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Storytelling and its role of marketing online

Patricia and I were recently asked by a colleague “why the focus on the story?” … “Isn’t what you do really more about Google algorithms, applying online marketing statistics and trends to individual web strategies, and measuring ROI for the client?

This question has had us thinking.

Why the story? Over the past five years since Patricia and I founded A Couple of Chicks’, we have had the pleasure of not only traveling across Canada and the US, but also of really knowing the places and people we are working with – and more importantly – what makes them unique.

So why are these stories so important to the success of what we do? I guess we could just go back to the marketing 101 textbook, which among other things, teaches us to understand the customer. Yes, we have research for that (and lots of it), and while many businesses don’t have the time or resources to individually know every customer, Patricia and I have been lucky enough to be invited into communities, and to really know the people we work with and are speaking to in the workshops and presentations that we do.

In fact, the “stories” have become so ingrained into our methodology that I am not quite sure that our strategies would be as effective without them.

Yes the latest digital marketing trend is important and relevant, and yes we need to understand the latest shift in Google’s algorithms, the new rules on 301 redirects, and how to add a source code to paid search ads for proper measurement – but we also need the narrative behind each unique web strategy, and the people that are building them. How can we truly roll out a successful and engaging web marketing program without first understanding the nuances of the business and who the customers are?

I will quote a Blogger who recently attended one of our presentations (said Blogger happens to be the “techy” son of the owner/operator of a successful Inn in Eastern Canada, who tagged along with his dad to listen to what the Chicks’ were saying about this whole online marketing thing). (Note the “story” in this paragraph)

He writes, “If every prospective guest to the Carriage House could flip through the pages of the guest book sitting in the lobby, they wouldn’t even consider staying elsewhere. With Facebook and Twitter, this is now entirely possible to do online, and relatively easy to promote.”

I could not have said it better myself! So although the research, the training, efficient process and project management skills are all key to assisting businesses to be successful online – sometimes telling a story does it best.

Hey L.S – we think you are on to something btw. The technology driven “writer’s utopia” may just be in sight, but alas we must make sure it is profitable too. And yes I did just use “btw” in that sentence!

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