Stop Marketing, Start Telling Stories: How to Use Storytelling to Convert

When you think of your website, what do you think of? If the words exciting, engaging, fresh, helpful, or interesting don’t come to mind, you’re doing it wrong.

You’ve been told time and again that your website is your most important digital marketing asset. But a website is only as good as the design you use and maintenance you perform. If you aren’t investing in updating your layout and content regularly, the site may be doing your digital marketing strategy more harm than good.

For the last two decades, senior living communities have relied on their websites to attract new resident opportunities. But for most, their websites are simply a digital version of the printed material they already have. Unsurprisingly, simply copy-and-pasting marketing collateral designed for print into a generic digital template doesn’t work.

The truth is, the basic website just isn’t enough anymore. It’s boring, sterile, and stale. You need to set your senior living community apart, but how? How can you differentiate not just your website, but your community?

The answer is storytelling.

What is Storytelling?

Storytelling is using a narrative to communicate a message. In the context of marketing your senior living community, this could be the narrative of a resident, their family member, or even a beloved staff member. When they use their voices to share the reality of their experience, they sell your services in a way bland, impersonal websites or generic brochures won’t.

That doesn’t mean that you don’t need a website and brochures for your community—you definitely do. First impressions are important, and your prospective residents begin forming their opinions of your community from the first moment they interact with you, whether on your website, social media, or a flier in the mail. And the potential for your marketing materials to connect with prospective residents and adult child decision makers is exponentially increased with storytelling.

Studies show that when marketers sell products with storytelling, 55% of consumers are likely to buy in the future,1 44% of them will share the story, and another 15% will buy the product right away. To maximize the impact of your marketing collateral, it’s essential to incorporate aspects of storytelling into your messaging.

How Do You Tell a Story in Marketing?

Storytelling is all about making connections. You connect with the listeners or readers when you tell a good story. In fact, research shows that storytelling can increase conversions by 30%.2 Here’s how it works.

1. Captivate

For storytelling to be effective, you need to captivate your audience. You’ve only got a few seconds to capture your audience’s attention and convince them that they want to stick around to listen to the whole story, so don’t squander the chance with a dull introduction.

Use descriptive language and compelling images to make the story come to life for your audience. Be specific and include details that guide your audience toward identifying with the themes of your story. When storytellers incorporate facts into their stories, people are 22 times more likely to recall them.3 So, when you’re sharing a story about your community, be sure to sprinkle in relevant facts and figures—even if unconsciously, your prospective residents will remember!

2. Connect

Effective storytelling creates a connection between storyteller and audience. And when you connect on an authentic level with your audience, they’re more likely to remember the information and details in your story.

So when you’re marketing your senior living community, the stronger a connection you make with your audience, the more likely your community will be top of mind for your prospective residents and adult child decision makers. And the more likely they’ll be to engage with your calls to action and convert.

3. Persuade

Persuasion is challenging. No one wants to be sold to, yet selling is an essential part of the process of converting a new resident opportunity. Fortunately, telling a story is a fantastic approach to selling without prospective residents even realizing that’s what you’re doing.

And this is what people really want. Ninety-two percent of consumers want companies to create ads4 that feel like a story.

Laura Holloway, Founder & Chief of The Storyteller Agency,5 said, “Storytelling is our obligation to the next generation. If all we are doing is marketing, we are doing a disservice, and not only to our profession, but to our children, and their children. Give something of meaning to your audience by inspiring, engaging, and educating them with story. Stop marketing. Start storytelling.”

A Good Website Makes a Great First Impression

Ready to tell your senior living community’s story? Dreamscape Marketing can help. Contact us at 888.307.7304 to schedule a strategy session.


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