5 Reasons Why Your Website Needs a Story
We all remember the magic of being a child lying in bed, reading a story and transporting ourselves into a new world. Stories have captivated our attention since the beginning of time and continue to be important in the world of content marketing. We believe that the best way to convey your true self to your clients on your website is to incorporate storytelling in your copy. A survey conducted by the B2B Technology Marketing Community showed that around 82% of LinkedIn users found that telling a story through case studies was the most effective form of content marketing.
Here, we explain five key benefits of incorporating a story into your website and social posts.
Stories help develop connections in cyberspace
Most of the advisors we work with tell us that the reason they got into the financial services industry and what they love most about their job is building strong relationships with clients because they like helping them navigate their financial future. Having this personal connection is important in almost any industry, but especially important for financial advisors because investing assets is a personal endeavor. Clients want to know that they can trust their advisor.
One of the downsides of Internet marketing is that it is easy to lose this interpersonal connection because there is less face-to-face interaction and because of this, advisors often struggle with connecting to prospects over the Internet. But, not all is lost! When advisors include storytelling in their website content, they transition from being an online brochure to a real person that prospective clients can start to trust. The same goes for social posts as well; instead of merely sharing the newest investment data, tell your audience a story about yourself or your family. If clients didn’t value the connection and trust they build by working with a professional, they would turn to a robo-advisor. You are more than a robo-advisor!
Readers are more likely to share stories
Imagine you’re on Facebook, scrolling through some of your friend’s and family’s most recent posts. You come across an article about the best long-term investments for couples looking toward retirement and one about a couple that invested wisely and retired at 45 years old. Which are you more likely to share with your connections? The second, of course, because it is compelling and interesting, and it shares a personal story about the world of investing. According to an experiment published in the American Marketing Association journal, stories are most likely to be shared if they have a positive message and if they excite the reader.
As impressive as data, investment strategies, and retirement and education planning are, they aren’t going to excite a reader as much as anecdotal examples of the same topics. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t emphasize your credentials and services, but a story combines both the head and the heart — readers can see your qualifications while also engaging in an emotional journey with your content. This engagement will motivate them to share your social posts or refer your website to someone they know.
Stories can encourage your audience to take action
In addition to the previously discussed benefit of shareable content, stories will also hold your viewer longer on your website and motivate them to reach out to you to schedule a meeting. In our book, The Art of Inbound Marketing, we talk about how to keep your prospective clients on your website for longer than thirty seconds by incorporating “sticky elements,” such as video. But another great sticky element is an engaging copy, which could be storytelling. If a viewer reads your origin story, why you love your industry, and what motivates you every day, they will feel compelled to learn more. Make sure you make it easy for your audience to take action by including a contact form on every page of your website.
Stories further your content marketing brand
We talk a lot about social branding and building a cohesive content marketing strategy that ties all aspects of your practice together for viewers. Stories are a great way to further your brand because they help to round out your Internet persona.
Imagine Lara, a financial advisor who has been working hard on her content marketing strategies. She emphasizes her qualifications on her website, shares industry news on her LinkedIn page, and sends out email newsletters every month. These are all great aspects of inbound marketing, but her strategies would be even stronger if she had a page on her website labeled “My Story” that shared how she got into the business. Now, Lara is not only a highly qualified professional that is up-to-date on her industry, but also an advisor with a unique story.
Stories make your message unique
Lastly, stories integrated into your social media plans and website make you unique and help clients decipher between the many options available to them. You’ve worked hard in your career to achieve certifications such as your securities licenses and advanced designations, and have established relationships with other professionals like attorneys and CPAs. But what sets you apart from the roughly 285,000 other independent financial advisors?
The answer: your story. After all, you are the sole author of your story. Not one of those hundreds of thousands of other advisors has the same story as you, which makes it important to share with your clients. When your facts and figures are in line, your story can set you apart from the competition.
You may not be a child reading a bedtime story anymore, but that doesn’t mean stories are no longer important. Telling your story can help you motivate prospective clients, build trust through virtual spaces, and set you apart from your competition. Your story doesn’t have to be monumentally exciting or complex because it’s already something better — yours!
Need help writing your story? Check out our Copywriting service and we’ll help you put your story on paper.