4 Tips For Telling a Compelling Business Story

By Stevie Sleeter, Content & Social Media Manager

Published: February 24, 2014

In a lot of ways, people don’t buy products anymore – they buy into your business’s story. That means companies must constantly refine their stories and present them in unique ways. A brand story envelops your mission as a company, your culture and your history: How did you get started? Why do you do what you do? Where are you going?

Though seemingly simple questions, developing a compelling story – one that engages and spurs actions like top of mind recall in purchase situations – can prove difficult for many. When it comes down to it, start by rethinking exactly what you are selling. With so many products out there and so much noise, it’s your story that can really differentiate you. Careful attention to how you tell that story and how you showcase it can make all the difference.

Interested in crafting a more powerful story?

  1. Develop Your “Why.  “One of the best things a company can do is be transparent about why it is doing what it does. An excellent model to help brands push past the “what” and “how” of their story and find their “why” is Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle Theory. This theory focuses on “Why do you wake up in the morning?” and “Why are you so passionate about this?” For many customers, this is a persuading factor in purchase decisions. Not quite sure how to go about brainstorming your “why”? Try these suggestions: Ask your customers. Put up a blog or Facebook post asking your customers why they stick with you. Ask your employees. Your team is the closest to what you are doing and the why behind it, so ask employees why they work for you and what motivates them to come in every day.
  2. Tell a Unique Story to Different People – When you think about who is buying your product, more often than not it’s more than one type of person with different needs. And if your goal is to create a compelling brand story, you better cater to each of your different audiences equally.  Enter: adaptive content. Adaptive content makes it possible for you to publish unique content to multiple platforms and multiple devices; often automatically. The holy grail to help us jump above that mediocre content is content that is designed from the start to adapt to the needs of your customer. Most content creators weren’t trained to do this. We were trained to write different versions of content for different audiences sure, but we we’re never trained to create a piece of content that a machine can interpret and change to adapt to the needs of the audience engaging with it. With the right technology in place, adaptive content does just that. It is a story that changes not just cosmetically, but also in substance and in capability based up on where a person is, what they’re doing, what device their using, what language they speak, what they’re trying to accomplish at the moment they’re viewing your content.
  3. Consider Context – If adaptive content is the strategy to reach a wide variety of people, context is what makes it tick. Think about this: if a GPS is available on a handheld device, content can take advantage of “location aware” features of that device. For example, an instruction like “click” on a laptop would be automatically adapted to “touch” on a smartphone and “say” in an automobile GPS. Why? Customers demand exceptional experiences; their expectations have changed and they expect you to change and adapt to their needs.
  4. Message Matters –  ‘Make your story engaging and easy to share. Social media consumes one out of every five minutes spent online, according to a recent study by comScore. That means your audience is most likely spending a significant amount of time online sharing content.’ Make sure to tell a compelling story. In many situations, like in the video below, little changes in word, tone, or approach can make all the difference.

The power of words is great and a compelling business story has the potential to increase response rates, reach different customers as they interact in different situations throughout their day and help you save big in the end when it comes to gaining new customers and keeping the old. Make your business story a good one.