story, the resolution is not only finding clothes that meet the need but how it makes the wearer feel, compliments from friends and a sense of greater self-belief. The emotional pay-off is what the customer is ultimately buying, not only the garment(s).

As a business, building a rapport with your audience is vital to them stepping over the threshold of trust to become customers. In the online world, especially with video marketing, you have a powerful way to reach and touch new prospects every day with a good story. They’re more memorable, more shareable and more viral than straightforward advertising.

Vitamin Media is a video production house, but first and foremost we’re storytellers. Finding the emotional hook, the connection between you and your audience and putting that on screen is what we love to do. What’s the story inside you?