In a previous blog, I wrote about the importance of appealing to the senses and using visuals (photographs, videos) in marketing stories. In this blog, I’d like to focus on another aspect of great story telling: characters.
All stories have characters, even if the only character is the narrator. But as a business owner you have access to a slew of characters:
- Your staff
- Your former customers
- The audience you are writing for (past, future and/or current customers).
As I’ve often mentioned before, the most powerful phrase in marketing is “we can solve your problem.” That one phrase includes two strong characters, the “we” (the business owner and staff) and the “you” (the customer). Give that “we” more personality by writing blog posts or articles or online biographies that introduce you and your staff. Let your character shine forth in Q&A (FAQ) pages. Even if they aren’t customer-facing, let your staff make their presence known in photos and Meet the Team pages.
As for your former customers, they are truly “well rounded characters” and a great source of marketing stories, especially case studies and success stories. Please interview them! When I interview customers for my clients, I am always amazed at the generosity of the interviewees in sharing their time and their experiences to help another business. They recount experiences that make more positive, more detailed and more compelling stories than the business owner could have imagined.
Every story benefits from characters that seem to step right off the page; and your customers, staff and you are just such characters. Let your marketing story benefit from characters that lift your dry recital of facts to another level, where people are communicating directly with each other. I’ll be happy to help.
TWP Marketing & Technical Communications provides freelance writing services for companies in New Hampshire and throughout the US.
Recently, I spoke at the Jaffrey, NH, Chamber of Commerce to explain how companies might identify and tell their individual marketing stories. Everyone has a unique story to share with and draw in customers. For example:
- How you started and why you continue your business
- How you do what you do (your customers will be fascinated about industry information that you consider common knowledge)
- Helpful tips from you or your staff
- Success stories and testimonials from your customers
- Industry standards you meet or awards you have won.
In telling these marketing stories, you want to apply some of the techniques that apply to any good story. The first technique is appealing to the senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell.
As I explained to the folks at the Jaffrey Chamber, every landscaper might do exactly the same work. Every landscaper is going to promise excellent customer service on his or her website. But what if the landscaper instead wrote about the relaxing feeling of returning home to find the lawn taken care of or the wonderful smell of new cut grass or how beautiful a home looks with an array of cut flowers from its own garden? By incorporating feelings and sensations into the website, the landscaper draws customers into the marketing story and invites them to picture themselves enjoying all the benefits that a landscaping business offers. More importantly, unlike “great customer service,” the story differentiates that landscaping business from every other landscaping business.
Every good story also shows wherever possible, instead of telling. Photographs, line drawings, video and graphics are not only fun (eye candy!) but, properly chosen, they tell your marketing story before you write a word. In addition, they help to brand you through the use of color and design.
TWP Marketing & Technical Communications is based in Peterborough, NH, but does business throughout the US, helping companies communicate clearly, simply and with passion.