We’ve been telling stories for thousands and thousands of years, dating back to when cavemen drew hunting stories on stone to brag about their adventures. Telling stories is an innate way for humans to communicate and build relationships. Think about any date you’ve ever been on. When getting to know one another and trying to develop a relationship, you wouldn’t simply spit out your own features, rather you’d tell your story.
Example 1: “I have a great job. I have green eyes. I wear size 7 shoe.”
Example 2: “I love what I do. I help people achieve their dreams every day and I wouldn’t change that for the world.” –Or- “My parent’s always told me that my green eyes run in our family because we’re of Irish decent. My great grandparents emigrated here from Ireland.”
Which example is more likely to strike a chord with your date? People don’t buy features and benefits; they buy your story. Take a look at five reasons storytelling is important to your marketing strategy:
- Stories strengthen relationships
Your stories create connections with members on a deeper level than standard marketing tactics. By telling your brand story and sharing member stories, you’re creating invaluable emotional connections between your members and your brand. Good storytelling that creates the ultimate connection are those that aren’t necessarily about you, your products, or features, they are stories about emotions, experiences, needs and wants.
- Stories create experiences
By telling your story you leave lasting impressions on those who come in contact with you. By creating a story-based experience, your audience walks away with something way more tangible than traditional product-based marketing message. They walk away with an experience that they are more likely to remember.
- Stories are more likely to be shared
When was the last time you called your friend to tell him/her about the features of a new checking account you just opened? Probably not recently. But if you saved money by switching to a credit union and felt like you family from the moment you walked through the door, you might share that story with your friend, no? Sharing of stories has been amplified by social media, making storytelling that much more important to your brand.
- Stories shape information into meaning
Remember that grade school teacher who always told stories while he/she taught? Sure you do. That’s because those stories made you remember the educational content better than the boring teacher who just taught textbook content. Stories can help shape useful information into inspirational, shareable content.
- Stories are less likely to be resisted
The average consumer is exposed to over 5,000 marketing messages per day (Yankelovich Consumer Research). When we know we’re being sold to, we tend to close our ears. Miraculously, when someone tells us a story, we are captivated and have all the time in the world to listen. Telling your story will help break through the marketing clutter that consumes people today.
A great example of a credit union that uses storytelling in their marketing is BECU.