You can make money with storytelling. Want proof of that? I'd love to. The fact that storytelling increases the value of a product was confirmed more than a decade ago.
In 2009, Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn bought 100 random items such as a plastic banana, a Russian figurine, a paperweight in the shape of a globe, a shot glass, a saucer with a cat motif - in other words, kitsch that is gathering dust in many basements and cupboards.
The average price of the items was $1.29. The two asked writers to come up with emotional background stories for each item. At the end of the sale, the 100 items they paid $129 for fetched $3,612.51 on eBay.
The winner of this promotion, which became known as the "Experiment with Insignificant Objects", was a shot glass. Bought for $1 and sold for $76 - the glass achieved a whopping 7600% increase.
Storytelling is so effective because it creates an emotional connection between a company, its products and its customers. Especially in difficult times, when cutbacks are the norm instead of the exception, trust and loyalty form an important currency. The closer the connection between company and customer, the harder it is to cut.
That's why we recommend these 5 elements when it comes to storytelling for marketing:
Customer focus - Solve a problem your customer has. You or your product are not the heroes of the story, your customer and their problem are. Position yourself as a guide who knows how to solve your customer's problem.
Focus on the problem - Analyse exactly what problem you are solving for the customer and make the solution an integral part of your storytelling.
Show empathy - Empathy means seeing through the eyes of the customer. You should develop a deep understanding of who your customers are, what challenges they face and what motivates them to act.
Have a plan - People don't act unless they know exactly how. Therefore, show your customers how to do business with you in three simple and clearly formulated steps.
Call-to-action (CTA) - Clearly state what next step you expect your customer to take. Don't allow hesitation during your sales funnel in the first place. Use a precise CTA and avoid generalities like "learn more" or "info".
We understand that in this situation you may want to handle many tasks in-house. Our storytelling experts are happy to assist your marketers with effective storytelling coaching. You can make an appointment to discuss your problem here.
PS: Did you know that the shortest story consists of only 5 words? "For sale: baby shoes, unworn."