Storytelling is more than just a marketing campaign. It was what weaves itself through our talk in the pubs and the restaurants. It’s what we do when we visit friends and family after a short time. In fact, most of us are like travelling bards. We travel through life telling stories. And you know what? That is what makes us interesting!
There are people in our lives who can make any mundane trip to Aldi sound like the voyage to Mordor. And these are the people we invite to parties or Sunday lunch. Because they are entertaining, and memorable.
Storytelling connect us to other people, and, for marketing purposes, to brands.
But are people really interested in Logistics’ stories?
Spot the rhetorical question!
Yes. Yes, they are. The logistics industry cannot exist in a vacuum. It doesn’t occupy some blank space in a colourless universe with individual escape pods. The logistics industry relies heavily upon people, and those people need to work with other people.
And where there are people, there are interesting stories.
The thing with marketing and storytelling is that not everything you create has to be directly related to sales. The services offered are neither frivolous nor “must-haves”. You wouldn’t walk up to Courier Post Logistics, window shop for a while and order a pint of their best logistic. Writing a content marketing campaign designed to attract knee-jerk sales is never going to work.
So, it is about being memorable.
It is about engaging the audience.
Hit their funny bone. Pull on their heart strings.
Here are five ways you can begin telling stories for people who need your logistics company.
1 – The Origin Story
Think a dark alley, a drizzle causing ripples on the shallow puddles gathering by the dustbins. Perhaps a rat or two nibbling on a discarded crumpet. Into the alley walks Thomas, Martha and young Bruce Wayne. From the other side a shadowed silhouette pulls a revolver from underneath his ridiculously generic trench coat.
And, you know what happens next.
But right there begins the birth of Batman. His motivation sounds like a gun shot. And, the problem he wants to solve made manifest by the man in the long coat. The solution he offers is an abundance of night-time vigilantism.
Now your story may not be as graphic. Nor the reaction to the problems you encountered so extreme. But your logistics company wasn’t created by a random series of unconnected events.
You decided that you didn’t like something. You vowed to change it. Later, you created a solution to the problem. You can start telling stories to people who need your service by letting them know you understand their problem.
In fact, that is the very reason your company exists today.
And let’s face it, origin stories are just cool.
2 – The Amusing Anecdote
Have you ever seen Saving Private Ryan? No? Well then you are missing out on one of the best amusing anecdotes in recent cinematic history. Of course, I am talking about the scene when Private Ryan talks about when he and his brothers were together for the last time. Check it out!
Anecdotes aren’t planned stories, and often they require an element of recall. Of course, they need sharp wordsmithery.
Telling stories this way is a great way to engage your audience. Think of the unusual things that might happen to your drivers or your warehouse staff. Perhaps an amusing conversation you had that day, or how a herd of mountain goats ran across the road when driving to somewhere.
It doesn’t have to be something epic, it can pretty much come from nothing. Telling stories doesn’t have to be Stephen King characters on an Arthurian quest. Just something to break up the day and make your audience smile.
3 – The Shakespearian Tragedy
Like the three witches huddling around the bubbling cauldron in Macbeth, you can see the future. You can predict the rise and fall of your hapless hero as he bumbles around causing untold havoc. Of course, all this calamity could have been avoided if only he opted for your same-day delivery service.
OK that might sound a little bit bombastic, but you can understand the reasoning behind it.
You are offering a solution to their supply chain problems, and you are offering them for a reason. You know full well what happens if people don’t take advantage of your short-term contracts or pallet storage.
Tell them that story.
Illustrate in your best bardic voice the possible danger they are likely to collide with if they don’t consider your services.
4 – The Hero’s Journey
Where would Frodo have been without his Sam for company and assistance? He would probably have been spider food. He most likely wouldn’t have made it that far. Not if Smeagol had his way. Every hero’s journey requires conflict and resolution.
I mean, it is unlikely that your customers are going to face Ring Wraiths, the Witch King of Angmar or the possibility of being plunged into a gold melting volcano. But they will certainly have their own dilemmas to face.
So, make them the hero.
Describe how they slew Shelob with your digitalised distribution service. How did they find their way through the Mines of Moria armed with a torch and your consultancy service?
Telling stories like this can often put your business in real world situations, and although you will never be the hero, everyone loves a good Sam.
5 – The Comedy
Not every story has to involve a sale. It doesn’t even have to involve your company sometimes. It is just a way of keeping people attracted to your brand. It’s a bit like Bottom, Red Dwarf or Men Behaving Badly. Your short story can be utterly pointless.
Well almost pointless.
The point is for them to engage and remember your brand. Social media is a great way of telling stories that literally lead nowhere. It could be a slapstick moment of village-idiot-ery involving a loose angry sheep and an unaware cyclist.
Telling stories like this happens through various mediums. Predominantly video.
And if it is a video, most of your work is already done.
At the very moment the newscaster standing in the blizzard is hit by the fish, all you need is a caption saying something like: “so how is 2020 treating you?”
Don’t be afraid of humour. Use it wisely, and make sure it isn’t cruelly aimed at someone or a demographic of people. As funny as fat jokes might be, there will be someone who is outrageously offended.
In fact, I might be outrageously offended after everything I have eaten during the lockdown.
Wrapping Up the Storytelling
Storytelling is the most important part of your marketing strategy. No story. No sales. It is that simple.
You don’t necessarily have to be Chuck Palahniuk to create them either. Often a story is better told in a simple manner. However, if you find that you struggle with putting pen to paper and muddling those words around into something intelligible, then perhaps it is a good idea to outsource your content marketing.
Writing, more so than any other skill, is the difference between you making regular sales, and screaming into an echoey room.
Let me know if you have anything to add, or generally join in the conversation by commenting below.