5 Reasons To Tell Your Story Online
Last updated on August 29, 2019
Digital storytelling will be the most important communication trend affecting public relations in the next five years, according to a global communications report. As a result, businesses should consider incorporating digital story telling into their public relations campaigns. It’s a powerful tool to communicate “cause and effect” through emotion and connections, which help retain the content. In a world of information overload and overstimulation, online storytelling allows businesses to cut through the clutter and deliver their key messages in a memorable way.
Here are 5 reasons why you should tell your story online:
1. People buy your story, before they buy your stuff.
The fundamental challenge with selling goods and services is that they are “flat” or one-dimensional. You might sell services, such as accounting or insurance. Or, you might sell a product, such as lighting fixtures. Other companies do too. What makes your products/services so different?
Well, that’s why you need a good story. A story allows you to add layers of interest, which makes it more attractive and compelling. It also enables you to connect your product/service to a person or its history and make a link to nostalgia. Nostalgia can be anything from a childhood memory or an old car. A study on nostalgia marketing, revealed that the feelings of social connectedness that arise from nostalgia make people value money less and spend more freely.
Visual stories are an especially effective form of storytelling for user experience (UX) and can elevate your content marketing strategy. These kinds of stories focus on readers’ interest and transform text into compelling content. You can tell stories through different visuals including photography, video, audio, illustrations, and infographics, in addition to other forms of graphics like charts.
2. People will pay more for an experience.
If you’ve ever been in a wedding, you know what I’m talking about. Want to cut your catering bill by 40 percent? Don’t tell them that you’re getting married. Through storytelling, you can create a product/service that’s unique. The easiest way to increase margins is to be different.
3. People converse online.
On average, the world’s internet users spend 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day, according to We Are Social and Hootsuite’s latest collection of Global Digital 2019 reports. If they haven’t talked to anyone, where are they getting all this information? They’re getting it online.
In today’s digital world, no one needs to do business with a stranger. As a result, you not only need to be found online, but you need to be “seen” once you’re found. Your business must have effective content marketing to make a good first impression online, in addition to being positioned as helpful and likable.
4. Feel + think = believe.
If you want to influence another person, perhaps change his/her mind, you need to make that person feel something and think something. When that happens, they will believe something.
The “feel” component refers to the emotional aspect and the “think” component refers to the logical part. That is why a $1 bill, which costs 4.9 cents to make, is worth 100 cents. A story can check both boxes. It also can be applied to all mediums such as your website, social media, public relations, etc.
5. Helping is the new selling.
How can you attract prospects to your business? The answer is simple: karma. What is karma? At CMA, we’ve created our own business interpretation of karma called the Karma 2-Step.
To understand it, you have to answer these two questions:
1. Generally speaking, who do people do business with?
Answer: People do business with people that they like. That’s why the button on Facebook reads “Like” not “Buy.”
2. If people really do business with people that they like, who do people like?
Answer: People like people who help them! And that’s it. Today, people no longer seek, they search…meaning they search online. Every browser offers a search box that allows your prospect to type in their problem. So how do they find you as the solution? Tell a story that leads them directly to their solution.
Social networks provide an additional opportunity to tell your story. When you share content on a social media site, you tap into other target audiences, spread your information beyond a web post and can tailor your message for each site. Some examples of content that you can share include blogs, video blogs (vlogs), case studies, press releases, white papers and webinars to name a few.
CMA helped the New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA), which advocates for 110,000 registered nurses, end a five-year membership decline by telling a story that positions NJSNA as the defender of the profession. The social media program drove more than 21,000 nurses to NJSNA.org and more than 200 to the “Join Now” page. The social effort also grew followers (+44 percent) and engagement (+19 percent), which compelled more commitment from existing members and prospects. In addition, NJSNA’s membership grew 47 percent in one year.
Digital stories are effective in providing important information about your products/services, while captivating your target audiences in an interactive and emotionally charged way. You can start by thinking about your business and the stories you can tell. By doing this, you’ll increase your chances of making a strong connection with your current and prospective customers through digital media.
Are you interested in learning more about why you should tell your story online? Contact us today, to begin the conversation.
Kenneth Hitchner is the Director of Content Strategy at CMA, a full-service communications, marketing and association management firm, which has provided its clients with award-winning and proven results for more than 30 years.