This week I’m going to be talking about exactly how to use corporate storytelling to empower your business and skyrocket your blog.
Last week was National Storytelling Week, and I did a special video about stories and why they are so awesome and amazing. I promised you I would be back with more details on exactly how to use corporate storytelling to build a phenomenally powerful brand, and create a marketing powerhouse in the form of your blog.
There are loads of ways to use stories to build your brand and market your business; I would literally be here all day if I tried to go through all of them. So this post will focus on five, and I will be back later to explain some of the rest….
How To Use Corporate Storytelling: The Emotional Punch
One of the most vital ways to use stories to empower your business is through the emotional impact they have; stories pack a real emotional punch.
There is a false perception in the business world that marketing has to be very logical, very clinical, very unemotional. The theory goes, “There is no feeling in business”.
Sorry, I’m calling bullshit, that’s a load of crap; there are loads of feelings in business.
People are really emotional beings – thoughts, actions, and most importantly, decisions all turn on emotion, and stories carry some of the strongest emotions going.
Science tells us that LOGIC + EMOTIONS = DECISIONS.
Most of us have the logical part of marketing down. Most of us understand that if we explain, in a way people can comprehend, what their problem is and how we can fix it, they are going to buy from us; that’s the logical course to take in marketing.
The problem with this approach though is that it completely lacks emotion. It also often completely lacks anything even vaguely interesting. It’s a very clinical, very sterile way to try to convince people that your brand is right for them, your products and services are right for them, and that they really want to get on board and work with you and nobody else.
That kind of decision takes emotion, that kind of decision takes a connection on an emotional level between you and your potential clients.
Through the use of corporate storytelling you can learn how to craft stories that speak to people on a really deep, emotional, primal level. Stories that compel them to not only buy your products and services, and love your brand, but also become lifelong customers.
Stories can get people invested in you and your brand a hell of a lot quicker than anything else. And because of that emotional connection, people are going to move to action faster. Stories trigger people to action far quicker than anything else because they talk to their emotions as well as the logical parts of their brain; they tap into both at once.
There is a logical narrative to a story that can explain something in an easily understood, logical manner. But there is also an emotional narrative that’s going on at the same time, which makes you feel a certain way.
And what is it that all marketing does? It tries to get people to act on a call to action.
Marketing is built on calls to action.
We put them in everything – blog post, sales pitches, web copy, newsletters; everything. Calls to action get us paid; stories make people act.
How To Use Corporate Storytelling: The Memories
Another great way stories empower your business is that they are truly memorable. How many times have you listened to a seriously dull sales pitch? You hung up the phone, logged off your email, switched off the Telly, or just walked away and started talking to somebody else, and within five seconds you have completely forgotten that pitch. You may have a vague recollection of it if somebody mentions it, but you won’t remember the specifics, you won’t remember the main points that all the marketing behind that pitch were trying to get across to you.
There’s a simple reason for that: the majority of marketing is just not memorable.
If you want your points to stick, if you want people to retain the information you’re so painstakingly telling them, you need to craft a message that is truly, truly memorable.
A memorable message consists of your key points, very clearly articulated and nothing else.
Stories are a way to quickly and easily make your points in a compelling manner that people actually remember, without having to go into a load of detail that they don’t care about and don’t need to know, that’s just going to put them off and drown your real message.
Stories trigger emotional responses in us, and those emotional responses translate to memories.
When somebody tells you a story and it affects you in any way, good or bad, if it has an emotional effect on you, you’re going to remember it. Whether it makes you feel happy, sad, uplifted, empowered, or simply makes you laugh, it doesn’t matter, you’re going to remember it.
That is an astonishingly powerful tool to use in your marketing. You can tell a story, and use it to put across your marketing message, your pitch, and the points that you have to drive home. But because it’s a story you have done it in such a way that it’s not only entertaining or empowering or uplifting or funny, it’s memorable, people will remember it.
Another tenet of marketing is that it takes a lot of touching to get people to buy into your brand.
I’m not being dodgy. I mean you have to connect with people multiple times before they will actually get on board and buy what you are selling. They might read a tweet, an email, or a blog post, see a video, get your newsletter; it doesn’t matter what the form of contact is. You need to be talking to people, touching them, and connecting with them multiple times before they will actually relate to you enough, and be invested in you enough to part with their money.
If you combine the power of video and stories (because video is the most powerful media there is available), you have an astonishingly powerful marketing tool at your disposal.
People remember stories and the messages they carry much more quickly than they do everything else. There is a reason that adverts on telly often tell stories. Which adverts do you prefer? Which adverts do you actually pay attention to? Which adverts do you remember? They are the ones that tell a story, the ones that make you feel something, those are the only ones you remember.
You can’t buy a brand if you can’t remember what the brand is.
How To Use Corporate Storytelling: The Distinct Brand
So, now that you know that stories are emotionally powerful and extremely memorable, let’s talk branding.
Specifically, how to use stories to make your brand more powerful.
The answer is really simple: archetypes.
Archetypes are stories that have been and will be around forever. They crop up in every single culture across the world in one form or another, same story, different characters, different details; these are archetypes. There are archetypal plots, and archetypal characters; you can use both in your branding. They are really simple and very effective ways of crafting a stupendously powerful brand that is also very distinct.
