Starting or maintaining a business can be incredibly challenging in today’s social media-driven world. Attention spans are fleeting, and businesses that fail to make meaningful connections with their audience run the risk of losing that audience. The art of standing out in a crowded business landscape is one that must be honed.
“Standing out and attracting attention has become a coveted skill,” says business and leadership consultant Justin Goldsberry. “There is an art to infusing music, humor, innovative presentations, and compelling storytelling into marketing strategies.”
Storytelling stands as a powerful tool for engaging an audience, ensuring that a brand’s message not only resonates but does so profoundly and emotionally. By fostering relatability, storytelling has a unique capability to leave a lasting impression on a broad audience.
Here’s how to approach using storytelling to get your message heard.
How to tell a story
For a story to leave a lasting impact, you must first consider your audience. Understanding who these people are and what kind of stories they relate to is the first step in utilizing storytelling effectively as a small business. Whether your audience prefers humorous narratives or is more drawn to wholesome, family-oriented content, tailoring your approach is key.
“One key thing to remember is that people tend to react more strongly to stories that evoke emotions, whether humor, love, or joy,” says Goldsberry. “Infusing your story with these emotions can help your audience connect with your story on a more personal and meaningful level.”
As Goldsberry explains, regardless of your brand’s target market or niche, storytelling should be a significant part of any comprehensive marketing approach. Today, when consumers are overwhelmed with advertising and campaigns, a well-crafted story can help your brand stand out.
Storytelling with style
“I coined a term a few years ago — Swagger Wit,” Goldsberry says. “It describes the confident, bold, and innovative approach that combines humor, style, and charisma in marketing. Swagger Wit represents a unique blend of these elements to create a captivating, memorable brand presence that often evokes joy and laughter.”
While Goldsberry’s innovative approach to storytelling works well, you needn’t create your own term to leverage storytelling in your business marketing. You just need to be authentic.
As consumers, most of us can recognize the difference between a brand that comes off as “transactional” or “promotional” and one that integrates authenticity and personal stories into its marketing. We’re more likely to remember brands that tell relatable stories. Take, for instance, a fitness center that shares success stories of its members overcoming personal challenges, like achieving significant weight loss goals or conquering health issues through dedicated fitness routines. Many people can relate to these struggles and triumphs, and they will be more likely to delve further into researching and learning more about that particular brand.
And yet, Goldsberry is on to something with his humorous and charismatic approach. Most people more easily connect with humorous stories, and the simple act of making a person laugh through your brand’s content can create a lifelong customer.
“It isn’t just about cracking jokes,” Goldsberry explains, “it’s about exuding confidence and charm that draws people in. It’s the art of injecting wit into your words and actions, making your message both engaging and memorable.”
The power of a good story
Whether you take a humor-based approach or tell a story that tugs at the heartstrings, storytelling within your business marketing can be exceedingly powerful. “As human beings, we are hardwired to respond to stories. Storytelling transcends facts and figures, tapping into emotions and experiences,” says Goldsberry.
Integrating storytelling into your marketing taps into the human desire and willingness to trust others who come off as authentic. People are more likely to do business with the brands they feel they can trust. Stories that show a person’s authentic personality and values will resonate with the hearts of your target market, building a foundation of trust and creating a loyal customer base.
Another benefit of storytelling is its power to set your brand apart in the marketplace. Everyone has their own unique story, but telling your own story, authentically in your own way, and in an ever-changing market is a sure way to get more eyes on your brand.
In a recent study, 68% of respondents said that a brand’s story influenced their purchase decisions. “The ability to captivate an audience becomes a game-changer in a world where grabbing attention is not easy,” says Goldsberry. If you ever wonder why certain brands stand out from the rest and seem to have an easier time garnering attention, they are likely using storytelling.
You might think you’re not good at telling a story, especially if it’s your own. However, even if you don’t have the experience of a seasoned business leader like Justin Goldsberry or the narrative style and charisma associated with other famous CEOs, the reality is that telling your personal story as a marketing approach is not as difficult as it might seem.
By integrating personality, authenticity, and emotion into your storytelling, you can harness the power of storytelling and distinguish your brand within a crowded marketplace.