Every Business Has a Story to Tell
Originally published on Small Business Bonfire on March 21, 2017.
There are a lot of reasons businesses come to be.
Sometimes businesses begin as a way of turning a hobby into a way of making money. Sometimes they are motivated by a desire to fill a need that isn’t met by another business. Sometimes they are tied to a long-standing family tradition. Sometimes there’s a bigger purpose driving it. Regardless of the origin, it’s safe to say that no business materializes out of thin air. That’s why it’s so important to craft, own and share your business’s story whenever you can. It will serve as the foundation for how your business connects with consumers on both an emotional and professional level.
That Invaluable “Human Element”
When you think about it, brands and businesses are similar to people. They all have a unique identity, personality, voice, set of expressions and more. The only real difference, however, is that businesses tend to hide those traits because they don’t know how to bring that more “human element” into their marketing. That’s precisely where telling your story comes into play.
At YP℠, we work with business owners every day, helping them make the most of their online presence. Although in today’s always-on connected world it can be hard to create a memorable experience for consumers across multiple touch points (even those of the non-digital sort), your story can do that for you.
Whether on your business website, across social media or on the various online business profiles you manage, be sure to add photos, videos, personal stories and other content related to your business that gives customers a closer look into the ins and outs of your business. Even though many consumers today search for local products and services in a transactional way, they rely on these stories to help them chose one business over another. According to “The Why Before The Buy” research from YP, The Real Yellow Pages®, about 26 percent of shoppers say that reading the “About Us” or “History” section on a business website provides valuable information that helps them decide where to shop.
Your “Purpose” Builds Credibility
Your story not only helps set apart your business from the competition, it can also build credibility and trust with customers. If your business is founded on the idea of fulfilling a need that’s currently unmet in the marketplace, you gain instant credibility for being a problem solver. The expertise you bring to solving a consumer’s problem establishes you as an authority and makes for a compelling story.
Brands like TOMS, GoPro, CLIF Bar, and Airbnb are good examples of this. They began as small businesses that later evolved into popular brands. So, what made them stick? From the very beginning, they were driven by a specific purpose that soon trickled down through every part of their business. This unwavering sense of authenticity makes brands and businesses like these – and like yours – stand out.
An “Emotional Connection” Goes a Long Way
The businesses that succeed for the long-term make it a priority to build connections and relationships with customers. Many consumers today make purchase decisions based on emotions. By telling your story, you begin the process of creating that connection with consumers. Your business becomes more relatable and, as a result, loyalty and trust follow.
Word of mouth still reigns as one of the strongest and most influential forms of marketing available today. People don’t go out of the way to praise businesses they don’t love; however, when you’ve created a certain affinity with your customers, you will never have to twist an arm to get them to write a positive review. Because your business adds value to their lives, they will do their part to help you succeed.
Of course, the process doesn’t end with telling your story. Strong customer service, quality products, and a whole slew of other factors come into play. Your story, though, is a constant thread.
Your Story Matters
There are a number of tangible and quantifiable ways to target, reach, and engage consumers – via mobile, display, search, print, in-store, and beyond – but the intangible benefit of telling your story has truly unlimited value. After all, it’s your story to tell. You own it. But it’s up to you to make your story known. And when you tell your story in a compelling way, people will never forget your business.
Photo Credit: Death to Stock (free license)
Categorized in: Thought Leadership