Sell Your Story

Sell Your Story


Many people don’t buy products anymore – they buy your business’s story. That means companies must constantly refine their stories and present them in innovative ways. A brand story envelops your mission as a company, your culture and your history:

How did you get started? Why do you do what you do? Where are you going? Because shoppers are so connected through social networks, marketers should present their stories in such a way that people will want to share them and connect with them.

One advantage of social media is that we can have some control of our story. We can either passively hope people find our story appealing — or we can intentionally shape it to try to resonate with prospective customers. Here are a few suggestions on how to convey a more powerful story:

Develop your ‘why’

One of the best things a company can do is be transparent about why it is doing what it does. My favourite model to help brands push past the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of their story and find their ‘why’ is Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle Theory. This theory focuses on ‘Why do you wake up in the morning?’ and ‘Why are you so passionate about this?’

Not sure how to brainstorm your ‘why’? Try these suggestions:

  • Ask your customers: Put up a blog or Facebook post asking your customers why they stick with you.
  • Ask your employees: Your team is the closest to what you are doing and the why behind it. Ask them what motivates them to come in every day.
  • Read your web mentions: Google your company’s name and see how people are talking about you out on the web.

Share your ‘why’ distinctively

Make your story engaging and easy to share. Social media consumes one out of every five minutes spent online, according to a study by US-based digital analytics firm comScore. That suggests your audience is spending a significant amount of time online sharing content. Here are ways to get customers to share your content:

  • Put a video on your site. Rather than just telling your story in text, create a video as well. It could feature employees talking about why they work for you and how they hope the company’s products or services will help customers. Make it personal.
  • Post photos. One of the easiest ways to enhance your story is to add images to your site or social network. If you have a cool office or store, showcase it. Also, post photos of customers and your team to highlight the people behind your brand’s success.
  • Add a few quotes. Get quotes from your leadership, customers and business partners that help tell the ’why’ of your story. Then showcase only the words or sentences that really tell the story and give them a beautiful visual treatment.

Give your ‘why’ more real estate

Is your company’s story tucked away in the footer of your website with an ‘Our Story’ link? If so, give your story greater visibility. Ideally, it should be laced throughout the text on your entire site, but that can be challenging. Start with some of these baby steps toward giving your story the spotlight:

  • Put it on the home page. Rethink which content should get this prime real estate. What could be better than putting a video up on your home page describing why your company exists and why you do what you do? Tell people something that encourages them to learn more about you.
  • Link to it from social profiles.  Companies are investing heavily in social media and teams to manage those conversations. Make your story a critical part of that interaction. Link to videos or website pages that help your followers understand what makes you special.
  • Write about it on your company blog. Transparency in business resonates with customers, so talk openly about both your company’s struggles and successes.

Marketers should rethink what they are selling. With so many products and so much noise in the social sphere, your story can really differentiate you. Careful attention to how you tell that story and how you showcase it can make all the difference.

Artist, Connor Mccreedy, explains how to live your brand. Read it here

Joanna Lord
Joanna Lord is chief marketing officer at BigDoor, a customer loyalty technology start-up. Lord is also a social media enthusiast and frequent conference speaker on topics ranging from performance marketing, inbound marketing, data analysis and retention programmes.