Storytelling is the new marketing.
Gone are the days of the hard sell and many startups have slowly turned to storytelling to supercharge their growth.
Stories are powerful. They allow companies to create campaigns that resonate with prospects, branding that sticks, and products that people can relate with.
LinkedIn – the largest professional social media platform in the world – is also ripe with companies that have employed storytelling to drive growth and stay relevant in even the most competitive of industries.
“The reason we’ve been successful on LinkedIn and able to hack the growth of many companies are because of the stories we tell,” says Houston Golden, founder and CEO of BAMF Media, a digital marketing group that specializes in turning their clients into LinkedIn Influencers through impactful lead generation and thought leadership.
Using storytelling on LinkedIn might sound a little out of the ordinary, especially on a platform that is geared towards business professionals, as opposed to storytelling on other platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.
However for Golden, who’s helped hundreds of startups and Fortune 500 companies gain traction on LinkedIn, there’s no better way to spark growth.
“People are drawn to stories. Back in the day, if you wanted to get an important concept across you’d use a story. Fables, epics, legends, you name it, were all used to communicate a message because it makes the content easier to understand and memorable. In marketing, you don’t just want your audience to easily understand your message, you want them to remember it, too,” says Golden.
The statistics also speak for themselves, according to a study, we are 22 times more likely to remember a message when it’s wrapped in a story. If you want to deliver a memorable message, package it in a story.
Golden’s company, BAMF Media, has earned global recognition for its innovative LinkedIn Influencer service that employs storytelling for every campaign that they run. To them, it’s an important part of hacking growth, especially on a highly competitive platform that’s built for business.
Crafting marketing campaigns with great stories have helped his clients find their competitive advantage, raking in hundreds of millions of views and boosting both their active and passive lead generation efforts on the platform.
“Storytelling is an integral part of growth hacking. If you want to grow, you have to make sure that people buy into and relate to your cause.”
There are many reasons why marketers are turning to storytelling to craft campaigns:
- Relational – as mentioned by Golden, stories have a way of appealing to people because they’re non-threatening and easily digestible. In an age of account-based marketing and personalization, having the relational edge, helps build competitive advantages.
- Interesting – the biggest advantage of stories is the way it captivates an audience. In the battle for attention on the internet, it’s not just about standing out, it’s also about maintaining that attention.
- Memorable – getting prospects to take a look at your message is just half of the battle, getting them to remember you when they need the services that you offer is the war. People tend to remember stories more than the benefits of a product, if a marketer can spark recall based on a campaign’s story, then their half way through the sale.
- Entertaining – utilizing storytelling on a platform like LinkedIn offers people a breath of fresh air. Instead of the regular professional content or deliberate ads, providing them with a story helps break the norm. Let’s face it, ads are boring, people want to be entertained.
However, not all stories are created equal, and some will naturally do better than others. This is why on competitive platforms like LinkedIn, Golden ensures that storytelling also follows a scientific approach.
“You need to be relational. People don’t read stories to learn about you, but to relate to and learn about themselves. And not everything you write is going to blow up with your audience. This is why we publish content consistently — between 12 and 120 times per month for our clients — to make sure everything is A/B tested and tweaked until your audience tells you the story they love the most, and you go viral. Once you find the sweet spot, you can leverage your story to hack growth,” says Houston.
The storytelling approach is also the most efficient way to build a brand and craft great messages. Startups can spend a majority of their resources trying to prove that they’re the best in the business, but if people aren’t open to the message, it’s an uphill battle.
“Remember that a story is only as good as the script or the core message. Even if your story is solely driven by emotion but has a bad script; your message will get muddled or even worse, twisted to a whole new narrative. It’s easy to become a storyteller as long as you’re truthful to yourself.”
LinkedIn storytelling has allowed Houston Golden and his team at BAMF to create one of the strongest brands on the platform, and create new markets for their clients. It’s the single most critical part of their growth hacking efforts because in this highly competitive age, it’s the one of the only things that works.