Storytelling is pivotal to human nature. We began our tenure on earth as creatures who huddled around campfires in caves, telling stories of wild hunts, Poseidon, and witches. Now we’re more inclined to sit under a blanket and binge a Netflix series or tear through a novel at the beach during fall break. But despite how we’ve evolved, storytelling lives in our DNA.
Some of my most treasured memories involve storytelling. I remember sitting in a circle at school and the teacher would read The BFG as the rain beat down on the tin roof of our portable classroom. I remember being tucked into bed while my dad sang Puff the Magic Dragon while I gently drifted off to sleep.
These memories aren’t unique to me. They are wound into the very fiber of all of us and our humanity. If you look closely, storytelling exists all around us. In places you may not even notice. You can find stories on the back of your cereal box, in a 280-character tweet, or even through a powerful image.
At 72 million, millennials are the largest generation group in the US. In 2022, they make up the largest percentage of the workforce and parents. They hold a lot of purchasing power in our current market! Millennials are motivated by purpose, over money or power. Telling your story can connect them to your purpose. It builds an emotional tie between you and your customer/ client. It’s a foolproof way to prove your value.
There are 4 Major Steps in Storytelling Marketing
- Think closely about your target audience
Before you can create a story that resonates with your audience, you first need to know who your audience is. It can be tempting to skip this step or throw your hands in the air and say “I’m a bakery. My target audience is anyone who likes cake. Therefore, my target audience is everyone”.
But it’s imperative to spend a little more time with this. Ask yourself these questions:
- How old is my client?
- What gender is my client?
- What does my client do for a living?
- What kind of things does my client like/ dislike?
Get specific. Create a whole fictional world for your target client. If you’re not sure where to start, you can take a look at any previous customers as a jumping-off point OR describe your ideal client. What kind of person do you most enjoy working with?
- What will your story be about?
Choose whether your story will be centered around a product or service. What’s your endgame? Do you want to inspire people to walk into the storefront of your bakery? Or are you promoting your new cookie delivery service?
- Identify your customer’s struggles (and how you can fix them!)
What problems are your customers facing? How can you solve this problem for them?
Using the example of a bakery again:
Your customer values the finer things in life. They adore having beautiful treats for their holiday parties. But the last time they tried a Pinterest recipe, it ended up looking more like a trashcan than a holiday wreath.
You can fix their problem because you make the most artistic cookies in town!…AND you deliver. They won’t even have to add another errand to their holiday to-do list.
- Start writing!
Your story doesn’t have to be nonfiction, but we highly recommend it. It’s always easier to write about what you know. And if your story means something to you… your audience will notice that. Choose a story that resonates with your customers and highlights how your product/service can solve a problem for them. Sprinkle relatable anecdotes throughout your story (humor is always a bonus!). Make sure you end with a call to action and don’t be afraid to get emotional.
Where should I tell my story? I’m not tryin’ to write a novel!
Also known as a pipeline, email sequences are a long-email courtship. They are typically triggered after someone opts-in to promotion on your website. This can be anything from a discount code to educational material (like an e-book, for example!). A pipeline tells a story over a series of 5-30 emails. Ideally, your email sequence should have your potential customer waiting at their inbox every morning. It builds your credibility over time and inspires your audience to take action.
Blogs are a marketing tool that works for you in a couple of different ways. They are an amazing way to boost your SEO (AKA Google rankings!). By posting consistent blogs that are sprinkled with trending keywords, you can convince Google bots that your site is relevant and trustworthy. Once your customer clicks on a blog post, you can keep them interested with an engaging story. Blogs can entertain or educate. The BEST blogs have a mix of both!
The “About” section of your website
If someone is on the “about” page of your website, it’s because they’re looking to get to know you. The “about” page is an amazing place to WOW your potential customers. They’re not looking for a resume. I mean, what can anyone do with the knowledge that you graduated from the Harvard of cupcake decorating? The story of YOU is much more powerful. How you started, what motivates you, and what keeps you going when times get tough. Is it the smile on your customer’s face? Is it the beautiful sight of flour dust in the ray of sun that shines through your morning window? Don’t hold back. The beauty of your story lives in the details.
We get it. This process can be a lot to overtake. Luckily, storytelling is what the Alchemy Collaborative does best. If you need a helping hand, we would love to get to know you. Shoot us an email anytime!