Turning Employees Into Storytellers
Stories, we’ve been telling them for centuries, in fact even long before recorded history, although of course, the art of storytelling has changed throughout the ages.
Today, while the way in which we tell stories may have changed, the desire to tell and hear stories remains the same.
There is undoubtedly an emotional element to brand storytelling, however, many businesses are still unaware of the power and reach of internal communications.
The likelihood is that within your business you have wealth of knowledge and expertise in the form of employees at your disposal. Tapping into and sharing this experience can often help to develop a shared sense of identity, showcase your expertise as a business, and of course, build a personal and emotional connection with your customers and prospects alike.
How To Engage Customers
It’s true that great marketing starts with great inside-out storytelling. This can often be overlooked by businesses, particularly large corporates, which may directly or even indirectly influence the stories that employees tell, and therefore, they become impersonal and bland.
All businesses big or small have values and ethics that they encourage employees to adopt, and while that’s normal when it comes to engaging customers the ‘corportate shackles’ must come off, or at the very least be loosened.
Your customers will resonate and engage with stories that inspire emotion, therefore, of course, the goal should be to empower employees to be authentic. After all, we know that consumers are more likely to trust the people closest to them, or people they feel they can easily relate to, and there’s the value behind humanizing storytelling.
Providing The Platform
We now know the importance of stories, therefore, it’s crucial that employees have the platform and equally feel comfortable contributing.
At 10to8 for example, we will often hold open internal content committees, which provide all employees with the platform to voice their ideas on articles that they would like to add, and the knowledge that they would like to share. For instance, developers will often be keen to showcase their hard work by highlighting new features.
To summarize, without the platform, your employees will never have the opportunity, however, even with the platform, it’s important, that content is humanized to ensure authenticity and diversity of thoughts and experiences.
Tips For Storytales Of Success
It’s unlikely that many employees are budding Shakespearean’s, therefore, it’s important to remember to provide your workforce with support when it comes to writing.
One method to support employees would be to provide a template or even a series of questions relating to their chosen topic, this can help to draw out and extract inner feelings and thoughts, which can help an article become more authentic and emotive. Just remember, try not to lead them too much, otherwise, you’ll lose an element of authenticity.
Some questions you may want to consider posing;
What challenges did I face?
How did I overcome challenges?
What steps did I take to achieve the result?
Of course, the questions you pose will differ slightly depending on the chosen article and topic.
While you’ll never want to lead employees when it comes to storytelling, it’s still a good idea to remind them to use clear language with a conversational tone, and to avoid boring corporate jargon, or even terms which are deemed too technical, although the latter will depend on your audience.
Finally, remind employees to provide stats or figures that may support their contribution if applicable, and don’t forget to include citations and reference for external resources.
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Craig, is the International Marketing Manager at 10to8, with over 10 years’ digital marketing experience.
At 10to8 Craig devises and oversees multi-channel marketing campaigns, and plays a pivotal role in growing the business. Throughout Craig’s most recent career history he’s specialised in successfully growing tech start-ups.Craig Gibson
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