Today we’re diving into the importance of storytelling in your business and how that can boost your conversion rates by 30%.
This past week, I had a client meeting and we were going over revisions on her website. One of the concerns she brought was that she was worried because we had so much copy on her homepage, she didn't want the visitor to lose interest. And we got into a really great chat and discussion about why it's so important to build your story, especially on your homepage and to make sure your ideal client has the opportunity to buy into you, and your business.
It's not enough anymore just to post your services on your site or put what you do in a brief mission statement. That's an antiquated way of showing up.
It's important these days to make sure you are giving a holistic view of your business. So many recent studies have shown the importance of storytelling, making sure that your potential client can get a feel for who you are, and the who and the why behind the actual business.
Storytelling gets a bad rap, though. For a long time, in the business realm, storytelling was seen as fluff. It was unnecessary. The important thing was sharing the facts, the data research, focusing on the details of success, how do we get from point A to point B. A boardroom 20 years ago probably looked night and day different from a boardroom today.
Business now has morphed into a way to connect, it's not just about a transaction anymore.
And consumers these days are bombarded with sales pitches and stimuli all day, every day in our inbox, social media, as we're driving down the street... and it all becomes noise to us. It's to the point where I automatically ignore an email if the subject line includes numbers in it. Subconsciously, I see that as being yet another sale or promotion trying to get me to just spend money.
And consumers are wise to this...
Our business climate today is far more preoccupied with values, with sustainability, improving our environment, making meaningful investments, connecting genuinely. We don't want to just buy FROM a business anymore, we have to buy INTO it.
We have to buy into the values and the "who" behind the business so that we can feel right about getting behind them. So with this shift, storytelling has become a crucial part of that. It's a crucial part of any marketing strategy. You look at any of the big brands...
Nike doesn't just sell running shoes, they paint this whole experience that you're sure to get when you buy their shoes.
Rolex doesn't just list their watches on their site next to the price tag. That's not how they've built their reputation. They sell this persona, this prestige that comes with wearing their brand on your wrist.
You look at companies like Tesla, Tesla's not just another car company. They've targeted their ideal client perfectly, and they attract customers who want to move towards a more sustainable future without having to sacrifice any of the aesthetics.
So these companies are painting a picture. They're telling a story, they're building a culture, that someone sees and they resonate with. And when you resonate with the brand messaging you want in. You want to be part of the club. Then, at that point, any obstacles to becoming a customer become very minimal and a lot of the resistance fades away when that connection has been made.
And I can speak personally when I really buy into a brand and I feel like my values resonate with their values... I become loyal. I want to talk about that brand to other people. I want to continue buying from them. Price doesn't matter. as much because I've found something that I resonate so much with that it's worth it.
So the question then becomes, how do we "storytell" in a genuine way where it doesn't sound too fluffy or not genuine?
I think for a lot of business owners today, they feel like storytelling can feel forced or they feel like that doesn't apply to their business. And I think we've encountered that a lot with more mature businesses, they've been in the business scene for decades. And they have a hard time feeling like storytelling has a place.
But once we incorporate storytelling, the statistics go through the roof.
The conversion rates go through the roof because we've offered an opportunity for their ideal client to actually make a connection with us.
There are several ways to incorporate storytelling in your business.
COPY: Probably the most obvious way is through your copy or your wording. And that all begins with a solid brand strategy- making sure that you have a consistent brand voice, brand messaging, brand identity. All of those foundational elements inform your copy. They inform how you talk about your business. And that should be disseminated throughout your entire business- from the CEO to office manager to HR- every single person should be adept in your brand identity and messaging and know how to explain it. With the brands we work with, we go through brand voice, what are some go to words, go to phrases, so that when people are talking about your business, they don't feel like they have to reinvent the wheel. It may feel and sound repetitive to you. But it's not going to sound repetitive to somebody coming to your website for the first time or even the second time. It's important to make sure that you are staying so incredibly consistent that to you, it may sound a little repetitive and boring, but to somebody else it is fresh.
IMAGERY: An overlooked part of storytelling is imagery. That can be photos. It can be graphics. People take in imagery way faster than they take in copy. It takes a visitor 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about your site. That's practically no time at all. And the first thing that we digest are images. So you want to make sure that your images are totally on brand. And please, please, please, don't opt for stock photos if you want your brand to be taken seriously. Stock photos communicate absolutely nothing about your specific brand. Unless you had a brand strategist curate stock photos for you, then you need to invest in a photographer. It is well worth the investment. Get some good solid imagery so that you can incorporate that and have that paint the picture of your messaging.
SHOW AND TELL: Another way to storytell is through show and tell. Showing the consumer what it's like to be part of your brand. That might be through tutorials. It might be through DIY videos. It could be behind the scenes videos. Showing them what it's like to work with you, what the process involves, and showing the face behind the brand. We're naturally inclined towards wanting to make connections with people, especially as we watch them work, especially as we watch them move and talk and act like normal human beings... like us. Bring people into your culture and give them that immersion experience. When they jump on your site, your goal should be that they lose themselves in it... they lose themselves in your brand and your story. Bring them into your world so you can make a genuine connection.
HONESTY AND TRANSPARENCY: Another way to storytell is through honesty and transparency. 46% of consumers say they would pay more to purchase from brands that they trust. So trust goes a long way. Being honest goes a long way. How can you do this without sharing your outright weaknesses? Share what are you really gifted at. What is your niche? Because that actually does communicate honesty. That shows where you excel and what kind of projects or services or client is outside of your scope and capability.
66% of consumers think that transparency is one of the most attractive qualities in a brand. Make sure that you are showing where your limits are, where you excel so your ideal customer can see that, acknowledge that and automatically that trust is being built. Show your process. What does it take to work with you? Now this obviously depends on what kind of business you're in and what services or products you're offering. But giving them a very simply step by step (no more than a few steps) of what it would take to work with you. Is it booking a call? Is it filling out a form? This way people feel you're not hiding anything from them. And if they're inclined to want to buy from you, it looks pretty easy. We're trying to reduce resistance, we're trying to reduce the amount of obstacles that might come into play. So show them how easy it is to work with you.
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES: Another way to storyteller is by sharing customer experiences. This can be written testimonials or sharing videos. This not only shows authority and builds social proof, it adds a more dynamic feel to your brand. So we're seeing the end product, we're seeing what we could be like and where we could be going if we were to partner with you.
CONSISTENCY: And then last but not least, consistency. Consistency is one of the most important aspects of storytelling. So if you're a luxury brand, your brand voice should not be casual. You shouldn't be dropping the F bomb here and there. Those would be conflicting messages. So you want to make sure that you're staying consistent. If you have a certain logo on your website, and then a totally different one on social media, that all tells a different story. Automatically the consumer starts to distrust what's going on because they're seeing multiple "faces". So make sure that you're staying consistent across all platforms and your storytelling is consistent so that your your ideal customer knows what to expect from you.
These are just some quick tips to maximize your storytelling capability on your website in particular so you can increase your conversions and take your business to the next step.