Business Storytelling: How to Write Engaging Content and Boost Your e-Commerce Sales

Businesses all over the world are constantly exploring new marketing tools and making them a part of their marketing strategy. The same goes for those running e-commerce sites who want to attrack more traffic and improve their sales. While there are dozens of strategies you can use to engage your customers, there’s one that always stands out from the rest. We’re talking about storytelling.

Storytelling is an old yet highly effective marketing strategy that has helped marketers and business owners from all over. Business storytelling is a great way to improve the marketing strategy of your e-commerce site and get the attention of your target audience more easily. We’ve put together this guide with 12 tips on how to use business storytelling to boost your e-commerce sales.

1.       Set Your Criteria

We believe that every business move you make needs to be well thought out and should have a plan or a strategy to back it up. The same goes for business storytelling. Before you set out to start using storytelling, you need to set your own criterion and parameters.

Every story that you decide to publish and use for the purpose of your e-commerce marketing needs to:

  • have a clear goal
  • have a storyteller
  • have a target audience
  • address certain issues
  • achieve a certain effect

Before starting to write any of the stories, make sure that you have defined these elements. Only once you know why you’re writing it and to who, will you be able to achieve the effect you want. To put it simply, always plan before writing or publishing.

2.       Be Consistent in Branding

When an e-commerce business is using storytelling to engage their audience or to increase their sales, they’re speaking in the voice of the brand. That means that the story should reflect what the brand stands for and how people should feel about it. This is why, for your storytelling ventures, you have to ensure you follow these rules:

  • use the brand voice
  • express brand personality
  • stay consistent throughout all platforms and media

Here’s how DAVIDsTEA stays consistent with their brand image while telling their brand story:

“At DAVIDsTEA we rise every morning, with a breakfast tea brewing, naturally – with one question on our minds: How can we make a positive impact today?”

They’re all about making their customers’ lives better, more positive, and more enjoyable and they make sure this message is visible in their business storytelling.

3.       Address Specific Issues & Needs

Another thing that you need to consider as part of your business storytelling is understanding your customers’ pain points and addressing them. That means that, when using business storytelling for your e-commerce site, you need to tell your potential and current customers:

  • how you’ll make their lives easier
  • which problems you detected
  • how you plan on solving them

Kids-Room.com is an e-commerce site selling baby items and they’ve addressed the specific issues parents with young children are facing:

“It is our mission to only include the best and highest quality baby items in our range. Before a product is added to our range, it is examined very closely. Items with contaminated material and products that show poor workmanship have no place in our range – for the sake of you and your child.”

This e-commerce focuses on offering high-quality, reliable, and safe products, not allowing anything of poor quality to reach their customers’ children.

4.       Spread Your Mission

Business storytelling is about bringing your business closer to people by appealing to their emotional side and giving them a reason to love your company. Stating your mission and clarifying the bigger picture behind your e-commerce site is can help push them in the right direction.

Let’s take a look at IKEA, the Swedish furniture and home accessories brand that states the following as their mission “to create a better everyday life for the many people.”

This mission statement is a part of each of their stories and it is what they emphasize whenever they have the chance.

5.       Show Your Team

It’s always a great idea to let your customers learn more about the people behind the brand. This will help them get to know you better and feel like they belong to your little family. Using storytelling, you can answer questions such as:

  • Who are the founders?
  • Who’s in your team?
  • What’s your hiring criterion?
  • What’s everyone’s background story?
  • What’s the work atmosphere like?

You can share all of this and more with your website visitors or social media followers and give them a glimpse into the people who are making it all happen.

The founder of Patch, an online shop selling indoor plants, pots, and gardening accessories, claims he was a clueless gardener before he took some interest in plants.  His story is both funny and inspiring, and he proudly shares it with anyone interested in learning about it.

6.       Share Actionable Endings

If you’ve followed step one of our guide, you’ve learned that it’s important for each business story to have a goal. But it’s not enough for you to just set the goal and hope it’ll find a way to accomplish itself, you need to work your story up to the moment when your goal is accomplished.

This means that in your business storytelling you must be:

  • compelling
  • motivating
  • thought-provoking

You need to end your stories with a strong call-to-action or an actionable tip that will engage the readers. They need to feel inspired, energized, and motivated to engage with your brand and make their first purchase.

