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No matter who your customers are, compelling storytelling can reach them. As beneficial as solid storytelling can be, many business owners have yet to tap into its power.
Creating a compelling brand narrative and using stories as a way to connect with current and prospective customers positively influences your ability to incite brand loyalty, and ultimately, your business’s bottom line.
Before we dive into how to go about creating a successful story, it’s important to note that there are considerable benefits to creating a narrative for your eCommerce business. First, stories help illustrate exactly how your products benefit your customers. Second, they allow you to break down complex concepts and share them in a way that your audience can comprehend them. Finally, storytelling is hugely influential because we all come from different backgrounds, but we come together over stories that resonate with our hearts and emotions.
It’s one thing to understand the benefits of creating a narrative for your eCommerce business, but it’s another to do the work developing those stories. Fortunately, creating a narrative for your eCommerce business doesn’t have to be something you dread.
Here are ten tips for creating a compelling narrative that resonates with your eCommerce business customers and remaining enthusiastic throughout the process.
Learn About Your Customers
You can’t tell a story that resonates with your customers if you don’t know who they are. Your narrative will have the best chance at resonating with your customers when you understand who they are, what prompts them to engage with specific stories, and how to get them to take the desired action at the end of a story.
Compiling customer data through customer analytics can give you some insight into:
- Key demographic information
- How your customers move through the buyer’s journey
- What they want from brands they invest their money into
- What stories they engage with and how
- What CTAs resonate with them the most
- What platforms they’re engaged on
- What they’re saying about your brand or the products you offer
- Their values
- What missions they support
- Purchasing behaviors
After doing some thorough research on your customers, create your buyer personas. Buyer personas are essentially customer profiles that detail demographic and other information about your ideal customers.
Many business owners simply list out this information and call it a buyer persona. Instead, you can take your buyer personas to the next level by creating fictional stories about how these customers conduct their daily lives and find your brand in the process.
As you flesh out your customer stories, ensure your brand story is rooted in them.
Make Your Brand’s Story All About Your Customer
Although it’s tempting to make your brand’s story all about you and how you came up with the superb concept for your business, it won’t draw in customers as you think.
People care about a brand’s history, how it was formed, and who created it, but they’re more concerned with how your business and its products can help them thrive. That needs to be the core of your brand’s story to encourage deep customer relationships.
Make your customer the hero of your story, and your business the guide that helps your customer be the hero, like Yoda is to Luke Skywalker or the fairy Godmother is to Cinderella. Share details about your brand, but ensure the story is mostly about how your brand serves its customers.
Next, create an outline for your story.
Create a Story Outline
All good stories start with an outline. Sure, there are writers out there who can pen a story without the help of an outline. They’ve likely honed their storytelling skills over the years to get to that point. So, if that isn’t you, an outline will do wonders for your ability to tell an irresistible story.
What kind of story are you telling? What is the purpose of your story? What is the core message? What details will you talk about to support this core message? How long will it be? How will you structure it? What images or supporting visuals will you use? What call-to-action will you use? These questions should be answered in your outline to ensure your story has a sturdy foundation.
After creating your outline and writing your story, choose the media that will help the story reach your customer’s hearts the fastest.
Choose the Most Impactful Media
The work doesn’t stop after you create an outline and put together a solid story. One of the most critical parts of the process is choosing what medium will tell your brand and other stories the best. This means selecting the media that your customers find most impactful.
For example, let’s say you learn that your customers love video content, so you choose to create a video to tell your brand’s story on your website’s “About” page. You could move forward with creating that video on your own. However, ensure you’ve got some education under your belt about how to create excellent video content and set up a professional production to provide a high-quality standard that sets your video apart.
In addition to choosing the most impactful media for your story, choose the most effective platforms to share it.
Share Your Story on Your Customers’ Favorite Platforms
You could create the best story ever, but your customers will never experience it if it isn’t somewhere they frequent. For example, if your customers use Instagram daily, posting your content on Facebook would be unproductive. So, ensure you’re sharing your story on your customer’s favorite platforms.
Data analytics tools can determine which platforms and communication channels your ideal customers use the most. Set these tools up and ensure you’re revisiting this question regularly to keep up-to-date on how to reach your customers best.
But no matter what platforms you choose, ensure a consistent brand experience.
Ensure a Consistent Brand Experience
A consistent brand experience is crucial in creating a narrative that resonates with your customers. Without it, your customers will have a hard time associating your story with your brand, leading it to be less impactful.
Your brand’s story must be consistent across all of your communication channels. The tone and messaging you use, the way you structure your stories, use images, and other visual content should be recognizable to your customers no matter where they encounter your stories. Additionally, you want to ensure your brand colors, logo, typography, and so forth are the same across the board as well.
Another way to create a successful narrative for your eCommerce business is to study how others brands do it.
Study Other Brands
There are brands out there creating impeccable narratives. There are others in the beginning stages of learning to use storytelling efficiently. But then, some haven’t even started their journey with storytelling. You should be learning from all three.
Exploring how other businesses in your industry are creating narratives that stick allows you to educate yourself on what could work, what probably won’t, and what’s missing in these brands’ attempts at telling great stories.
Studying other brands will also likely inspire you to finetune your storytelling skills so that you can make better use of compelling narratives in your eCommerce business.
Fine Tune Your Storytelling Skills
Just like with anything, the more you practice storytelling, the better you’ll get at it. The only way to find out which storytelling concepts and techniques resonate most with your customers is by trying them out. And you’ll feel more confident about experimenting with them as your skillset grows.
You can polish your storytelling skills by:
- Doing creative writing prompts
- Sharing stories verbally with your team
- Listening to others share their stories
- Reading books on how to be better at storytelling
- Following experts in the field
- Taking courses on storytelling
- Finding a mentor in the field
- Listening to podcasts on storytelling
- Spearheading content projects in your business
- Brainstorming with your team about how to better business storytelling
- Writing short stories each day
- Committing to working on a specific storytelling concept or technique each day
As you fine-tune your storytelling skills, also contemplate how an expert can take your stories to the next level.
Enlist the Help of an Expert
There’s always someone out there with a little more skill, natural talent, ability, and knowledge than you. If it’s cost-effective and makes sense for your goals with storytelling, consider hiring an expert that can help you optimize storytelling in your business.
Experts that can help you create better stories are:
- Creative writers
- Content writers
- PR professionals
- UX writers and designers
- Freelance writers
- Visual content creators
- Communication specialists
- Social media professionals
Lastly, leverage customer feedback to see just how well your customers are relating to your narrative.
Leverage Customer Feedback
Is your business doing what you said it would do for customers? Hopefully, the answer is yes, and one of the best ways to showcase this is by leveraging customer feedback.
Your narrative is that much more impactful when it’s backed by your customers. So, ask them about their experience with your business and how your products have helped them. Then, when you get that feedback, share it on your social media pages and other platforms to further the authenticity of your narrative.
Ultimately, getting feedback from your customers can help you continue to refine your brand’s story and ensure you’re doing what you said you would for your customers.
It’s incredible what creating a narrative can do for your eCommerce business. With a solid brand story and commitment to telling your customers’ stories effectively, you’re on your way to more conversions, better brand loyalty, and overall company longevity. Use the tips above to create powerful stories about and throughout your business.