Why are some companies able to come up with successful marketing campaigns and others aren’t? I’m going to let you in on the biggest secret in marketing, but first, let me share with you a quick story…
Inspiration strikes me all the time, and I’ve learned many important lessons from my son and daughter that can be directly applied to what I do. If you pay close attention to your own children, they’ve probably hinted at this secret the same as mine. So, because of my dedication to this blog, I decided to test out and reinforce this theory on my two and a half year old.
I was reading to my daughter, Hurricane Etta, the other night before bed. Midway through the story, as it was getting good; I calmly shut the book and stopped reading. I’ll give you one guess as to what happened.
She has this look that we have fearfully coined the death brow. She can melt rock with one glance. Not to mention the audible backlash that follows shortly thereafter makes tornado sirens all over town plug their ears. Etta was not so thrilled about me stopping in the middle of a story. She was invested. She was committed to hear what happened to this little engine. Could he or could he not do it?
I think the lightbulbs are coming on for everyone by now.
The example above with Etta goes to show you that even at the ripe young age of 2.5, the technique of crafting a compelling story attracts interest. It is ingrained in our DNA. We are all fans of a good book or movie. People are lining up to see the tenth Star Wars movie. I have multiple friends and family who have already seen the latest release several times in the first week of release. It’s because they are dying to know what happens next and are invested in the story.
Your customers will respond to a great story as well. Everyone has heard of the multiple successes that the site Kickstarter has helped launch. If I asked you to learn more about the recent ones, what would you type into google? Fill in the blank:
Kickstarter success __________
AHA! Kickstarter is successful because it is a storytelling platform that just happens to weave in the ability to buy the products these stories are about. It’s compelling. Of course people want to learn about the latest and greatest thing, find out WHO made the new invention, HOW they came up with the concept, and WHAT they are doing to bring it to all of the people that didn’t realize they can’t live without it. Even more importantly, it’s inviting the audience to help write that story. The more people that sign up, the more rewards that are added, and the better the story becomes.
Looking through some of the great ideas that may have successfully funded but failed to deliver the promised product to their audience, and you’ll understand just how passionate people are about getting to the end of these stories:
The campaign was for wireless earbuds that charge via a magnetic docking station. The $30,000 campaign was successfully funded with almost $145,000 of backing. The backers eventually turned on the creator:
I’m suing this guy, just downloaded the statement of claim yesterday from my courthouse site for another 10 bucks and change. It’ll cost me a bit to do—I have to pay fees for pretty much everything and he’s in California, so I’m paying a legal company to serve him. I’m hoping to get one that will video it so I can YouTube the look on his face when he gets served. His address is in the Kickstarter comments now so you can sue him too, and try to recoup all your fees though he may not pay up. So though you may not get your fees back, it’s gonna be worth it to hang it over his head forever.
Ouch! This backer was so determined to hear the end of the story, he decided to write it himself! I shared this not to shock you, but to illustrate my point. Stories are extremely powerful, and you must learn to harness them in your own marketing efforts. If you’re not a great storyteller, there are plenty of brilliant marketers, copywriters, and filmmakers who are available to help you come up with that perfect story.
My friend, Keelia Paulsen, a talented graphic designer for Khenri, shared a comment this morning from BAMF founder, Josh Fechter, – a naturally gifted storyteller in his own right – that inspired me to write this blog of my own.
There is inspiration all around if you open your eyes and are willing to express a bit of creativity. Phil K James of Good Milkshake posted this in another group I’m a member of just the other day. I can’t get the compelling nature of it out of my head. Michael Lindell, the founder of MyPillow, created a beautiful example of how to tell a story about your product or business.
If you find your business stuck in a rut in terms of marketing, seek out the storytellers around you and listen to how they do it. If you can deliver a story that your target audience will connect with, they will show up with their money in the air.