Every time I go to big markets and festivals, I am in awe and overwhelmed simultaneously almost the entire time. It’s freaking exciting to turn every corner and see new products that our beloved entrepreneurs and women in business produce. From handmade soaps to organic facial and hair creams to delicately sewn dresses and scarves. But, if only my pockets were as big as my hippie heart! Like you, I have goals and operate in a small business so I know all about living on a budget. One thing I have to do often is bargain with myself about which item I’m going to commit to purchasing. I can tell you right now that one thing always wins me over: their story.
The story behind a product or business is the real deal. The grit, resilience, ideas, late nights, mistakes, successes, all of it tells the journey. Today’s age of “it didn’t happen if you didn’t post it” dictates the “validity” of someone’s story. For example, I can tell you I make amazing, super moisturizing hair creams but if you didn’t see a posting of someone using my product or hear a positive review, why would you believe I made such phenomenal hair cream? Yea, you can take my word but that’s where the interest stops. If I post about my hair cream, you read about it, you like it, then you may even decide to share the posting. From there, someone on your timeline may follow the same process and boom: free peer-to-peer marketing in your target audience!
For me to share a posting about someone’s business or product, I need to believe in the story. I need to feel the emotions your ad-content is trying to evoke. If I have experiences from that business that were positive, I’m going to become a loyal fan. If I don’t like it, well better believe I’m going to share and tell my friends exactly what I don’t like about your business or product. All of that is a part of the business’ story too- the reviews. But, how do you make everyone happy: YOU DON’T!
When it comes to creating your story to share, you should always keep it real. Stop trying to make your story fit everyone else’s story, too. Maintain the integrity of your brand by being truthful and marketing to those who you know will most benefit/consume your product. Trying to reach everyone waters down the specificity of your niche market. Perfect example: the Shea Moisture Ad Blunder that has all of social media hair-care experts in an uproar. The brand was widely known for products geared toward women with ethnic-type hair (kinky, coarse, curly, etc.) As of late, they have broadened their target audience spectrum by changing the story from “for people of color” to “for everyone” and it’s not going over well. Something we think they lost along the way was telling their original story and using that as a vehicle to grow and sell to loyal customers vs. trying to largely gain new ones in a totally different demographic. Yea, their brand CAN be for everyone but the truth is, consumers don’t want it to be. They want exclusivity. They want to feel like your story is for them, not everyone. So, reconsider how you change the content in your story before you actually go down the wrong path.
There is so much power in your business story on social media. Take note of what your audience wants and go from there. Create it, keep it real, then share it on social media (it is your biggest “free” platform for marketing!) If you find articulating your business story is a little bit more than you can handle, give us a shout! We love learning about new businesses and products and creating awesome content that will help them grow!