How to Tell Your Story Online
Stories and storytelling have been an integral part of human culture for thousands of years, with visual storytelling dating back to over 30,000 years ago. Today, storytelling has evolved quite a bit and it is just as essential. From photos to videos to blog posts to podcasts and so much more, people consume stories constantly, and most often digitally. Savvy brands have recognized the importance of storytelling and incorporated their own stories into their digital marketing efforts. Because so much of the real estate industry relies on building and nurturing relationships, leveraging storytelling as part of your real estate digital marketing strategy is key. It’s also one of the most natural, and often overlooked, things you can do to stand out and grow your business.
Stories are powerful because they’re memorable and, at least for stories we haven’t heard a million times, teach us something new. Incorporating stories is a great way for your audience to gain insight into who you are. Stories help you demonstrate your expertise, foster your sphere of influence, generate more leads, connect with buyers and sellers, and much more. When you share stories, you’re more likely to capture your audience’s attention and form a deeper connection, necessary to build trust.
The great thing about storytelling for real estate is that you get to be as creative as you want. You can decide what narrative you want to craft and in fact, craft several different narratives. You can share your company’s journey, an agent’s story, or stories from within your community, to name a few. Remember, stories have different elements and they’re not all about you. Ultimately, the goal is to share stories for people at different points in the buying or selling process, and with different backgrounds and needs, to enjoy and connect with. Keep reading to discover how to craft and share your story online in the most memorable and appealing way.
How to Effectively Tell Your Story
- Be intentional
- Share success stories
- Leverage video
- Use conversational language
- Get personal
- Embrace blogging
- Utilize omnichannel marketing
Decide what message you want to convey, and your goal in doing so, so you can best tailor your content for its intended audience. Do you want to position yourself as a local expert? Or, do you want to convey your brand’s personality as reliable and easy to talk to? Having an intention behind what kind of story or stories you want to tell makes it easier to create content, decide what medium it will be in, and lead your audience on a journey with you. Stories shouldn’t all be about you, and you should have a reason to want to tell them. Asking and answering what you are hoping to accomplish in telling each story can be a very useful starting point.
Share success stories
People like to hear about other people’s experiences and take into consideration their thoughts and reviews. Ask clients to share their stories working with you and how you’ve helped them achieve their goals. Make sure they’re truly stories, not just soundbites or traditional testimonial-style quotes. When someone talks about an event, something that happened while they were working with you and both how it affected them and how you helped them through it, it’s going to be far more powerful of a message than a simple one or two sentence quote. Stories give better insight for prospects to understand who you are and what working with you is like. Displaying success stories with images or creating a video where you interview clients are eye-catching ways to feature the service element of your business and ensure your message resonates.
The video storytelling opportunities for real estate are endless. You can film a video tour of a listing so buyers can better envision themselves in the home or community. To add an extra layer to the video, consider interviewing prominent figures in the community or featuring popular amenities or attractions. Or, create videos that give tours of your office, interview team members, or detail how your business started. Be sure to upload your video to YouTube and embed videos on your website to boost your SEO for real estate.
Use conversational language
For stories involving text, talk to your audience like you would a friend. Don’t be afraid to use more casual, humorous, or clever language to establish and show off your company’s personality a bit more. People like to feel like they’re talking to a real person and are more likely to relate to you better (more on that below). It can be really helpful to define your brand voice as part of your overall brand identity. Things like the tone of your brand, the way you sound (and want to sound), and the words you use are all really important. If you want to be approachable, for example, your word choice would be different than if you want to be seen as exclusive. Your brand positioning is up to you – if you’re stuck with how to say what you want to say, we can help.
Often, what makes stories exceptional is the fact that they are relatable. In fact, Matthew Luhn of Pixar fame (who calls himself “guy who makes people cry”) says stories are meaningful because they are memorable, impactful, and personal. As a real estate service provider, you want your potential clients to believe you know what it’s really like for them to buy or sell a home. This includes sharing personal stories about relocating, finding the right community, how many houses you viewed before finding the right one, preparing your home for viewing, and more. Find what you and others on your team can bring to the table and incorporate personal stories to create more meaningful connections and build rapport with your audience. Keep in mind you should still make sure to tailor content to the needs of your intended audience and how you’ll be able to help them reach their goals. Just because you have a story to share doesn’t mean it should be shared, and there are likely many stories you have that can help your audience better navigate their own experience and understand what it would be like to work with you through it all.
Typically, when we think about stories we think of the written word. Blog posts are a classic way to share stories and have so many opportunities to engage your audience with a variety of topics. For example, if you’re featuring a special listing, craft a narrative that puts the reader inside the home, walking from room to room. Or, along the same lines, take your reader through their prospective community. Blog posts are also a great way to detail your company’s story; you could address who founded the company and why, how your team got into real estate, what your purpose is, and more.
Utilize omnichannel marketing
Perhaps the most essential ingredient to effectively telling your story online is leveraging omnichannel marketing to get people to hear, read, and watch your story. Omnichannel marketing is a way for brands to position their potential customer at the epicenter of their marketing strategy, ensuring a seamless experience across any place they choose to interact with you, whether it’s an ad, a phone call, walking into an office, or more. In order to do this, you should deliver consistent messaging everywhere you are talking about your services. We all interact with brands in multiple ways and across multiple channels so consistency really is key in ensuring you come across as authentic and trustworthy. Digital channels should include but are not limited to your website, social media, advertising, email, and more. Sharing your personalized content across these channels in a consistent way creates a cohesive experience for your potential customers and instills confidence they’ll know what they’ll get by working with you.
In summary, telling your story is a tried and true way to connect with your audience. By telling a story, you’re impacting your audience’s emotions and attention, so you’re more likely to be top of mind when someone needs to buy or sell a home. Need help crafting and telling your story online? Connect with us today to discuss your goals and get recommendations on how we can help.