We all know that marketing is important when running a small business; it’s the portal between your customers and your business. If you do it right, it’s what makes you appealing as a brand and keeps your customers wanting more.
One of the biggest components of successful marketing involves the act of storytelling. Storytelling has been around since the beginning of time. In fact, before there was even language, people were communicating through storytelling via dance and visual arts.
Ready to take your marketing to the next level? Here’s how to tell a good story:
1. Know your audience.
In order to tell the best story, you need to know whom you’re talking to. Your audience should and will affect your tone, word choice, font, coloring, and medium. Once you identify your audience, research their demographic to better understand what marketing tactics will jump out to them. For example, working moms will respond differently to marketing than teenage boys. Find out what’s important to your given audience and speak to that.
Today, it’s getting easier and easier to reach out to your target demographic. With Facebook, for example, when you boost a post you have the option of “choosing your audience.” You get to select the gender, age, interests, and location of those viewing your posts. It’s important to do your research so you can make the most out of these kinds of tools that can really help your brand storytelling.
2. Always map things out.
Whether you’re drafting an infographic, writing up a press release, or simply creating a poster, make sure there is a clear beginning, middle, and end to everything you do. Any marketing your small business produces should include an attention-grabbing opening, an informative middle, and an ending to wrap things up and make your customers want to support your business further.
Also, always be sure to check for any spelling, grammar, and spacing errors with a couple extra sets of eyes. Allan Branch from Less Accounting suggests the following process (specifically for writing longer narratives like articles): start with an outline, turn your bullet points into headers, elaborate on your header points, edit yourself, and add a conclusion. When you have a plan for your writing, it’s easier to get started because you know the exact steps it’ll take to get done.
3. Promote a call to action.
As previously mentioned, “making your customers want to support your business further” is your most important step. Why do we market? To entice customers to patronize our business. There has to be something in your marketing that makes your audience want to do something. The best stories don’t just sit there once they’ve been told; instead they elicit an emotional response, thereby prompting some sort of action. However, it’s important not to overload your audience with too many calls to action.
Is it possible to have too many calls to action when you’re trying to run a business and sell something? Douglas Karr from Marketing Tech Blog thinks so. He says, “You won’t find too many pieces of content that we produce not have a call to action, but we do share a ton of content without it. Not everything you do should be trying to sell, some of it should be trying to build both trust and authority with leads and customers. Always be selling may be a mantra in most sales and marketing strategies, but selling can also be a turnoff in some conversations. My rule of thumb is to always have a call to action when your goal is to motivate the person into a deeper engagement.”