Storytelling is one of the most successful ways of selling. As humans, we have been telling stories since the beginning of time; it’s in our nature to relate and be drawn to them. The art of storytelling can be what sets a brand apart from just being a company. Great stories give people a reason to like and relate to your business.
Stories are 22x more memorable than facts alone. Imagine what this retention ability can do for brand recognition and sales processes.
In this article, we’ll explore three ways you can use storytelling within your own sales process to help strengthen customer relationships, build brand ambassadors, and ultimately convert more leads into sales.
3 Successful Storytelling Tactics to Use in Sales
1. Host Virtual Events- (Live Storytelling)
Events are a fantastic way of sharing and telling great stories. They give your brand a platform and an engaging content opportunity. Live events tend to work better as 80% of people prefer to watch a live stream over regular content like blogs. However, don’t feel like if you’re not in a position to host a live event, then you should disregard this option- there are more ways you can entertain this form of content in your sales process.
Live webinars or social media live sessions need to incorporate storytelling tactics to keep your viewer engaged and to give them an idea of where the event is going. A good story comes and goes in waves, and you’ll need to do the same with the event.
By this, we mean to host your event at different speeds. Think about how you can have quieter, slower moments to give your viewers time to process and passively engage. Alongside how you can have busier moments, filled with excitement and energy to get your viewer active again. Let viewers come out of the event feeling as though they’ve experienced something- just as they would with a great story.
The great thing about virtual events is that they can give you ever-green content that you can continuously use as a lead capture opportunity. As long as you don’t place a time-stamp on the event topic, then pre-recorded events could be the thing for you.
Pre-recorded events allow you to really fine-tune your content, and publish something you’re happy with; overall, minimizing risk while providing something valuable to customers. You don’t need a whole production crew to create a great event. Sometimes, a laptop and a smart video tool like Loom are enough for you to get your point across. Your viewers will come for the quality of the topic quality, not the production.
Whether you choose to create a pre-recorded event or feel confident enough to host a live event, both can benefit your sales process and funnel greatly. From top-of-funnel keywords and topics to attract potential customers to product awareness or “how-to” style webinars- the choice is yours.
Be sure to thread storytelling and storytelling tactics into your events, impact the viewer with emotion, and give them a reason to remember and buy from your brand long after the event is over.
2. Create Thoughtful Email Journeys (Ongoing Storytelling)
Any email journey should harness storytelling tactics. Each email within the journey should end on a minor cliff hanger- to keep your reader wanting more. This form of ongoing storytelling will give your reader something to look forward to each time you land in their inbox.
By using storytelling in your email nurture, or sales funnels, you’ll increase open rates and decrease unsubscribes. Plus, if you continue the story via clickable opportunities, you can increase your click-through rates too.
Other storytelling tactics you can use in this part of the sales process are:
Subject lines are like the blurb of any good book. They’re the thing that you know most people are going to read and will determine if someone opens that book or not. 35% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone.
Subject lines need to be catchy, attention-grabbing, and concise. Don’t make them misleading because you think it will generate a larger open-rate. Stay true to your brand’s tone-of-voice and reflect the content within the email accurately. Consider emojis and personalization to help you stand out from the crowd.
Your preview text is an extension of your subject line and can entice the reader that little bit more. If your subject line wasn’t enough to generate an open, then your preview text is your next best opportunity.
Personalization works well here too, and storytelling tactics that align with the “hook” of a good plot or page-turner need to be used in your email preview text to encourage your recipient to open.
People are 80% more likely to purchase from a brand that provides a personalized experience. Using personalization tactics, you’re placing the reader into the story and enabling them to connect with it more.
Don’t stop at using a “first name” personalization. What other information do you have on those people in your email list? It comes down to smart email list management. Can you use their location, place of work, language? What about their previous purchasing history or the ad they saw that convinced them to give your email in the first place?
Think of the data you have, use it to draw in your reader and convince them to buy.
3. Use Visuals (Resourceful Storytelling)
Visual storytelling is one of the most powerful sales tactics you can use on conversion pages. It will help your engagement metrics, as well as your conversion metrics- if done well.
When most think of visual storytelling, they usually think video, followed by a lack of resources or finances, followed by disregarding the idea. Visual storytelling can be much more than video or images; it comes with making the most of the resources you have, and those resources could surprise you.
So, ask yourself, what more do you have that visually lifts a good story? What visual content can you use to make the user experience (UX) a more accurate representation of your brand or product experience? Storytelling, to some extent, should be done throughout the sales process. Yet, how you do it can be the make or break of a piece of content and the message you’re trying to deliver.
Incorporate Colour Psychology
There’s a lot more to color than just displaying what looks “good.” Colors play a huge role in how people feel and how they perceive a brand or thing. Use this to your advantage. Create a piece of content that pushes a particular color so that the consumer is more likely to feel a certain way towards the content experience you provide, and therefore your brand.
Emojis Are a Language Too ?
Visuals don’t mean high-cost. If your tone of voice guidelines allow, then consider emojis as a way of lifting your story. Perhaps they can summarize a feeling or thought better than a sentence. Perhaps they can introduce an element of comedy to the page, or throw it into a more contemporary landscape. Or, perhaps they can provide a much-needed visual break alongside a wordy article. ?
Format Your Text
Another easy win and something that can drastically enhance your content, formatting. From bolding, italics and underlining, to H1s, H2s, different fonts, and font sizes. Formatting is an excellent, low-lift, way you can enhance your story.
You’re able to break up the page visually as well as add emphasis on certain parts of your text and draw attention to the areas you want a site visitor to see first.
Overall, this can help guide a visitor through the “story” of the page, so that when they reach the CTA, they’ve consumed all of the information you think they’d need to convert into a sale.
It’s not always about images and videos to lift your content and heighten the storytelling tactics you use on conversion pages. Get creative with other ways you can use more attainable resources to your advantage. Slite has done this exceptionally well in their one page project plan, which uses all of the above tactics- and a few more.
Refer back to UX and buyer psychology to help create a mindset that’s ready to buy with the resources you have.
Wrapping Up With Storytelling
Storytelling should be at the heart of your content strategy, both at an awareness and sales level for your business. It can generate emotions from someone and create impulsive buying decisions that will be validated with reason after purchase- falling back on a positive brand affinity.
I hope this article has managed to spark some ideas around how you can incorporate storytelling into your sales process. If done well, there’s no doubt it can heighten your brand authority and generate more sales.