Why story-led marketing is the simple choice for technology start-ups.
“Never assume people understand how your brand can change their lives” Donald Miller, Building A Storybrand
A spark of inspiration grows stronger as stories breathe life into it. Tales of passion turning into potential, into a business, into disruption, into a new future bright with success. These are the stories you need to tell.
Clever minds get what it takes to make their mark on society. But the very best ideas cannot be realised in an echo chamber. It takes people to turn those ideas into reality. And it takes voices to tell the world about it.
Why is storytelling so important for your business?
At the heart of every successful start-up is the ability to describe your unique value to those that matter most, be that customers, partners, investors or new talent.
Storytelling is the natural medium for this. It enables you to create more meaningful connections necessary for growth. These connections come not from what you sell but why and how you sell it. Your story, your mission, your values, your success and even your failures.
Great technology no longer speaks for itself.
The temptation to lead with the product is strong for technology companies; it’s where your expertise lies. The truth is, many start-up leaders, although expert technologists, do not have the specific marketing or sales experience to move beyond the ‘what’. Or often, the product or solution you are developing is incredibly complex.
You are proud of your team’s ability to manage that complexity and you don’t wish to ‘dumb it down’. Unfortunately, your customers are not always going to be as bright as you. They don’t want to have to translate your messages or learn new words simply to understand what it is you do.
Stories make your business about your customers
A storytelling approach ensures that your customer is placed firmly at the heart of your marketing but without taking away from what is truly unique and powerful about your product or solution.HILARY SALZMAN, CHIEF STORYTELLER, 22 STORIES
By producing meaningful, relevant sales and marketing content, you can cut through the noise and create long-lasting, profitable connections that support rapid growth, loyalty and customer advocacy. This also helps make you more appealing to investors.
The three stories your business needs to tell, and your customers and investors need to hear.
1. Your brand story
This should tell the tale of what sparked the start of your business. How that story drives your mission today. And the core values that underpin it.
This is about the purpose of your being and the legacy you want to leave, for example, changing the way customers do something or disrupting a market because you believe there is a better, faster, more sustainable way? Perhaps you are determined to prevent the failures of the past and build a better future? Or could it be that you have a wider social goal or purpose behind what you are doing?
- The ‘about us’ section on your website or social bio
- For recruitment and onboarding to align staff to your values and mission
- In presentations, pitches or funding applications
- For PR. There are lots of online and print publications, like Startups Magazine, that love interesting founder stories
2. Your customer story
Your customers need to feel you are talking to them. Crafting detailed personas for your target audience helps you understand what’s happening in their world and create compelling, personalised narratives that build trust.
- Informing your marketing strategy and choice of marketing channels
- Informing your value proposition
- Creating real-life scenarios of how your solutions can be used. This is a creative way of bringing to life what you don’t if you don’t have any real customer case studies yet.
- Giving you a basis to qualify opportunities against.
3. Your value proposition story
This is critical. When it comes to talking about your product or service, you must start with your customer and demonstrate your unique value in delivering the things they need most. A strong value proposition will show a clear link between the challenges they face, the solutions you offer and the tangible benefits of this. It’s also a great opportunity to showcase your expertise and experience as further proof of your value.
- Anywhere and everywhere! Wherever you talk about what you sell
- A good value proposition story acts as single set of messages you can use to create customer-centric, value-led marketing content. For example, website copy, social media posts, pitch materials, sales collateral and presentations etc.
- Adding a storytelling element will enable you to turn your value proposition into something much more creative.
I have over 20 years of experience in the tech industry, helping businesses from global heavyweights to pre-funding start-ups find their voice. I help my clients speak with confidence about their brilliant businesses and achieve their ambitions, whatever their growth plan is. To find out more, get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org