I’m willing to bet you’ve heard about using storytelling in your business but did you know your story is every marketing strategy’s best friend?
I continue to study marketing strategies and trends so I understand
how other marketing professionals talk about them,
how different industries and brands use them,
how trends change over time,
and how they’re viewed from the point of view of entrepreneurs.
But most importantly, I research them so I can share what storytelling looks like when paired with all these strategies.
The biggest issue I find is most marketing information seems to have been written for other marketing professionals. That makes sense when you consider most of us learn from our peers but it reminded me of why I started Show & Tell Academy in the first place.
As an advertising creative by day and content creator by night, I noticed a huge gap between what works for large, corporate brands and what works for small, personal brands: ones often run by small teams — especially teams of one.
Show & Tell Academy exists to fill that gap because I don’t believe you should have to become a marketing expert to share your business with your audience.
And although I do believe working with one (or more) experts is extremely beneficial for figuring out which strategy is best for your business, I also believe your story is a powerful tool worth exploring to connect with and grow your audience.
Every story has a beginning so let’s start by clearly defining what is marketing.
Marketing is any activity or process you use to tell people about your business in hopes they’ll buy your products or services.
One of the first things I learned about marketing was the 5 Ps: product, price, place, promotion, and people.
Together they make up the basic outline of a marketing plan and I find they make it easier to understand how brand storytelling fits into every part of your business.
Remember, the purpose of your brand story is to connect people to your business by building a relationship with them.
It works by creating an emotional response that, hopefully, leads your target audience to want to know more about you and what you have to offer them.
With that said, it’s important to remember that your brand story, even if it’s your personal story, isn't actually about you.
Instead, it’s about getting your ideal customer or client closer to something they need, want, or desire in their life. Keep that in mind as we go through each P!
Product refers to the products and services you offer — including everything from how it’s made to how it works to how it looks.
By sharing your story, you’ll be able to answer questions like
What do you sell?
Who is it for?
What do you want them to think and feel about the brand itself? And why?
Why does it look like it does?
Why is it packaged the way it is?
Why is it made the way it is?
Price refers to the price and quality of your products and services. By sharing your story, you’ll be able to manage expectations around what you charge and why.
You’ll be able to more easily answer questions like
how much should you charge?
What are the costs of producing your products or services?
Why you do offer discounts or payment plans?
Why don’t you?
Place refers to how your products and services are distributed to your customers. By sharing your story, you’ll be able to address questions like
Where are your products made?
Where are they sold?
How do your customers and clients receive your products and services?
How easily accessible are your products to your audience?
Promotion refers to how you make your products and services known to your target audience. This is what most people think of when they think of marketing because these efforts are often the most visible.
By sharing your story, you’ll want to answer questions like
How will people learn about your business?
Do you pay for media space to promote your business (advertising)?
Do you focus on showing up on social media?
Do you do brand partnerships or sponsorships?
If you have a physical space or focus on a specific area, do you use direct mail?
How do you make use of in-store signage?
Once you’re clear on how (and where) people will learn about you and your business, you’ll also want to answer questions like
Does your messaging (and its placement) align with your overall brand?
How do you carry the same story across each piece in a meaningful way?
People refers to every person you customers or clients come in contact with when interacting with your business. This includes everyone who works for or represents the business — including you!
By sharing your story, you’ll be able to make it clear how you want people to describe their experience every single time they come in contact with your brand.
Similar to promotion, this one’s more visible to your customers and it really gives you more of a one-on-one opportunity to address your audience’s emotional needs, wants, and desires as they relate to your brand.
Your brand story doesn’t just touch one part of your brand. Instead, brand storytelling works because there are endless ways to share a story once you’re clear on what the story is.
A clear brand story can be as focused and as flexible as you need it to be. It can be told in 10 minutes or 10 seconds. It can be just as effective no matter the current trend, preferred technology, or most relevant platform.
And sharing your story works because it gives your audience the chance to imagine something you can offer them as a part of their own story with them at the center of it!