7 Ways Tech Companies Can Gain Customers By Storytelling

4 min read
Sep 3, 2015 4:45:00 PM

Once upon a time, not so long ago, in a galaxy close to home, there was a technology marketing team that was doing a great job at finding people who had the problems their technology company could solve. However, not that many people ended up buying into their solutions. They were very discouraged – until one day.

Storytelling marketing changed everything. The technology marketing team finally figured out (after using marketing automation to survey their leads) that potential customers couldn't remember the differences between competitors or distinguish enough between their products and the competition's. They needed storytelling to make their company stand out. Can you imagine what happened next?

The next step was: meeting after meeting of people coming up with ideas based on arbitrary opinions of what they thought would be best. Nobody could agree on what story to tell or what would be most effective.

Here, we’ll present to you the secret sauce to make your storytelling marketing effective for your tech company.

Secret 1: Nobody cares about your story unless you give them a good reason to.

Hate to say it, but it's true. You need to give your future customers a reason to listen to your story in the first place. A common mistake people tend to make, especially in tech, is telling the story about how the company started. Why should a prospect listen? When thinking about your story, think about how it fits in with your product and be sure to obviously answer ‘WIIFM’ (What's In It For Me) from the customer's perspective.

Secret 2: Your storytelling marketing isn't really about your story at all. It is about your customers' buyer journeys.

This one is a bit of a mind bender. If you're going to be telling a story, it better be about your customer (or at least relate back to them). Don't talk about your company – explain the experience your company gives to your customers, the problems your tech solves, and the benefits/opportunities your solutions bring, (here's the kicker) all tailored to a specific stage in your buyer persona's journey. Here’s a great example of a well-executed story from the B2B tech provider Workday.

It's like giving a horse an extra kick to spur it on during a race. Spur too much or at the wrong stage of the game and bad things can happen.

Secret 3: Tap into emotions and create drama.

Okay, this should be obvious; it's not really a secret. But then why do tech people typically create dry and emotionless stories? Adding drama to your storytelling marketing shouldn’t be considered taboo.

There are a bunch of emotions that you can tap into. According to this article published by Harvard Business Review, curiosity, amazement, interest, astonishment, uncertainty, and admiration are key emotional responses that contribute to viral content.

Just give your storytelling marketing for your tech company a “once over” for emotions, but please don't call a meeting with the whole company to discuss, like what’s pictured here:

Secret 4: Your story is not an expanded elevator pitch, case study, use case, pamphlet, brochure, etc. It’s a narrative that can be woven into every aspect of your marketing and it has a beginning, middle, and end.

The story I’m telling in this article will come together with a nice conclusion to make an emotional impact. Your story is not something you write up and slap on your ‘About Us’ page just to collect digital dust. Make your storytelling marketing assets reusable.

Secret 5: Think like a child.

“See Jack run.” Boring. “See Jack jump out the window, do a flip, and defeat the bad guys,” now that’s better. You have to make your story exciting in order to keep your readers’ attention! If you have kids above the age of 4 years old, listen to one of the stories they come up with. The reason kids are so good at coming up with entertaining stories is that they use their imagination. Getting your prospects to use their imagination will have a profound effect on your story’s effectiveness.

Secret 6: Clarify your Unique Selling Proposition.

It’s pretty common (especially in High Tech) for companies to have trouble articulating what it is that they actually do. Since they are usually solving very complex problems or providing unique solutions, it’s challenging for tech companies to tie it all together because they do more than just one simple thing. Before attempting to create your story, you must be clear about what you do. For example, think about how you explain to your non-tech family members what your company does? This process is part of creating a compelling USP. You need to refine your USP before kickstarting your storytelling marketing.

Secret 7: Find your ‘big picture’ story by compiling lots of little stories.

Here’s how to start finding your technology company’s story:

  1. Ask people to tell you a story (customers, customer-facing staff, and third party observers).

    1. Write the little stories down.

    2. Tie all of those little stories back to your Unique Selling Proposition.

    3. Get creative and have fun.

Storytelling gives you creative license to make an impact and actually rewire the way people think about your company. Storytelling marketing is really part of a larger strategy that can tie into both your inbound marketing and outbound marketing efforts for lead generation, conversion & close rate optimization, lead nurturing, and revenue generation.

End of story.

Now remember our hero, the technology marketing team from the beginning of this article?

That team is actually YOUR team. Now you know what makes an effective story, how to start building one, and how to use storytelling marketing to get results for your company. Need more ideas? Join our blog list to get them daily.

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