Want to know one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience? Instead of just telling them about you and your product or service, tell them a story. Our roots as humans go back to oral communication, and from the time we were children, stories have captivated us — not just the fairy tales we listened to at bedtime, but the stories parents and relatives passed down about their lives. We remember those stories, because they’re more meaningful and memorable than raw facts.
Marketing stories can either be factual, as in case studies, or they can be fictionalized examples of common issues or problems. Here’s a sample of each, with the case study first.
“Saladstravaganza serves nearly two thousand salads on an average weekday to its health-conscious Manhattan customers. Preparing the ingredients for high-quality salads is time-consuming, and any product that trims time as it trims stems and leaves means the produce purveyor is more profitable. One of the most labor-intensive jobs at Saladstravaganza was coring fresh radishes. Until recently, it took one employee more than 90 minutes to prepare all the radishes for one day’s salads. Now, thanks to the Veeblefetzer Model A2, that employee finishes the task in less than 20 minutes with less waste.”
And a fictional-type story: “It’s another busy morning, and your staff is rushing to prepare the day’s vegetables. Two employees called in sick this morning, and you’re struggling to get everything ready. Frankly, something has to give, and right now, you’re thinking that you may just have to forego your trademark radishes. You just don’t have the hour and half it would take to core them all by hand with a paring knife. But this morning, there’s a new tool on the prep table. It’s called a Veeblefetzer, and it’s about to add better than an hour to your morning.”
Either of those examples will do a better job of attracting and captivating a prospective customer than a straightforward description of your product and its benefits. That’s the magic of storytelling.