Story telling in Marketing – Liven up Your ‘About Us’ Page with
 Your Story to Boost Sales

Consider the power of story-telling in your product marketing. There’s a way to put it to good use in an often overlooked part of your website.

As a consumer on the internet, I’m often dazzled by choice. It’s not easy to make up my mind. I need something more to go on, something more than promises, pictures, and prices.

Let’s say I search for “herbal treatment for pimples”. There are three herbal retailers on page 1 of Google that attract my attention. Each offer similar products, a similar price, and similar incentives -- but I only need to make one purchase.

So I go to the website’s ‘About Us’ page to learn more about the business selling the product. You’d be amazed how many ‘About Us’ pages don’t say much about the origins and background of the company - or Their Story.

Why would anyone want to know My Story -- you ask?

Because the consumer climate today is ripe for it. Even designer brands are losing ground to the lure of copycat choices. It’s known that shoppers who used to brag about an original Rolex watch now proudly boast how they found a great imitation while travelling in Serbia -- for a fraction of the price.

With so much choice, so many sales outlets (online, physical, mail order), what becomes the tipping point for a purchase decision is that little something extra -- the humanising touch.

Take this quote from Stephen Denning who is often described as the Warren Buffett of business communication:

“The problem is that when you hit consumers between the eyes {with a sales pitch} they respond by fighting back. But with a story, you engage the audience you are involving people with the idea, asking them to participate with you.”  - Quoted in “Made to Stick”, a book by Chip & Dan Heath.

Your company has a story to tell. It could be about:

  • How you got started - the struggles and wins along the way.
  • What spurred you to boldly start your business, your hopes for the future, and how far you’ve come.
  • Humble origins of your company, if you are not the founder.
  • ’They said it couldn’t be done’ stories always inspire people.
  • It could be about the inspiration behind the making of your product.
  • How your product is made – something about it’s creation that’s fascinating or that makes you proud.
  • A customer’s experience with the product. You can offer an incentive (discount voucher) to submit their story.
  • Study your competition’s product and see how yours is different, then highlight that difference.

You may be a very private person and reluctant to do this. Or perhaps you’re not the business founder so you may not have access to its history or roots. Then weave a product positioning story around your star or flag-ship product or your high-yield products and services (those that return the highest margin).

Otherwise you’ll forever be competing on price.

  Some real-life examples of ‘About Us’ content

Back to the “herbal treatment for pimples” where I found three websites with very different approaches to their ‘About Us’ page.

Now to protect privacy, I’ve X-ed out any reference to names. Plus, the content from these ‘About Us’ pages is at least six months old. So its very likely the content has changed (websites are dynamic after all).

1. Full-blown Version

Here’s an example of a website that takes it’s ‘About Us’ page very seriously. It starts:

“This inspiring success story began in the US when friends X and XX established a fledgling ‘home shopping’ company in 1988. Today, the XXX Corporation is one of the world's most successful privately owned direct response companies, with annual sales of more than US$1.5 billion dollars.”

But get this, the next paragraph has a hyperlink to a 6-page pdf document all about the two Founders and how they started the business. With a lot of background it’s inspiring and memorable.

2. Wetting the Appetite

In their ‘My Story’ page, this business takes a lighter and even more personal approach:

“My name is X and I live in XXX, where I run XX. I'm not a medical doctor or pharmacist, I don't have a PhD, and I don't have years of experience as a nutritional expert. I'm just a student who used to suffer from acne myself until I discovered vitamin B5.”

It’s simple and direct. You feel like you are dealing with a person not just a faceless business.

3. The Classic Under-statement

Here’s what I mean about not enough information about the business. In their ‘About XXX’ page all it says is:

“XXX has been established with the aspiration of lighting the Indian beauty secrets and beauty tips. Many centuries old Indian culture has many hidden treasures and one of them homemade beauty care recipes. XXX has dedicated itself to spread the indian heritage, indian beauty care secrets to the world.”

Wow – I’d like to know more, it just reeks of atmosphere, but this is all they say. See how they put a lid on themselves by giving you scant information? Whose brain-child was it? Is there a real live person behind this business idea that I can connect with on an emotional level?

So check out your ‘About Us’ page, or whatever you name it. Is it working enough for you? Are you holding something back that can make you unforgettable?


As Featured On EzineArticles
   Matilda Reich
   Online Marketing Consultant & Copywriter
   Infodesign Copywriting

© 2010 Matilda Reich – Infodesign Copywriting™