“1000 songs in your pocket” helped Apple sell the iPod, and “1% For the Planet” allowed Patagonia to become an irreverent outdoor brand with a booming customer base.
Selling your products while touting features and specs doesn’t have the same impact as engaging audiences with a well-crafted narrative—the latter doesn’t only sell your product. It helps your brand stand out from the crowd.
In 2010, Princeton University researchers set out to study the brain activity of speakers and listeners engaged in communication. They found that successful communication led to the speakers’ and listeners’ brains entering a state of coupling and mirrored activity.
This means that successful communication, such as a good story, literally binds together our thinking processes. What’s more, we can leverage this phenomenon in advertising strategies in something called conversion storytelling.
What is conversion storytelling?
Conversion storytelling involves creating persuasive “micro-stories” or narrative flows with the help of copy, images, and page structure to engage, delight, and finally convert customers. Marketers that use conversion storytelling in their campaigns are able to establish an emotional connection with their customers via a cohesive narrative tailored for its intended target audience.
If you utilize such narratives, they’ll resonate, educate, and inform throughout the customer journey, as you build deeper connections that help you fulfill your conversion goals. You just need to apply conversion storytelling at the right time using best practices.
However, it is essential to apply storytelling in the right place, at the right time, in the right way.
Today’s post will explain how to apply the art of conversion storytelling throughout your campaigns to help engage and grow your audience.
How to align conversion storytelling with every stage of the customer journey
A good narrative has one key goal: to influence user motivation and behavior. A good micro-story will accomplish this by relaying tension (pain point), solution (offer), and resolution (a good ending). Here’s how to conversion storytell across each stage of the customer journey—awareness, consideration, conversion, and retention.
Before you start creating your narrative it’s important to get a deep understanding of your target audience, unique value proposition (UVP), and buyer journey. After you’ve done the necessary homework, you can start using conversion storytelling to drive action based on where the user is in their customer journey.
Create intrigue at the awareness stage
As this is the start of the journey, initiate a story that tries to connect with your customers’ interests and values. Try to reach them by talking about relatable experiences and common problems—weave a story that draws on your customers’ propensity to empathize.
As in Benji‘s ad and landing page, the company does this by creating a story around “affordable luxury.”
The brand first sets the tension by identifying the target audience’s problem: Luxury bedding costs too much. Then it presents the affordable luxury solution.
The About Us section of the landing page introduces the user the user to Benji as a brand that is breaking the bedding industry’s “status quo” by telling users some inside-industry information, that the thread count is not as important as competitors want them to believe and part of the high cost is due to unnecessary middlemen.
With the “affordable luxury” narrative, Benji eases users’ minds by assuring them that they don’t have to buy ridiculously expensive sheets just so they can sleep better using a down-to-earth language, such as “So.Damn.Soft.”
Educate and inform at the consideration stage
You can delve more deeply into the brand’s perspective and narrative at this stage of the user journey. Explain why you built your brand and what you’re doing to help solve the user’s problem or how you’re helping them achieve their goal.
Relay facts and practical information that help users understand why your offer stands out from the competition.
RUX‘s “One System to Pack, Move and Use Your Gear” campaign does this by showing users impressive results of one of their campaigns.
Rux also sends subscribers regular emails filled with social proof in the form of positive customer feedback.
These mini customer testimonial stories showcase how RUX is helping them “make space for the good life by creating the most agile and sustainable systems for people to manage and move their gear” which is the brand’s mission.
The customer reviews and testimonials help RUX fill in the story that they’ve been telling—it presents their narrative from the user’s point of view. Their blog features stories on camping and outdoor adventures that tie into their product features—allowing users to understand why they need RUX in their life.
Influence a purchase at the conversion stage
Here’s where the rubber hits the road when customers decide whether they will convert. At this stage, it’s essential to affirm how your brand helps solve users’ primary issues and pain points. Like in the Rux example above, customer success stories work really well here as they help to build trust and credibility, providing the last nudge to convert.
But, in addition to customer quotes and snippets, at this stage, it is important to supplement your narrative with hard facts and stats. Showcase the customer testimonial, yes, but do it via case studies that go into detail about why you’re above the competition and the perfect choice for the user to solve their pain point.
To achieve this you need to feature customer case studies that state these essential truths:
- Your product or service does what you claim
- It solves users concerns
- It’s better than competitive products and services on the market
Postclick features case studies that fulfill all three criteria to help potential users visualize exactly how Post-Click Automation will help them increase landing-page conversions with relevant stats and authentic results.
For instance, a case study of Postclick customer Evolve illustrates the platform’s value with impressive statistics.
Here’s a compelling customer quote that helps push the narrative forward:
Get engagement at the retention stage
To ensure you don’t lose the customers you have acquired, it is important to keep them engaged with community-driven stories. Invite customers to stay connected and be a part of your narrative—the story that intrigued them to become a part of your brand in the first place.
At this stage, it is essential that your conversion storytelling inspires future user engagement and helps induce a sense of belonging in your users. Patagonia does this masterfully by segmenting their stories by audience preferences, taking into account the power of sharing stories with like-minded people.
All their stories showcase the personal experiences of real people. They also include tips and recommendations about each category of outdoor sports. The narratives help customers feel emotionally connected to something bigger. They help them become members of a community of people who enjoy the same pleasures and go through the same struggles.
Raw and authentic customer stories keep your audience engaged and excited about your business. They allow you to bring your brand to life, build meaningful relationships, and upsell and cross-sell new products that help you retain the customers you have already have.
You can also apply conversion storytelling to create unique and relevant ad experiences using Taboola’s user behavior data and flexible creative formats. Find out how to do that here.
Utilize conversion storytelling to connect with your audience
Conversion storytelling is half part marketing science and half part art. When done correctly, it helps brands engage audiences, foster connections, create a community, and establish social proof—all this enables you to grow your audience and generate more sales.