December 15, 2021
Storytelling became a hot buzzword in marketing over the last decade, but many business owners are still unsure how to leverage it. After all, storytelling comes in a variety of forms and in the past has been used mostly for entertainment purposes. But when it comes to marketing? That’s where things can get confusing.
The team at Hubspot says “Storytelling isn’t any 10,000-word article, your sales goals, an advertisement, about your brand, boring, something 'cool' that happened, or a sales pitch." And yet, statistics show that storytelling can boost conversion rates by 30%! Can you imagine that sort of increase for your tour & activity by simply changing up your creative copy?
Storytelling is a creative endeavor, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t rules or guidelines you should follow in order for it to be successful. This is because stories are more than just words strung together – they actually have a different impact on your brain than just normal facts and statements. This makes stories incredibly powerful, but only when you use them correctly.
Here are some tips to make sure your stories are as compelling and converting as possible!
Spend some time familiarizing yourself with all the different kinds of storytelling structures. In order for a story to truly be a story, it must have certain elements. Oftentimes, at the minimum, it must have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Structures like this ensure that your story is going somewhere. That it has purpose! This is important to keep people engaged.
So when you’re putting together your copy, the most important thing you can do is ensure that it has a flow to it. Does it hook people at the beginning like all good stories do? Travelers are some of the most curious types of consumers out there, so if you want to keep someone on your website, you need to have a good story hook.
The greatest storytelling mistake we often see tour & activity websites make is using their big bold headlines to make statements. “Show, don’t tell” is the golden rule of storytelling, and yet it is often forgotten by businesses trying to prove to customers that they’re the best. Instead of trying to convince travelers & guests with headlines like “#1 RATED WALKING TOUR IN DESTINATION XYZ”, use this valuable space to show people why you’re the best.
Storytelling is all about painting a picture for your audience. The clearer, more vibrant picture you paint, the more they are able to picture themselves there. That’s the goal! If someone can picture themselves during your tour or experience having a great time, then you’ve sold them.
You’re probably thinking “there are a lot of stories I could tell, which one is going to get people excited?” And of course there are endless stories you likely could tell. Our suggestion is to focus the story around the journey you take visitors & guests on. Put the story spotlight on them and their experience, not your story. Why? Because when consumers are in buying mode they are asking themselves: “what’s in it for me?”
Focus on the transformation that awaits them. If they are looking to book a tour because they’re feeling bored, uninspired, and disconnected, then what will they feel during and after your experience? Focus on this emotional thread throughout your story. Stories are so powerful because they transport us, engage our imagination, stimulate strong emotions, entertain and enlighten us. They show us what is possible. Keep this in mind as you’re crafting yours.
Going back to the importance of painting a picture for people, this doesn’t mean you’re limited to telling your story with words alone. Yes, sensory language and literary devices like alliteration, rhythm, metaphors and idioms will help you bring your story to life with more color and depth. But don’t forget to back your words up with relevant photos and even colors and shapes that reinforce the emotions and moods you’re trying to create.
One of the best things you can do right now is perform a self-audit on your website. Go through and ask yourself…
And if you’re looking to brush up on your storytelling skills and you’re a DIY-marketer, consider taking a storytelling course for tour & activity businesses. Some people may find storytelling easier than others, but it’s an important skill to build as your business grows. Everyone is a capable storyteller, and we can’t wait to hear yours! Questions about storytelling for your tour or activity? Start a thread in our free Facebook group