How to use storytelling in your business writing

How to use storytelling in your business writing

When was the last time you engaged and became persuaded by a set of bullet points?

One reason you may not have been persuaded (apart from the potential for boredom) is that our brains are not built to retain information that is set out as bullet points on a slide. In fact, bullet points are the least effective way of sharing ideas.

This explains why Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos repeated his ban of Powerpoint in his 2018 annual letter.

“I’m actually a fan of anecdotes in business”

Jeff Bezos

Neuroscientists have found that the fastest way to share ideas in business is through stories – particularly ones that trigger emotions.

The narrative structure of stories is more impactful than bullet points on PowerPoint, our brains are wired for narratives such as storytelling.

Other studies have proven that social storytelling is responsible for more than 65% of conversations had in public. It, therefore, makes sense that when you write content for your business, you’ll get more online engagement if you tell stories about your brand. Storytelling is a great way to keep your online messages consistent throughout your website, social media and blogs.

So why do we try to sell our vision and spread ideas through bullet points? It isn’t very inspiring.

Here are four storytelling ideas for creating content for your business:

Storytelling: Customer stories & anecdotes

storytelling - YO! Marketing

Through Your Customers’ Eyes: Customer Stories & Anecdotes

Jeff Bezos notes that when the anecdotes and metrics (data) disagree, the anecdotes are usually right.

Customer stories are a credible way of demonstrating your expertise as a business. Ask customers about how they came to use your product and/or service. What did they try before and how did it feel to work with your company? Document the customer’s journey from finding out about your product/service to getting real outcomes from their interaction with you. It could be rags-to-riches, which develops an instant rapport with your readers and is inspiring.

Storytelling: Pictures, Videos, Action

storytelling - YO! Marketing

A Picture Tells A Thousand Words: Use Images, Videos & Action

Neuroscientists have proved that we recall things better when we see pictures compared to when we read text on a slide.

According to a report by Social Media Examiner, 74% of marketers are using visual assets. Visual marketing can help you tell a consistent story with every image, matching with your brand style. Also use video when possible, with eye-catching shots and engaging conversations by staff, suppliers and customers.

Storytelling: Analogies & Metaphors

storytelling - YO! Marketing

Get Creative: Use Analogies & Metaphors

As a child growing up in Africa, I was told many stories about the tortoise, the hare and the elephant. There were always lessons in those stories – lessons about the world, manners and good character.

Stories are not just for children and young adults. A great story teaches, inspires and engages. Try using analogies and metaphors to convey your idea to your readers. I once used the analogy of a duck on the water to describe the ease of using a certain software. The duck represented the simplicity and slickness of use while the duck’s feet pedalling like mad in water represented the robustness and accuracy of the algorithm behind the software. It worked very well in conveying a distinct competitive advantage.

Storytelling: Fictional Characters, Buyer Personas

storytelling - YO! Marketing

Show You Understand: Use Fictional Characters & Buyer Personas

One of the coolest ways to engage your target audience is to show them you know what is it like to be them.

In a recent video, I used a fictional company to show how B2B companies struggle with internal and external alignment. This video was based on buyer personas, created from years of experience dealing with marketing, sales and engineering teams in medium to large technical industries. Sometimes, they fail to understand their competitive environment well enough to create a unique competitive advantage. The video illustrated an understanding of that misalignment and proposed a solution.


Are there any other types of stories you can tell about your business? Tell us in the comments and share this blog with your network!
Win a Content Strategy for B2B Session – Name the Robot!

Win a Content Strategy for B2B Session – Name the Robot!

We would love to support you in creating an engaging content strategy for your business.

  • This summer, we will run a couple of contests that we hope will be fun AND provide you with FREE content strategy and marketing support.
  • Our first contest is to name the robots of Robots Inc, a fictitious company that builds custom robotic devices for the B2B market.
  • It has a growing customer base, supported by a small sales and marketing team.
  • The company just launched a new robot but potential buyers don’t understand how the new robot can solve their challenge.
  • The sales team actively engage with potential buyers and marketing occasionally push out content via social media.
  • Yet, sales are slow and the target customers don’t see why they should switch to a new product.

What will you gain from a content strategy session?

You will be able to answer these questions about your business:

  • Who is your target customer and what is the value you offer them?
  • How will you ensure engagement and sales leads from content?
  • What are 1-2 key topics that you can create content for?

 

RELATED BLOG: How to use a content scorecard for better blog posts [CALCULATOR]

 

How to enter the contest and WIN a content strategy session

It started on LinkedIn a few days ago. Here’s the post, which includes instructions.

