What makes a startup successful?
It is the human-to-human connection that they make through high-quality customer service.
But, relationships are not made overnight. In order to build strong relationships, brands need to tell their story about how they have been helping people solve their problems and have helped alleviate their pain points.
It is stories that engage people and create an urge within them to become loyal to a brand. Therefore, all businesses, especially start-ups, must take time to create a storytelling strategy to captivate their audience.
It is easier to create a start-up story than you think. Every business is the result of someone’s dreams and every entrepreneur has dealt with setbacks, difficulties and found a way out. You just need to tell your company’s events in a captivating manner so that it inspires and engages people.
However, making sure that the story reaches the right people at the right place and at the right time is important. Here is how you can pitch your story to your audience in an appealing manner:
Come up with a One-Liner to Tell Your Entire Business Story
That is exactly what Blue Apron, a popular fresh-meal subscription delivery service did. The brand’s vision statement, ‘We’re building a better food system’ tells its customers that it is more than just a food delivery service.
The brand believes in producing sustainable foods, reducing food waste, and providing the freshest ingredients, and treats its partners with dignity. Their message clearly conveys this.
Know that you are ready to pitch your start-up story only when you can convey the entire story in a one-liner. However, the one-liner must never be considered as the summary of the story. The one-liner must be designed so that it urges people to learn more about the company. It should highlight the USP of your brand. This, however, is not an easy task.
In order to come up with an impactful one-liner, you must understand your business and the goals you want to achieve. The best one-liners squeeze in a lot of information in a logical, impactful and unbiased manner.
Let Your Customers Tell Your Story
In order to build trust, you need to be authentic when telling your story. Customers can quickly recognize stories that are fabricated and falsified to create a great image. The best way to earn customer’s trust is to turn your existing customers into brand advocates and encourage them to tell your story on your behalf.
Airbnb follows this strictly. For them, the customer is the brand. Instead of telling their own story, they urge its customers to recount stories. The company has dedicated an entire section ‘Stories from the Airbnb Community’ for customers to share their stories and experiences.
There is another section on the company’s website, ‘Belong Anywhere’ that allows customers to post photos, short films, and videos to help other people understand what to expect when they book a home or a room with Airbnb.
Positioning customers at the center of the brand has helped Airbnb expand its wings and become one of the most popular travel websites. It helps people get rid of the worries they have about what the experience will be like and what their roommates/housemates will be like. In fact, the articles, photos, and videos posted by existing customers stir up excitement among prospective customers about enjoying pleasing and authentic travel experiences.
Encouraging your existing customers to tell stories on your behalf will not only help you gain the trust of potential customers but also improve your company’s bottom-line.
Here’s how you can do so:
1. Focus on Developing the Message
It does not matter whether or not you speak correct grammar, what matters is whether or not your message touches the audience’s hearts. Humanizing the message and showing respect to your customers can help you achieve this goal. Instead of showing off your authority, try to keep things conversational. This will encourage people to get engaged with your brand; they will show interest and reciprocate to what you say.
One more thing to remember when crafting your story is to keep it short and simple. Stories that are too long overwhelm readers and make them feel distracted or lost. Write down everything you want to tell your readers and then edit it to get rid of the unwanted portions. Keep things crisp and to-the-point.
2. Choose the Right Channels to Tell Your Startup Story
Having a story isn’t enough; you need to make sure your audience listens to it. This means you need to share your story on the right channels. In order to ensure that your story is being heard by the right people at the right time, you need to have a strong content strategy. Start with identifying the channels where your customers, both existing and prospective, can be found.
According to Worldwide Social Networks Users: eMarketer’s Estimates for 2016, 32 percent of the global population and 68.3 percent of the Internet users access social media regularly.
Sharing your story on the various social platforms can help you gain attention. However, you need to make sure the story is in the right format. This means if you are targeting customers on Instagram, you need to use high-quality images that tell the story. If you target YouTube users, then you need to create high-grade videos to grab attention. You need not come up with a different story every time; you can re-purpose the story in different formats and share it on multiple social platforms.
To ensure that your target audience listens to your story, create a blog post, a short video, an infographic, a picture story, and an e-book and share them across various content channels. However, you need to have a strong content strategy to make sure you do not lose pace when distributing the content. Create an editorial content, schedule posts and engage your audience constantly. In order to stay in control of your content marketing and track how each content is performing, it is best to use project management tools such as WorkZone.
Workzone’s project dashboard is designed to keep the content and the marketing teams on the same page and help them collaborate flawlessly as well.
Storytelling is the most powerful way to attract attention and an increasing number of companies are leveraging the power of storytelling. It aids human communication and helps companies gain trust and build strong relationships with their customers. However, you need to craft and share the story in the right manner so that it impacts prospects positively. With the above tips, you can create striking start-up stories and narrate them in an interesting manner.
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