Part 4: Storytelling Is the Future of Selling

Business is becoming more and more crowded and more and more competitive. That’s why, in today’s digital marketing world, standing out starts with good storytelling.

I will be the last one to tell you that old school marketing strategies are done. That’s because I actually believe they are making a comeback (more on that later). But, in a digital age, digital is the easiest way to deliver your marketing message to the right audience in the right markets.

As more and more data is collected on humans, we will be able to better understand our target audiences, what makes them tick, how to duplicate them and ultimately cut through the clutter. With drilled down data, it doesn’t mean you will be the only one targeting that audience. In fact, in franchising, for instance, the amount of franchise brands spending dollars on franchise marketing is at an all-time high. The good of this is that there are more brands spending more money to educate the prospective buyer pool; the negative is that there are a lot of different options for them to buy.

Business is becoming more and more crowded, and even the downturn in the economy couldn’t cut out the clutter and eliminate the bad sells.

In today’s digital marketing world, storytelling is the future of selling.

Let’s start with old school methodology. Take a classified ad, for example. You have less than 50 words to explain your strategic positioning. In a world where that was once good enough – that opportunity, that job and that franchise was the positioning. Today, it’s tough to sell through a classified. With a 30-second radio ad, it’s difficult to tell a story in 30 seconds and challenging to get that message in front of that needle in the haystack unless that “needle” is listening in that moment. With a magazine ad, you have the same challenges with getting in front of that needle—and it comes at a pretty steep cost. The same goes for newspaper, TV, etc. Most of the advertising forms are expensive and you are not paying for performance. Instead, you’re paying for perceived value (because we, as brands, rarely track the success of an ad through smart data pulls).

Digital, when done right, can correct a lot of the challenges of traditional advertising. Now, a Google Pay-Per-Click ad can send your prospect into a story where you get as much paper space (remember, though, people don’t always read a ton) as you want; you are in control of the story and the story assets; and you pay for the performance (per click) of that ad.

If you are smart, you then drive those clicks to a secondary section of your longer story, where you can now retarget that somewhat interested click with more brand/logo impressions wherever they go around the web.

You can fill your website up with content that’s always moving and always ongoing. You can build content placements around the web to support your stories.

You can be in control of the sales process.

This column is syndicated from 1851 Franchise.