Human beings are born storytellers. It's what we do. From tall tales around a campfire to scrolling through social media feeds, storytelling captures the imagination and compels people to take action. At least when it's a good story.
Naturally, it's that last part about compelling an audience to take action that makes storytelling such a valuable tool for sales and marketing teams. That's why I wanted to spend a few moments discussing some of the basics behind storytelling and how you can leverage it to create connections with your prospects and customers.
Whether a movie, a novel, or a TV show, there's a good chance your favorite stories play out in a three-act structure:
- Act One: The beginning of the narrative, where you set up the story arc and put the main pieces in place.
- Act Two: The middle portion of your story that establishes a conflict based upon your setup from act one.
- Act Three: The end of your story, resolving the conflict you built in act two.
Now, I'm not saying that storytelling in sales and marketing is exactly the same as it is on the silver screen. After all, I assume your marketing strategy doesn't take place in a galaxy far, far away or include superheroes saving humanity from aliens for the umpteenth time.
However, that same three-act structure translates exceptionally well to video marketing and the overall sales journey with just a few simple tweaks:
- Act One: Engaging the audience and capturing their attention
- Act Two: Including the viewer and taking them along for the ride
- Act Three: Compelling the audience to proceed in the sales journey through a call-to-action (CTA)
Put another way, a good story is just that – a good story. No matter the medium or the message, that simple but essential three-stage arc will always provide a solid foundation for your sales and marketing, allowing you to thoroughly connect with prospects.
Why Storytelling Is So Powerful For Sales and Marketing
Here at OneDay, we spend a lot of time discussing how critical it is for your team to personalize your messaging. Using an industry like senior living as an example, when you can foster that essential sense of inclusion for a prospective resident and their loved ones, it conveys empathy and compassion on your part, all while helping the audience picture themselves as residents in your community.
That's really what makes storytelling so powerful for your sales and marketing, especially video storytelling. Sticking with senior living, imagine how much more immersive it is for a prospect when you can take them behind the scenes with a personalized video tour rather than a glossy brochure or a community gallery on your website.
For instance, let's say you have a prospect that's especially interested in your dining facilities and gourmet food service. Creating a short personalized video that answers questions they might have about your dining and meal plan, perhaps even interviewing your executive chef, will be far more impactful than a phone call or text-based email.
In fact, that's a perfect example of taking the prospect along for the ride and allowing them to imagine themselves living in your community. Going back to the three-part story arc, you're engaging the audience by specifically addressing an issue or concern, including them in the journey with a personalized approach, and compelling them to follow up with you through a CTA.
Storytelling Differentiates Your Community
Perhaps most importantly, such an immersive approach will differentiate your community from the competition in the eyes of the audience. In his landmark book on the power of narrative, Actual Minds, Possible Worlds, cognitive psychologist Dr. Jerome Bruner found that people are 22 times more likely to remember a fact, brand, or idea when you convey them through a story.
That, in a nutshell, is the true power of video storytelling for – it connects with prospects at a deeper level and keeps your brand top of mind. And here at OneDay, our job is to give you the best possible storytelling tools to harness all of that power for your organization’s sales and marketing.