The art of storytelling has been around since the dawn of time. Gathering around to exchange stories has engaged friends and strangers alike, drawing individuals closer to hear deep meaning, inspiration or humor. There is power in storytelling, and that’s one of the reasons why infusing storytelling into marketing is so important!
See how we discussed Company Storytelling at our recent AMA event:
The value of a story
The story behind a company or organization is priceless. But often, this story gets lost in the humdrum of everyday tasks. The core DNA of your company lies within the first pages of the story. If you have yet to fully piece together your company’s story, consider answering questions like these: How did the company start? What challenges have you overcome? What is your mission statement? How are you making the world a better place? As every superhero story reveals, the backstory of a character is what makes them interesting.
You might offer the same exact service as your competitor, but the story you tell is what will set you apart. Discovering the passions and specialties within your company are a few ways you set yourself apart from the competition. If there are 100 other companies just like you, what makes you different? How do you benefit the customer? The passion, rather than the product, is what sells.
Customers and Fans
In an article by Forbes, Shep Hyken dove into the psychology behind how storytelling and marketing go hand-in-hand. Hyken explains that passion is a different type of competitor because it targets both a fan and a customer. It’s easy to observe the passion that a musician might have for a particular popular band, but can that same passion be replicated in a corporate business realm? It most definitely can!
Developing fan-type relationships with customers means paying attention to their needs, speaking directly to what they want to hear, and answering questions (even the tough ones)! Customers want to know that you’re attuned to the issues going on in their realm of business. Creating fans, in turn, will have individuals spending more time paying attention than the average customer and being more engaged with your content.
Integrating Company Culture Into Hiring Strategies
Company culture is another piece of your story that deserves time in the spotlight. In the AMA Hiring Strategies blog, panelist Andy Dulka, CIO of Restaurant Technologies, spoke more about how culture impacts marketing. Andy said, “I do a culture interview as one of the first touches. I want to know who they are, what they’re looking for, are they going to be a good fit in our culture, even before we get into the technical aspects of that.”
Having company culture at the forefront of an interview is beneficial for multiple reasons. First of all, it helps screen out any candidates that might not be invested for the right reasons. Unfortunately, some candidates are interested in a position only for monetary or status purposes. Secondly, it helps candidates understand what their future of work will look like beyond the interview. Your story should be at the forefront of your hiring strategies.
Telling Your Story Organically and Listening to VoC
The last crucial piece of using your story within your marketing strategy is ensuring that you tell your story organically and, in-turn, listen to the voice of your customer. An overused narrative does not benefit your customer, and eventually they’ll lose their focus on the product or service. The trick is figuring out how to tie your story to key messages to connect with a large audience demographic during the right moments. You could have the most compelling story ever told–but if you tell it at the wrong time or for the wrong reason, it won’t make an impact.
The second piece of telling your story organically is listening to the VoC. The voice of customer insight provides feedback that you might not hear around the conference table. A Gartner study on SuperOffice.com showed that listening to the customer can increase upselling and cross-selling by 15-20%. Over the years, Marcomm has also found it helpful to incorporate voice of customer insights into our clients’ marketing strategies.