PatPat is an online shop selling maternity and baby clothes, and they’ve used these tactics in their business storytelling. Here’s how they finish off their “About Us” section with an actionable remark:

“From play dates to birthday parties, seasonal photoshoots to every day, we created a destination for you to find matching family clothing, maternity wear, shoes, accessories, home goods, and more. Let us dress your every moment.”

7.       Humanize Your Brand

We live in a world surrounded by social media, sponsored ads, pop-up ads, and targeted posts. We’re being bombarded with so much content every day that people are getting tired of all the brands trying to reach them. This is why you have to create a more unique, humanized approach. Storytelling will help you go from “just another e-commerce” to “a place I love to visit”.

Instead of creating remarkable promotion videos and hiring models to advertise your online store, try using business storytelling. It will:

  • humanize your brand
  • make you seem more friendly and kind-hearted
  • make you approachable
  • make you trustworthy

Use storytelling to show that you and your team are people, trying to make a change in the world, and make the most out of every day.

8.       Be Open About Failures

Nobody’s perfect and that’s another message that needs to be visible in your business storytelling. Fake stories that cover the perfect journey of e-commerce stores, from idea to success, are boring and not impactful. However, sharing the hardships of your journey towards building your e-commerce site is what people are going to believe and remember. You can share a story about:

  • your professional failures
  • the issues you struggled with
  • your ideas that didn’t work
  • how it made you who you are today

People need to see that you’re just as much human and ordinary as they are. They’ll respect you more and trust your e-commerce more for it.

9.       Use Visuals

No matter how great your story is, there are still those people who don’t like to read extensively and lose interest after seeing a bigger chunk of text they’re expected to read. The is a solution to this problem is visuals. Visuals are the perfect way to bring any story to life and bring it closer to your target audience. They’re also a great way to help bring a story to life. You can use visuals that include:

  • photos of the founders
  • photos of the team members
  • behind the scene videos
  • video interviews

Whatever your story’s about support it with visuals that will grab everyone’s attention. For instance, Jerry’s Artarama created an Instagram video about Grandpa Jerry, the founder of this art supplies store. It is inspiring and speaks about the importance of quality time inside the family. Naturally, they recommend doing art! This is a perfect example of how a story can be layered and effective on numerous levels:

  • emotional
  • talks about brand history
  • actionable
  • inspiring
  • inviting

10.   Educate

Your story can be so much more than purely inspirational. In fact, it can be educational and impart knowledge. To create this kind of story, you’ll need to build it around an experience that helped you learn a valuable lesson. A trial-and-error experience will help your readers:

  • learn
  • grow personally or professionally
  • get some true value
  • find solutions to their own similar problems

Educational and valuable stories can move mountains if written the right way.

11.   Write Professionally

As we’ve already said, every story that you publish is a reflection of your business. Therefore you have to be very careful about the way you write and think twice before you hit “publish”. The best way to ensure you’re writing like a professional is to stick to a writing routine:

  • outline
  • write
  • edit
  • proofread

Don’t let any mistakes find their way into your business stories. To help with this, you can check out an academic writing service or you can use tools such as Grammarly to improve your content writing.

12.   Hit the Emotions

If you want to do storytelling the right way, you should try adding the emotion to your stories. The content of your story should evoke some sort of emotional reaction from the target audience.

Emotional stories come with benefits:

  • they’re memorable
  • they are impactful
  • they guide the buyers down the funnel
  • they help the customers connect to you

The Vegan Kind Supermarket asked its customers to share their stories and unite around the idea of why they went vegan. Most of the answers were emotional and shared a short inspirational story. Here’s one of the answers:

“I took my dog for a walk and came across some lambs in a field running and playing and it hit me how can we love one and punish another! I went vegetarian that day.”

You can use these emotional stories to create a sense of togetherness and unite your customers around your e-commerce site’s mission statement. This can help boost your sales and raise brand awareness.

Final Thoughts

Running an e-commerce business implies being able to engage your customers and offer them more than just great products. It’s about the perfect mixture of emotions, customer experience, ideals, and life-changing decisions.

Use business storytelling to inspire your customers and give them all the reasons to become loyal to your online store. Share compelling and inspirational stories and you’ll be amazed by the results.

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