Everyone loves stories. Arguably, the only thing people enjoy more than hearing a good story is telling one (some of them are even good at it).
Bone-chilling urban legends, tall tales of adventure, inspiring narratives about personal transformation…any story can capture the imagination and be remembered.
But can stories help you land more sales of your product or service? You bet!
There are many narratives and plots that could be used to storify your whiteboard videos – but today, let’s talk about three of them, proven to work by thousands of companies everywhere.
“Us vs. Them” Narrative
Sometimes, the best way to position your business isn’t by conveying what it stands for, but by telling your potential customer what (or whom) you stand against. Let’s figure out why it works…
When your target audience is confronted by something they don’t want to identify with, and you present your company as an alternative, they don’t see any choice but siding with your business.
Example: This narrative is everywhere, but if you want to see a textbook case of “us vs. them,” look no further than Uber and Airbnb. These 2 companies are most famous for being in direct opposition to industries people hate but can’t live without: the hotel industry and the taxi industry.
By framing themselves as the good guys, who don’t do the bad things taxi companies and hotels do to get your money, Uber and Airbnb were able to disrupt those industries easily.
You can use the same messaging in your whiteboard videos to differentiate your business. After all, everyone loves the courageous nonconformist doing the right thing.
“Beneficial Misfortune” Narrative
You could sum up this narrative like so: “I lost everything, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because I achieved X, Y, and Z because of that.” It’s a powerful story that works really well for individual entrepreneurs, but it can be tailored to companies, too.
Don’t be afraid to discuss your failures with potential customers. It helps them to identify with you and your company better, and it’s a great way to communicate the image of success without explicitly promising anything.
Example: There was this guy named Steve Jobs…you may have heard of him. What you might not know is that in 1985 he was fired from Apple – his own company!
For any founder, that would be an irreparable catastrophe. But Steve Jobs went on to co-found Pixar, come back to Apple and turn it into one of world’s greatest tech companies. He later used this narrative with great success when giving public speeches – most famous example is his Stanford commencement speech in 2005.
If you company went from a dirt-poor underdog to an industry leader, or if your founder had a failed startup before they crushed it with their second venture, these facts could all become core elements of your message, and make your whiteboard videos irresistible.
“Let Me Tell You a Secret” Narrative
Secrets are like catnip for any audience you want to target. Your potential customers are hungry to know and learn something they won’t get anywhere else. Position your product or service as something that will set them up with said secrets, and you’ll immediately attract people’s attention.
This is perhaps one of the oldest narratives in marketing, but still one of the most effective. It worked like a charm before the Internet, and right now it shows no signs of slowing down!
Example: To see just how commonplace the “secret” story is, do a quick search on Amazon (or any online bookstore) for all books that have the word “Secret” or “Secrets” in them. You’ll find thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of titles.
Sharing secrets in your whiteboard videos, or promising to share them with everyone who buys from you, will immediately make your product or service more interesting to your potential customers.
The important thing to keep in mind is, do not disappoint your target audience. If they buy from you expecting secrets, but get nothing, they’ll go from “cha-ching!” to “boo!” in a split-second.
Attractive stories often make all the difference between a prospect saying “meh,” and that same prospect shouting, “Shut up and take my money!” Do you think you could use more of the latter reaction? Then implement these 3 narratives and brace yourself for it!