How to Effectively Use Storytelling to Attract a Larger Following

All successful websites need a large number of subscribers, and should be designed for conversion. With great storytelling content that connects with your audience — your tribe — you can establish a credible brand online.

When authors don’t sell books, and business don’t attract new customers, I guarantee you that one, if not all, of the above is missing.

Your brand has a story to tell whether you are just in the beginning stages of your marketing or are well established. People want to know more about the human side of your company, and the response rate is high especially on social media through content marketing.

This is not a new concept, but one that can be easily overlooked. The power of stories not only provides more insight into a product or service, but increases the chances that your buyers will want to make a purchase.

It’s important to catch your audience’s attention right away with so much data coming in each day. According to a report by Hubspot 79% of people scan the Internet without reading each word. The right visuals will capture their attention, and coupled with an interesting or compelling video increases the chances of your content being shared.

Your ability to connect with your prospects can make or break their decision to buy from you. Building a loyal following depends on how you connect with your audience.

  • Are you believable?
  • Are you real?
  • Do you understand the problems and needs of the people you are wanting to help?

Does your visitor arrive at a standard website that only sells to them? Or does it help, teach or tell stories so that your audience can get to know you?

We often think that people decide to buy from them based on qualifications or a good book or product, or their number of years of experience. In reality it is largely based on how they feel about you.

People decide to invest with a brand they feel can understand their issues, challenges and problems. If you cannot demonstrate that you get what they are going through, they will not connect with you. Connection is key. In this infographic on Technology for Publishing, engaging content appeals to the emotions of your audience:

The website that looks good or professional is important, but without the human element your community may perceive you as not being able to solve their problems or overly qualified to understand their needs.

The bottom line is that people want to know that you are authentic, transparent and can make mistakes just like them.

You accomplish this human element by infusing some personality into your content marketing. Include the personal side of your brand such as things you have done that haven’t worked so well and the mistakes you have made in business and in life. And let’s face it, that gives ALL of us plenty to talk about, now doesn’t it? And it also gives people stories to connect with you on.

The moment a prospect says “hmmm that sounds like me too” is the moment they have connected with you and also the moment they decide you are the person for them.

Storytelling has happened from the beginning of time and the hero story always shows the hero’s flaws, rising above it all and overcoming an obstacle.

So open up and let more authentic you come out, and watch the response you get from people!

Depending on your target market, your brand will approach your writing in a way that is unique to your company. Here are some tips on how to create your own message:

1. Improve your content

Find out what it really takes to write a great story on your blog through research and educating yourself with other niche blogs. For example, a powerful beginning will draw your viewers into a video, and the setup of the main point or issue should follow. The conclusion solves the problem and shows your audience how your brand can meet their needs over other books or businesses. Form an emotional connection with your viewers or readers and keep them interested in the story.

2. Give them a desire to know more

Creating a hook to your message will generate an interest to subscribe for more information or to make a purchase. Use social media and email marketing techniques to invite your audience to follow your brand, and continue where you left off in your story with valuable offers.

3. Save the sales pitch for later

Once your brand has already captured interested leads you can direct them to a specific sales page where they can learn more about what you have to offer them. By writing interesting and compelling content your brand is perceived as real, and honest. Stick to verifiable facts and the parameters of your market, but don’t shy away from being creative. Take a look at what other brands are doing in what is similar to your message, and create something unique for your target market.

A good storytelling strategy for your brand is one that represents your book or business in addition to connecting an interested audience. Brainstorm ways you can create several different types of stories based on what you have can provide for them, and bring something original and enticing to your market.

Susan Gilbert uses her laser focus knowledge to coach and provide online marketing and social sharing programs for authors, speaker, experts and small businesses. She is the author and publisher of several books including “The Land of I Can,” and “KLOUT SCORE: Social Media Influence, How to Gain Exposure and Increase Your Klout,” Susan combines online marketing with strategic thinking to create successful programs. Working most often with authors and entrepreneurs, she understands promotion at a personal level as a regularly quoted resource in USA Today, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine and many more. Follow her Digital Marketing Tips at her blog: www.SusanGilbert.com

[Originally published on SusanGilbert.com]