Posted on Nov 6, 2018

The Ins and Outs of Implementing Storytelling on Your Small Business Website

Your customers’ brains are hardwired for storytelling. According to research parsed in a Fast Company article, one Nielsen study discovered that consumers want a more personal connection in the way they gather information online about a product, brand, etc. They want stories. And the same article also mentions numerous other studies proving that human brains and consumer’s brains are far more engaged by storytelling than they are by cold, hard facts.

If you truly want to engage and convert users who visit your small business website, then you must seriously consider telling them a compelling story. Read on about why implementing storytelling on your website is advantageous and learn other tactics and tips to keep in mind.

Benefits of Storytelling

Including storytelling or storytelling elements on your small business website:

  • Leads to higher engagement rates and conversion rates. Storytelling in content marketing, for instance, can actually increase the number of people who reach the bottom of a blog post by 300%.
  • Encourages users to remember more about you, your mission, products, etc. Storytelling has the power to break down complex concepts into bite-sized and easy-to-remember bits of information that users will gravitate toward and appreciate. It’s easier to remember characters, plots, settings, and metaphors than cold, hard facts.
  • Creates a positive brand experience and helps you better understand your customers’ journeys throughout their engagement and buying experiences. Storytelling has the power to significantly increase your conversion rates.
  • Allows you to convey your own unique personality. With storytelling, you get to highlight what makes your business website, brand, and products or services different, without a sales pitch
  • Helps you integrate your digital marketing strategy across channels. Using the same characters, plots, and themes in your content across channels help keep your branding and marketing initiatives in synch. 
  • Permits you to authentically and emotionally connect with your audience and grab their attention long term.

Now that you know more about the benefits of implementing storytelling on your small business website, here’s more information about how to do it.

Always Be Authentic and Showcase Your Brand

Above all else, don’t tell stories that are completely fabricated or don’t align with your business and its mission just to increase engagement. Eventually, your users will discover that you’re not being honest or authentic, and they will not want to engage with your website or do business with you.

For instance, don’t copy-paste another brand’s story and try to promote it as your own. Don’t makeup employees or customers who aren’t real. Don’t invent case studies that never occurred.

Implementing storytelling on your small business website is all about showcasing your brand, the work it really does, its main stakeholders, and its mission in a unique, engaging, and creative way.

Understand What Will Captivate Your Specific Audience

Do a little bit of research and track what type of content your target audience most enjoys engaging with. Take note of its tone, its voice, how it’s delivered, how it’s shared, etc. This will provide good insight into what type of content and stories resonate with your specific audience. Keep in mind that what may captivate one audience may not captivate another. Small children will probably engage with video stories with likable and funny cartoons, whereas more mature audiences might gravitate towards blog posts that tell a feel-good story about how someone overcame a major obstacle in life.

Think about your audience and buyer personas and what type of story you want visitors to encounter when they reach your website too. Tell stories about what your specific audience really cares about.

Highlight Customer Testimonials with Pictures of Real People

Highlighting customer testimonials is an easy way to implement storytelling on your small business website while also boosting its credibility. For instance, if you sell exercise equipment, you can share customer success stories centering on how your products helped them build and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Share these stories via videos of customers talking about or using your products, or invite them to blog about their own stories and experiences. Always include photos of real customers, not models. Users gravitate more toward stories by real people who look and act just like them.

Share Live Feeds and Social Media Engagement

Another way to tell your story is via live social media feeds on your website, especially if you often share “behind-the-scenes” or event-related information. Show website visitors what your customers, employees, and stakeholders are saying about what you’re doing in the moment. Social media is a way to showcase your story in the moment. For instance, if your business partners with a local nonprofit, you can tell real-time stories about the work you do with them.

Make Your Web Copy Conversational in Tone

When developing copy for your small business website, be sure to make it compelling and interesting to your specific target audience. Don’t simply list dry facts or long-winded paragraphs of text. Instead, pretend you are talking to a real-life person from your target audience. Write in the same tone and with the same voice you would use if you were talking to them face-to-face. Don’t be afraid to engage their emotional responses (in fact, good storytelling relies on this), but don’t use text or language that is overbearing, boring, or off-putting.

Include More Interactive or Gamified Elements

Enhance the storytelling on your website with heat maps, questionnaires, surveys, live video feeds, moving graphics, and other interactive or gamified elements. A map, for instance, can show detailed information about where your users live and who else near them enjoys your services or products. Surveys can let visitors engage with content on your website to determine what products or tools would be ideal for their personalities. And so on. Such elements can simultaneously engage users while telling them more about your products and business.

Use High-Quality and Responsive Visual Elements or Parallax Scrolling

Humans are visual creatures by nature and like stories told by pictures and animations. Consider including high-quality and responsive images on your website. Perhaps it’s an image that rotates to reveal product information when selected, or some figures that become animated as the user clicks on a button. You could share certain visuals as the user scrolls down the page. Such elements can help reveal your business’s personality while telling a visually appealing story.

Create a Mascot

One of the best ways to implement storytelling on your website is through a mascot and its personality or adventures. For example, users will gravitate toward a frog that likes to use and talk about your rain-proof outdoor gear. And they’ll remember a tree that endorses gardening tips. And so on.

Have a Comprehensive and Unique “About Us” Page

Create a compelling “About Us” page to tell an engaging story about your business, its employees, and its stakeholders. You might include an animated timeline of your company’s history, share engaging video clips showing visitors how you invent your products or include photos of your staff with their favorite quotes.

Just make sure you tell your business’s story in a unique yet completely authentic way that will resonate and engage its intended audience.

The information in this post only scratches the surface of implementing storytelling on a small business website, but keep these ideas top-of-mind to get started on your own.

 

Feature image: Pexels

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