Jeff Coyle, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of MarketMuse, hosted a compelling webinar on storytelling to help your small business make a significant impact. He welcomed special guest Roland Reichel, CEO, and co-founder of Arrow AI. The two aimed to nail down what’s essential for storytelling in marketing for a small business compared to larger ones.
As a small business owner, you’ll find many helpful tips and strategies throughout the conversation as the two experts unpack:
- The importance of small business storytelling
- How great storytelling is rooted in big ideas
- The importance of quality over quantity
- The importance of Facebook as a marketing element
- Applying proven SaaS apps to the Facebook algorithm
What does it take to become successful at storytelling for small businesses? Several things, according to Reichel.
“It takes time to get good at these things,” he said. “It takes tools, and it does take a realization that you’re going to rely on the expertise [of others] to make it happen.”
Social media success is more than just fine storytelling. There is an underlying component with social media platforms — the algorithm.
As a business owner, you use software for accounting, and you should use it for marketing, too. SaaS products are affordable and effective at doing some of the heavy work for you, freeing up more time to work on your business.
Great Storytelling Is Rooted in Big Ideas
If you aspire to be the storyteller for your business, you need to think big. Don’t stop storytelling after announcing what is unique about you or your business, and don’t keep using the same storyline on repeat. Instead, dive deeper and strive to connect with people more personally.
Reichel compares storytelling for small businesses to the movies. Movies are influential, impactful ways to communicate a message to someone that lingers with them for years to come.
“So I think in big terms,” Reichel said, “and, I think when you talk about business, you got to think in big terms, you gotta communicate who you are and what you do in ways that people can understand quickly, and you have to be engaging.”
Engagement doesn’t always happen easily. It can be a challenging process to start, but experts say it boils down to three things:
- The right platforms
- Effective tools
- Empathetic engagement
Many small businesses owners, like you, are trying to get messages out to their customer base. When you want to get your message across you, need to focus on:
- Facebook strategy
- Your community as your customer base
- Finding marketing tools that improve your ROI
The Importance of Quality Over Quantity
Believe it or not, storytellers are not made overnight. You may even need tools to assist you. Content quality has become a critical driver in social media, ranking out over even the highest bidder for ads. Algorithms prioritize content that’s:
- Engaging to viewers
However, creating content that hits all three marks can be challenging.
While a consistent message on your Facebook page is critical, it isn’t more important than making sure your messages are engaging. If you’re churning out slop and it’s the first thing your customer sees when they make a business connection, you aren’t going to get much traction.
Your traction will also lag even if you have top-of-the-line creative, empathetic, and engaging posts you only release every few months. You should publish your posts:
- At the correct hours
- At least three times a week
Coyle said that most “people believe they’re better storytellers than they actually are. If you … never studied storytelling, you are not a good storyteller.” Storytelling involves:
- Empathizing with your target audience
- Being encouraging
- Relating to the consumers of your product or service
People tend to care about what applies to themselves, so don’t make the story you tell across social media all about:
- Your business benefits
- Your brand features
- Selling a product
Coyle emphasized using an antecedent if your original story isn’t as eye-catching to your consumers as it should be. One example of this method may be simply using a SaaS tool that generates engaging posts for your social platforms.
Reichel agreed: “Don’t be that guy at the party that only talks about themselves”.
What Is the Real Fix if You Are Not a Good Storyteller?
You don’t want to always try selling on social media. You should strive to engage instead. As a small business, taking an active role in conversations is important because it opens the door to future connections. You should engage your online audience just like you would someone at a face-to-face meeting, where you talk about different topics, not just your brand,
As Coyle put it, you need to strive to “be more than just features and benefits” in the online world.
You know your craft well and understand when to seek expert help for your business. The real fix for lousy storytelling is:
- Finding experts as needed to help you
- Using Facebook as your go-to social media outlet
- Utilizing Arrow AI as your SaaS storytelling marketing tool
The Importance of Facebook as a Marketing Element
Your social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms is the medium people use to make initial contact with your company. These outlets serve as investigative resources for customers. The drive to investigate has risen since the onset of the pandemic. Reichel emphasized that 50% of people look your company up on Facebook before calling you or entering your store.
If at least half of your business connections are starting online, you want to make the best impression possible by:
- Having a nice logo
- Including a great header
- Providing a working phone number
- Making sure your contact details are correct
- Providing an accurate address
Once you have all your information in order, you need to think about your positioning. Some critical questions to ask yourself include:
- Is the person visiting my page looking for business now?
- What is the core function of the visit?
- Can your potential customer find information quickly?
- What can you provide to someone looking to explore what you have to say?
- What does an online customer’s experience look like compared to an in-store one’s experience?
- Is your page fun?
- Is your message consistent?
You might still notice low interaction rates if you put out all that effort. About one in every 300 people who visit your site will:
- Click further
Fortunately, as a business owner, you can use fun tools to boost engagement and quality content, like Arrow AI.
Applying Proven SaaS Apps to the Facebook Algorithm
Business owners who use Arrow AI see a 300% engagement increase on their Facebook pages. This AI plugin for Facebook generates posts for your page to engage viewers.
On top of that, some key benefits of Arrow AI include:
- Ability to access it right from your Facebook page
- Free or paid plans
- Only click one button to use it
- Engages with the social media algorithm
- Geotargeted posting
- It doesn’t collect cookie data
- It doesn’t collect device ID
Rolan Reichel is a CEO and entrepreneur focused on building and delivering real solutions for businesses with a radical focus on value and growth online. A serial entrepreneur, Arrow AI is his third marketing and advertising technology company.
Here are the main takeaways of the webinar on storytelling for small businesses:
- Storytelling for your small business is how you represent yourself to the world and should be more than features and benefits.
- How to get discovered as a small business
- SaaS tools are beneficial for helping you market your business.
Follow the resources noted in the webinar on storytelling for small businesses: