Storytelling in a Small Business Marketing Strategy
Storytelling is a key element of a small business marketing strategy. With storytelling, you engage directly with your audience, inviting them into a deeper connection with your brand. Accessibility through social media platforms has made this easier than ever before, bridging the gap between business and consumer.
Large brands often rely on influencers to do their storytelling. A person who seems relatable to the target audience uses storytelling to talk about how they use the service or product in their everyday life. Small businesses may not have quite the same access to paid influencers, but they can use similar principles to be their own best influencer.
Small Business Storytelling
Storytelling in your small business often looks like a peek behind the curtain. Tell your audience something about how you came to be in business, your current life, how you came up with a new product or service, or how you developed your approach to service and ethics. When your audience learns more about who you are, your personality, and your values, they feel like they know you. If they connect with your story, then you are building the know/like/trust relationship that is vital to attracting clients.
Storytelling is often done well as a blog, video, or written social media post. As you scroll through your preferred platforms, take note of how other businesses use storytelling. Do you notice anything different about how the format of a post captures your attention?
Remember that storytelling does not always have to be completely focused on your business. Sometimes it’s okay to let people get to know the human behind the brand. Here are a few topics that may inspire you to tell your audience a story:
- Share a turning point in your life, your family, or your business that changed or inspired how you go about life or business today.
- Associate an element of your personal life with an awareness month or holiday. If it impacted your approach to business, or if you can use it to share helpful tips, expound on that.
- Give your audience a flashback episode of how you developed a product or service, or even how you got into business at all. What problems did you want to solve, and what milestones got you there?
- Do a case study to help potential customers see themselves in a client success story. Make sure to cover pain points and clear results for maximum impact.
- Tell the history about your industry or company that makes you proud to do what you do.
This style of content does not need to take over your marketing strategy. It is simply one of many powerful tools available to draw clients into your sales funnel.
Storytelling Works for In Person Networking
Storytelling does not need to be restricted to your digital marketing efforts. It’s also a way to make connections during in person events. If you do live networking and have an opportunity to share a 30-second commercial about your business, tell a story!
This story should fit within the parameters of the meeting structure, so it can’t require a lot of background or complex detail. Two great stories to tell in networking are how you recently helped someone and what kind of project you’re getting ready to quote.
The individuals in your group are more likely to remember what you do if you associate it with a real-world example. This is especially useful if you are in a fairly saturated industry. By telling a story, you give clues about your ideal client which makes it easier for networking partners to refer business your way.
Ease Into Storytelling in Your Marketing
Storytelling may be a concept that makes you feel a bit vulnerable whether in online marketing or in live situations. This is normal. Stories are more personal, so it can be uncomfortable to share about yourself at first. There’s no need to be an open book right away. Start with simple ideas in your comfort zone and expand as you feel ready.
If you would like to practice storytelling, brainstorm your ideas for this approach, or learn more about how working with a small business writing specialist can make storytelling an easy part of your marketing strategy, contact me to schedule a consultation. Together, we’ll come up with some great storytelling!