Too many companies are missing an unprecedented opportunity when it comes to marketing on social media.
Even worse, they get frustrated watching their competition take more marketshare because of savvy social media engagement. We know that if changes are not made, social media will only continue to become more important and their piece of the pie will be taken.
What would you do if you wanted to develop a strong social media voice? Where would you even start?
I am founder of a company that is part of a marketing movement that is capitalizing on the best practices of a 2000 year old strategy for grabbing people’s attention - story-telling. That’s what social media loves - telling stories. That’s because human beings love so much - stories.
Now, when I talk about stories, many business leaders nod and say, “Yes, that’s right... we need to tell our story. That will show everyone how great we are.” That’s not going to work.
Our natural inclination is to make our own character the hero of a story.
Headlines like this are pretty common:
- We’ve been the Tri-Cities irrigation leader since 1989.
- We are a world class web design agency, committed to great strategy and execution.
- We make the world’s best cup of coffee.
Talking about yourself is not the secret to telling a story.
Imagine your customer is a hitchhiker. You pull over to give him a lift. The one burning question on his mind is simply, “Where are you going?”
As he approaches, you roll down the window and start talking about how you are accident free for 10 years, or let him know your driving philosophy, or the fact that this used to be your parent’s car... This person doesn’t care. All he wants to do is get to Kelowna! Can you take him there?
Let me give another example: Nobody really cares about the history of Tide. We don’t care that it was started in a farm house in 19___, passed on through generations…blah blah blah. When do we care about Tide? When our clothes are dirty! The Tide pen is the greatest invention when I have spilled on my shirt before a presentation. Then I care about knowing that Tide is a proven winner for stain removal.
You see, the story that I care about most is…my story. I’m the hero of my own story. As the hero, I’ve got to win the day. I’ve got to nail the presentation and if I look like an imbecile who cannot keep his shirt clean, I won’t win the day.
That’s how we think. If Tide came into my life telling me that they want to help me ensure my clothes are clean and could ensure that they could take care of last minute stains that come before big presentations, I’d be all about using their product.
Understanding the power of story to win clients is the future of marketing. Let me tell you more about it because those who are catching on are disrupting the market all over North America today. I want you in on it.
At the end of this post, you will know:
- who to target
- what they want
- what to post to get maximum engagement
Have Your Read Building A StoryBrand Yet?
In his 2017 book, Building a StoryBrand, Don Miller, one of my favourite authors showed us the potential for using story to double, triple and quadruple your business. I partnered with him last year and work as a guide helping companies work through what is known as the “The StoryBrand Framework”. Let me tell you briefly what it is and we will come back to its effect in social media.
This will forever change how you watch a movie. Be warned. There are really 7 essential elements in every story. The best stories from Star Wars 1, to Lord of the Rings, to Hunger Games and even Tommy Boy - they all follow this.
If you’ve watched a movie and gotten confused and shut it off, likely didn’t follow this script. I wonder how many millions of dollars are being spent today that are failing to connect and being tuned out because they do not hold our attention like a story can.
1. A Character
Every story starts with a character or main characters. Even in a group there is usually there is one main figure. Frodo, Catniss, Luke. This is the character we identify with. They need to want something. Peace, harmony in the family, justice.
2. Who Has A Problem
The story begins when the problem is introduced. No problem means no story. Liam Neeson calls his daughter in Europe and it is picked up by a man with a Hungarian accent. His daughter must be kidnapped. He flies to Europe and realizes she left it in a Balkan restaurant…they spend the next hour talking about her finals and boys she likes. That’s no problem. There has to be a bomb, or a bad guy or something or people will get bored.
The problem is a huge challenge for the hero. They feel inadequate and overwhelmed.
3. Then A Guide Shows Up
This is where writers add another character to the story. They are going to come and give help to the hero. They’ve seen this problem before. The guide know what to do. Yoda, Gandalf, Hamitch (he’s a drunk but he’s won the Hunger Games before).
4. Who Gives A Plan
The guide know what to do. The hero just sees a raging river but the guide knows there are three stones to step on to get across. The guide always has a plan.
5. And Calls Them to Action
The crisis moment comes when the hero has a choice to make: Will they move forward or cower in fear? There has to be a decision made.
6. That Either Ends in Failure
These are the stakes. Middle Earth could be overrun by evil. The District could run their tyranny over good people. The First order could squash the rebellion. If the hero fails, all is lost.
7. Or in Success
This is happily ever after. No story that you love ends at 6. There is always a happy ending. We need resolution. Our hearts are hard-wired to have everything work out.
These are the seven essentials of a good, clear story. You have to have all seven to compel and keep attention. We’ve been telling these things for 2000 years. My kids love them - it’s not changing any time soon.
The best marketers know this. We take these elements and help our customers live their story.
This is what we do. It’s called Creating A Brandscript. You can learn more about it here.
It is the hub from which all your marketing flows. You build your website, your sales letters, elevator pitch, and, of course, your social media from here.
Here Are Seven Questions You Can Answer to Get Clear In Your Marketing
Answer these questions and you will see growth in multiples in your marketing efforts.
- To better understand your ideal client, the main character the story, ask: "What do our customers want?" Make a list of all the ideal situations and outcomes that your customer has going around in their head and heart.
- Every character faces obstacles that prevent them from getting what they want. Ask yourself: What are our customer's external (physical), internal (feelings) and philosophical (good vs. evil) problems?
- To get your customers to their "happily ever after", you need to show that you are trustworthy and understand what they are facing. Ask the question: Have we positioned our brand as the guide (think Yoda, or Gandalf) to the hero?
- As a guide, you need to be able to know and articulate just how you are going to take the customer from where they are now to where they want to go. Ask the question: Have we created and communicated a clear plan for the hero to win the day?
- This is the call to action that is a catalyst for the rest of the journey ahead. Ask the question: Are our calls to action clear? Do visitors to our site know what we are asking them to do?
- Should the hero refuse to take action and follow the guide, the end of the story would be disastrous. These are the stakes of not working with you. Ask the question: Have we identified the consequences we are helping our hero avoid?
- Finally, and this is the part everyone wants, we want the story to end well. "Happily ever after" is the desire of every heart. You want to show your customer that this is attainable in working with you. Ask the question: Have we helped our hero imagine how we can improve their lives?
Until we do the hard work of doing this, I would say don’t try to figure out what to say on Facebook. Without a plan, you’ll be sporadic, and at the mercy of whatever you want to share that day.
With a BrandScript, you can intentionally pull from one of the seven or use all seven in a row.
You can use your Brandscript to:
- target your ideal client (location. interests, family make up, age of kids, what TV shows they watch, where they like to eat dinner).
- you can know their pain points and how you can help.
- create posts, videos, and know how to ask questions that engage your ideal client
You will be maximizing your time and dollars, making an impact with the opportunity we have today.
Earlier I asked: What would you do if you wanted to develop a strong social media voice? Where would you even start?
What You Can Do Next:
- Buy Building a StoryBrand or take the course online.
- Create a Brandscript
- Start posting about how you solve your customer's problems.
People will pay attention to you on social because they want their problems solved. Show them how you can solve their problems and they will give you their trust...and their business.
I’m so confident that this approach is a game-changer, that I’ve backed every partnership with a guarantee. You will have a clear message, a Brandscript that gives you tons of content, and a renewed passion for solving problems using online tools.
Many business leaders lose sleep over the success of our company. The ones who will take the next hill will lose sleep over the success of their clients. Make the customer the hero. Help them win the day.
If you take these points, you can seize the opportunities.
If you would like some help with your Brandscript or applying StoryBrand to your business, do not hesitate to schedule a consultation call with us today.