We have all been to those presentations.... I'm talking about the ones where the speaker comes armed with PowerPoint slides, tons of data points, charts, graphs and motivational quotes. In our world, we call that "product dumping." While it seems like a good idea on slide 22 to keep adding more bullets to your message the reality is that it will likely not be memorable for about 99% of your audience..
Now think about another presentation where the speaker uses a powerful story to get his point across. I'm guessing you could remember the speaker, the location, the stage, the context of the story they were telling, and maybe even the point they were trying to make. Its a little easier to remember that kind of presentation isn't it? Why? Because great stories create great memories.
My grandfather was a great story teller. He used to tell me about his battles in World War II, how he met my grandmother, a giant fish he caught and his greatest rounds of golf. He knew how to capture my attention as a young boy. He understood the power of a story well told I'm not even sure how many of his stories were actually true. But they sure were memorable!
A great story, when told well and at the right time can change lives.
As for marketers, a great story helps compel customers or prospects to take a desired action. Here at Banyan Creative we believe in the power of telling great stories.
What is Story-Based Marketing?
Story-based marketing is the strategic use of narratives (otherwise known as stories), rather than data or descriptions, to sell a product or service and build out a brand. It can be used in video ads, print ads, social media, websites, and anywhere your organization reaches your audience of prospective buyers/investors/donors/clients.
Why Does it Work?
We live for stories. For centuries, stories have been used to entertain, teach lessons, and pass on history. It makes perfect sense that these same stories would increase your ability to connect with your audience. So why use Story-Based Marketing in your content marketing?
Stories Make it Memorable and Meaningful
Using stories, you’re able to communicate complex messages simply and memorably. Of course, the facts and figures are important, but let’s be honest: Too often they go through one ear and out the other. The data is much more likely to make an impact if the viewer can attach a name, a face, or a story to your info.
Stories Show Rather Than Tell
Audiences today are more marketing-savvy than ever. They rely more and more on recommendations from friends and doing research on their own. They are more likely to resist a message if it’s too direct or heavy handed. Today’s consumer doesn’t like being told what to do — but by showing them rather than telling them, you can guide an audience to a conclusion without outright telling them what to do.
Emotions Are More Persuasive Than Facts
Stories are so powerful in a marketing sense because people connect with them on an emotional level. While facts and figures can be compelling to the logical mind, a well-crafted narrative appeals to our empathetic, emotional side, too. Stories also show off your organization’s values, which builds trust with your audience.
Crafting a compelling story is an excellent way to establish your brand, share your message, and show your audience why it matters.
How Can You Use it?There are several ways to incorporate storytelling into your marketing strategy. Here are a few tips:
There are a ton of exercise apps out there to help monitor, track and share your workouts with your community and social networks. With the rise of Peloton and on demand fitness tied into social media platforms you can expect this trend to grow.
We do a lot of cycling here at Banyan Creative and recently launched a bike tour business called Yellow Bike Tours with a few partners. We are testing out ways to get that business more visible online and one of those ways is through apps like Strava that aggregate and track all our riders data for link building.
We came across Relive.cc and so we decided to give it a try. Relive.cc is an overlay on Strava which allows you to visually see via Esri which specialize is spatial data, GPS mapping and analytics, and track your progress, top speed and images shared. Following your ride you get an automated email with your ride summary and fly over video.
Check out our latest ride here. Friday afternoon spins after a busy week are just what we needed. Two thumbs up for Relive! See you on the road.
Ok, so you've decided to invest in the long term web presence of your business using SEO. Welcome to enlightenment.
Here are some important things to consider before setting up the SEO portion of our marketing budget.
Older businesses may be doing well in search rankings and have lots of online content, but their websites could have that are holding them back from getting into those top positions. A common issue with older sites is that they are not mobile friendly and long term will be dealt a penalty in rankings by Google.
Lost images, broken links, unresponsive site design, and other technical issues can cause serious SEO problems. Companies dealing with such issues should devote more of their budget to technical SEO improvements, page optimization, and user experience, all of which are factors in ranking on the search engines.
How Much Should I Pay Someone for SEO Work? It's possible to hire an in-house SEO specialist; however, they're not easy to find and most businesses won't have enough work to keep them busy all year round. Another option is to outsource the work directly to an SEO specialist. Independent SEO consultants typically charge between $90-$190 am hour based on experience. Before we go any further in this discussion. Most experts in their craft will charge at least $100/hr. How much do you charge in your business?
If you are looking to spend as little money as possible on SEO, that's probably your first mistake. That might even be your overall approach the marketing. But often you can expect minimal results for minimal investment. There are no shortcuts with SEO. Let me repeat that: THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS IN SEO. But not all SEO firms are created equal. But the very best all employ very similar strategies recommended and approved by Google for long term growth.
Need help with your small business SEO strategy? Give us a holler and we will buy you a cup of coffee in downtown Matthews, NC.
Sam Casey is the Chief Creative Officer and Managing Partner at Banyan Creative.