Someone just asked you the much anticipated (and sometimes dreaded) question, “so what does your business do?” Hopefully you have your elevator pitch nailed down and can easily provide important information about your company. But even the clearest and most concise answers can still feel lacking, especially for values-driven businesses where the “why” is just as important as the “what”.
How, then, can you show people what your company is all about?
How to Tell Your Business Story
The best way to tell the story of your values-driven business is the same format they teach aspiring writers: show, don’t tell.
Integrate examples of your values into each customer touchpoint within your content strategy, such as:
- Show employees who exemplify your values on your homepage.
- Post pics of staff members volunteering on social media.
- Highlight other companies who are doing great work in blog posts as inspirational examples.
- If inclusion and dignity are important to your company, make sure your customer service representatives treat customers with respect.
In other words, don’t tell us about what you do, show who you are.
MAYO Content Strategist, Beth LaMontagne Hall, says that telling stories in your marketing, instead of listing features and benefits, helps you stand out and make lasting connections with people.
“With the effective use of great storytelling, businesses can reach the people they want and build the ideal customer base,” she said.
Sharing Our Values
At MAYO, one way we like to share our values and what’s important to us is through our monthly Positivity newsletter. We believe when you take a positive outlook on the world and operate with a growth mindset, new opportunities emerge you may have never thought possible. By spreading our positivity through low pressure tips and good news, we’re showing potential customers our values instead of explaining them.
For those times when you do have to spell out your values in clear, concise language, it can be challenging to do so. How do you talk about what’s important to you while still remaining authentic and sincere?
To Tell Your Business Story, You Must Be Yourself
Before you can tell your brand’s story, you must have something to talk about. Think about the actions you take to live up to your company values. Start by talking about those.
If you envision a world in which goods are assessed on their ethical promise, as opposed to purely profit or market value, you can demonstrate your values–and your quality–through reviews and ratings that mention the ethical value of your products and services.
If, for example, resource conservation is important to you, you might consider providing recycling bags at point of purchase, or sponsoring community events that showcase reduce/reuse strategies.
Whatever the vision for your community, there are business decisions you can make that help build your company’s narrative.
Business Storytelling Tactics
Generating ideas can be the hardest part of storytelling for business. It takes time and creativity, and often a little distance from the day-to-day work to come up with compelling content. If you have business storytelling writer’s block, here are a few tactics you can use.
Perhaps your core value is “a job worth doing is a job worth doing right,” or maybe you’re focused on recycling building materials whenever possible. Create a webpage that explains why these values matter to you. Because many people will arrive on your homepage first, create space there to speak briefly about your values and link to the values page.
If your website is the place where you state your values, social media is the place to constantly reinforce them. Start with posting pics from community engagement events on your LinkedIn page. Build upon that with calls-to-action to support the causes that mean most to you. Highlight how your employees are upholding values like hard work, quality and giving back. Remember the more visual, the better. Use videos and pictures for those “show don’t tell” moments.
As we noted above, visuals are better at grabbing attention and leaving a lasting impression. Illustrate your values in action with a fun and casual video of the team working outside during a day of service, or a time-lapse video of cleaning up an abandoned lot in your neighborhood.
How MAYO Can Help You Tell Your Story
One of the benefits of working with a marketing agency is that it provides a team skilled at getting to the heart of what makes your company unique, as well as identify ways to help you stand out.
“When you make use of stories that tap into our shared humanity and emotional underlife, you create strong connections with your base that last far beyond the point of purchase,” said Beth.
That’s the goal right? Your marketing is only great if people remember it. A good agency is there to make it happen.