Rob Biesenbach believes stories are the best way to connect companies to consumers. An actor, author, speaker, and consultant, Rob has helped companies like Walgreens and Quaker do just that.
“The power of storytelling” is all the rage, but most of the info out there just creates more confusion. Rob wants to demystify the process because, with the right tools, anyone can tell a good story.
HOW TO: Use stories to build brand trust and set yourself apart in a noisy world
1. Start with the 3 key elements of a story: character, goal, challenge
A story is a character in pursuit of a goal in the face of a challenge. Think about your target audience — what characters can they relate to? What goals do they have? And what challenges do they face? This is the foundation of a story that will connect.
Build your top audience personas and keep them on-hand as you create your storylines. Pay special attention to step 5! →
2. Once you’ve chosen, stand by your 3 elements — resist the temptation to overload
Choose ONE relatable main character, ONE goal, ONE challenge. People will push to show the full spectrum of your company’s offerings, but generalizing will destroy the power of your story.
This template will help you flesh out your 3 elements, then condense them into a 2-sentence summary that you can use to respond to any and all haters 😉 →
3. Mine your personal experiences to source original story ideas
Don’t be afraid to get personal and be passionate — people like working with humans, and stories are the strongest way to humanize yourself and your brand. Search for stories from the front lines, all the way up through top executives.
When you strike gold, write or transcribe quick notes to yourself so you don’t forget any details →
4. Trigger an emotional response by using that emotion in the story — audiences mirror what they see
If you’re trying to connect your audience to your workplace, don’t talk about what you do, talk about why you do it. 63% of people remember a story, while only 5% of people remember a statistic.
One of Rob’s top storytelling mediums is video, where music is a must for driving emotion. Search this database of royalty-free soundtracks; just remember to credit appropriately →
5. Less is more: create shorter stories with all the non-essential elements removed
Use as little time as possible to communicate your 3 key elements, and exclude any information that doesn’t directly contribute.
Pull analytics from your videos to see where viewers may be losing interest →
6. Forget about B2B vs. B2C; we’re all working in B2P — Business to People
There’s a misconception that B2B buyers use logic more than consumers. But the truth is, you’re always selling to people. Emotion-based storytelling works regardless of your industry.
Business Insider analyzed the top emotions in viral content. If you’re stuck, this is a good place to start →
For a deep dive into Rob’s storytelling wisdom, check out his new book — Unleash the Power of Storytelling: Win Hearts, Change Minds, Get Results