The thing with branding is you need to be able to create a really memorable brand; a brand that is very distinct, that does something, says something, supplies something that only you can do.
That’s the only way to create a strong brand.
If your brand wishy-washy and unclear on what it represents, if it’s just, ‘Same old, same old, everybody else does this, what’s new? I don’t care!’, then nobody is going to pay any attention. A brand needs something distinct that sets it apart, something that differentiates it from the competition.
Stories are the perfect way of putting across your ideas, your principles, your methods, your products in such a way that they simultaneously talk to people on an instinctual, primal level, which they intuitively recognize and respond to, and at the same time create a brand that’s very different.
This is the magic of archetypes.
Archetypes give you the blueprint. You are the dressing, the details: your personal experiences, your philosophies, your education, your background, your aspirations, your passions, your goals. These elements of you are the characters and details you are going to infuse that archetype with, and craft a story everybody already knows, but make it yours.
You create a brand that is universally understood, completely different, and entirely your own, all at the same time.
That is one of the strongest ways that stories can empower your business: giving you a distinct brand.
But stories can also be used in this way to empower your blogging. Filter all of your blogging efforts through the archetype system, when you use archetypes – archetypal plots, archetypal characters – to tell your story, to explain to people what you are doing, who you are, what you have, and how it will make their lives better. Suddenly you go from being a ‘Same old, same old’ to a ‘Oh my God, I want more! Oh my God! I must have that’.
The way to get people to have that gut reaction, that visceral ‘I must have that now!’ response is to make yourself stand out. To make yourself so unique, so interesting that people just want more.
Want more on archetypes? Check out How To Use Archetypes To Revamp Your Vision Into An Irresistible Brand…
How To Use Corporate Storytelling: The Imaginative Spark
Stories capture the imagination, they are inherently interesting.
Stories are what we turn to when we’re bored.
How often have you been bored to tears at work, come home, slumped on the sofa and switched on the telly?
You’re looking for something interesting, something fun, something to take your mind off all that mind-numbing work you have done all day.
You are looking for stories.
And they are supplied in the most insane numbers these days, they are everywhere. Gone are the days when the only forms of stories were told around the campfire. We have bookshops, websites, and e-readers that are full of them. And if we haven’t got enough stories from our books, we can switch on the telly or go to the cinema and there are a million more.
TV is nothing but stories.
It doesn’t matter what channel you’re on – the news is stories, TV shows are stories, films are stories, every single thing you watch on television, including the adverts, are stories.
So if the we turn to stories for fun, why on earth don’t we use stories in our business to make our business less boring?
How many times have you tried to pitch to somebody and you felt that you were losing them?
How many times have they looked like they were about to fall asleep on you?
How many times have they started checking their phone, their email or just walking the other way when you are talking to them?
You’re not holding their interest. And that is nothing to be ashamed of; it’s really difficult to hold people’s attention these days. Our attention spans are getting increasingly shorter, but the amount of information that we need to convey is getting increasingly more complicated. Marketing is getting so much harder every year, because the things we have to explain to people, the things we have to convince them of, are getting more and more complex. And yet, they are not able to pay attention as long as they used to be. It’s getting to the point where people need to get your message in the space of seconds or you’ll lose them.
When you only have a few minutes, or even just a few seconds to capture somebody’s attention, you need something that will capture their imagination rather than boring them to tears.
Stories are the way you keep people’s interest; they are inherently interesting. If you tell them right, they are not only interesting, they are incredibly entertaining. You want your audience to be informed and entertained at the same time.
How To Use Corporate Storytelling: The Motivation
Stories also have a massive motivational impact on us. If you have gone to all the effort of connecting with people on an emotional level, if you have managed to explain your methods to them in a way that they can understand and relate to, if you have made it memorable, if you have differentiated yourself from the competition and really stood out from the crowd, and if you have kept them entertained in the process, you are almost home.
There is only one more thing that you have to do, but it’s vital.
You have to motivate them. You have to get them to actually take action.
As I said earlier, marketing is all about getting people to act upon a call to action.
What exactly does that mean? And how exactly do you get people to act? How do you motivate them to take the specific action you want them to take?
All good stories have a moral at their core. You know the expression, “The moral of the story is…”
You can use the message of your story, the moral of your story, to drive home your point, the objective that you are trying to achieve. You can use the moral of your story to compel people to take the action you want them to take, simply because your story has convinced them that what you want is the right thing to do.
How good is that?
Stories can convince people to do what you want them to do, not because you have tricked them into it, not because you have flashed a load of shiny objects at them and offered them a load of free stuff, not because you have undercut the competition, not because of any of the marketing tricks you can think of, but simply because it is the right thing for them to do.
And the majority of people are hardwired to always do the right thing if they can.
So, now you are on board with the how and exactly what stories can do for your business, you probably want to get down to the nitty-gritty and figure out exactly what it is you need to be doing, day in, day out, to use stories in this way, and to get that awesome power into your marketing.
Don’t worry; I am here to help.
I will be back with more tips and tricks on how to use corporate storytelling in your business really soon. Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you never miss a video!
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