Here are a few quick tips:

  • Watch the video
  • Pick a robot
  • Give it a name
  • Tell me your reason for giving that name ( I love WHYs so don’t hold back here!)
  • Give your answers on the LinkedIn post OR

email info@yomarketing.co with your entry. Use ROBOTS in your subject title.

Your contact details WILL NOT be stored for future correspondence. If you’d like to get in touch separately, please do so)

Winners (max 3) will be contacted by 30 June.

Other Information: Content Strategy Session

Content strategy sessions will be held in August 2018

The session will be face-to-face if a winner is based in Aberdeen, Scotland

If a winner is outside Aberdeen, the session will be remote via Skype or Facetime.

Please share this post with your friends and colleagues.

Content Ideas for Software Companies

Content Ideas for Software Companies

We are huge content fans! That’s why we brought you 12 engaging content ideas for engineering companies and 12 Business Blog Ideas from London Hottest Startups. Now we would like to suggest content ideas for software companies as we work with a few of these businesses.

Do you struggle to engage with your audience as effectively as you would like? Do you often find yourself stuck for ideas for content? This blog sets out content ideas for software companies seeking to kickstart their company blog.

List useful resources

A simple but helpful blog is always a good place to start for content ideas for software companies. This could include a bunch of online tools. Or you could highlight resources that would help any organisation regardless of industry. Team Gate’s blog looks at 400 awesome free resources you can use to grow your business. It includes everything from social media and community management to SEO and website analysers.

Use video instead of text

Consider using video content instead of text. Video allows you to show your personality and convey your passion for the topic. Recent stats show that 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers and over half of the marketing professionals say video gives the best ROI. In fact, over half a billion people watch a video on Facebook every day. That equates to around 8.3% of the people on earth! Wistia, a video platform for marketers, publishes mainly high-quality video content alongside text-based posts.

content ideas for software companies YO! Marketing

Discuss the hottest tech trends

When considering content ideas for software companies, you cannot go wrong if you write about latest technology trends. Some examples of the latest trends in the software industry today include:

Blockchain Technology

Businesses in every industry are going to start building apps on blockchain platforms, which means the demand for blockchain developers is going to go through the roof. There is also interest in blockchain news in general, therefore content on the topic will likely attract many readers.

Cybersecurity

Similar to Blockchain, cybersecurity is an area which a growing number of developers are finding demand in. In recent years, cyber attacks against organisations have been increasing in both sophistication and damage caused. Articles on cybersecurity would be a good way to enter into regular posts regarding the topic. A good example is an article by The Market Mogul, which describes cybersecurity as ‘The focal point of 2018’ and sets the scene on the topic.

Big Data

A guide to data management and data governance could be the first step for people setting up their big data initiatives. Eric Brown, an entrepreneur, data scientist and consultant wrote a useful blog called ‘A roadmap to success with big data’. This article gives a good idea of some of the essentials worth considering when starting out with big data.

Artificial Intelligence

The use of AI in improving and personalising your customer service is the obvious topic to go for. However, there are countless areas for discussion within this area. AI is being used in supply chain management and even creating a better hiring process. Interviewed developed a software which uses machine learning and natural language processing to sift through resumes to filter the best ones out from the rest.

Respond to industry research

Consider using a new angle to trigger a conversation. Industry research always attracts discussion amongst readers, especially in the comments section of the posting. It would be smart to be first to publish your own thoughts on latest industry research. If you do this, try approaching it from a new perspective to give your readers some food for thought.

The Economist gave a different angle towards automation – mentioning that over half of jobs are vulnerable to automation taking over.

Support software project managers

Software developers use programming languages such as C++ and Javascript. However, developers might b required to use less common languages or platforms in their projects. A step by step guide that assists software developers will attract many readers and shares. Theodo’s blog, for instance, has several posts tackling how to work efficiently in a new and unfamiliar environment.

Talk about all things Javascript

Insights and advice on all things Javascript will be useful to any software developer. This could be presented in the form of worked examples, smart tips or even the latest updates and developments. Some inspiration for content could be found in DailyJS blogs.

Outline how to choose an IoT platform provider

There is a shift within IoT (Internet of Things) from building your own IoT stack to choosing from a range of IoT platform providers. This blog could cover the top categories of considerations that are the foundation of choosing an IoT platform provider – such as security and return on investment. This will assist developers when making the important choice.

For more content ideas for interactive marketing, check out this blog by SurveyAnyPlace:

Interactive Marketing Examples: How to Create Brilliant Digital Campaigns

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