How to Market Your Business with Stories

When you create a story that connects the reader (your customer) to your product or service, you are much more likely to make a lasting impression and this leads to sales.

Just last night, my four year old son Michael asked me to read him a story. He skipped over to his bookcase and immediately selected his all-time favorite, The Little Engine That Could. Then we sat on his bed and I read to him. He was riveted.

We are conditioned from day one to seek the story. This carries through to elementary school and beyond. Today, novels, movies and TV shows, especially sitcoms, soap operas, and serials, are super-popular. Some soap operas have aired continuously for over 40 years now.

Use stories to power your marketing programs.

Stories get your customers and prospects involved in your business and your products. People remember stories. When you create a story that connects the reader (your customer) to your product or service, you are much more likely to make a lasting impression and this leads to sales.

Use these techniques to write a great marketing story.

A marketing story promotes your business. But the promotion is very subtle--the product or service is imbedded in the story.

  • Write a story around your product or service. My son selecting his favorite book illustrates our point, but the key is to create a story around your product. To promote your product you may not want to write about the Little Engine That Could. Instead, develop a story that shows your product or service in action.
  • Make your writing and the examples clear. I remember stories from my managerial accounting class (1981) where the professor illustrated the concepts with anecdotes (send me an email if you want the details).

    Use action words that create a mental picture. 'Skipped' is a more active and illustrative word than 'walked.' Skipped creates some excitement.

  • Create a character who has a problem that your product or service can solve.
  • Illustrate how your main character uses your product or service to solve the problem.
  • Write in third person: For example, 'Michael skipped over to his bookcase...'
  • Use 'You' rather than 'I' because your readers and customers are much more interested in themselves than you or your business.
  • Make the story personal, interesting and believable. This will engage the reader.
  • Consider quoting an expert or two to make your point and provide additional evidence.
  • Measure your length carefully. An anecdote may be 100 words or so, but you can write longer stories. Write enough to engage the reader, but not so much that the story overtakes your sales pitch.

    When you create a story that embodies your products and services and the benefits they offer, you can make a lasting impression on your target audience. You will increase the readers' connection with your company and increase the likelihood they will buy from you. Let me know how it goes.

    Eric Gelb,MBA & CPA, is a copywriter, content developer, and marketing consultant who presents on promoting with writing and marketing. Eric is the author of seven books including Book Promotion Made Easy; and the audio program, Promote Yourself and Your Business with Writing. He edits the Publishing Gold E-zine. Visit http://www.PublishingGold.com

      

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