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Thanks to social media and innovations in digital communication, it is now easier than ever for people to hear one another’s stories and accounts of their lives. When it comes to marketing your dealership, the opportunities presented by this evolution are nearly bottomless. However, let’s focus on consumer stories. 

For as long as people have been selling goods, the concept of word of mouth has existed. And it didn’t go away. In fact, it has grown and evolved alongside digital marketing until the two ideas meet at a crossroads. As a result, there are few tools more powerful and effective for your brand than the strategy of leveraging consumer stories. 

The Power of Consumer Stories

Why are consumer stories so powerful? It’s because connecting with people is powerful, and there are few better ways to connect with others than through storytelling. We tell stories to relay lessons and warnings, entertain, and educate. A good story not only will captivate an audience, but it can put the audience in the storyteller’s shoes, and it can even change the way the audience feels about a subject.

Beyond changing an audience’s feelings, consumer stories bring much-needed authenticity to marketing. For example, if a brand says that its product is good, the message loses impact because there’s a vested interest at stake. The brand is trying to sell that product. But suppose a consumer says the product is good. In that case, it’s far more relatable because they have nothing to gain from the brand’s success, save the ability to continue benefiting from the brand staying in business.

Consumer stories can even help shape the brand experience. People relate to others through shared qualities and experiences. So if someone hears a consumer story from a person they can identify with, they’ll naturally think that the brand also shares their qualities and is suitable for them.

How Do You Leverage Consumer Stories?

For the longest time, getting consumer feedback was a challenge that involved surveys, forms, and interviews. Now, thanks to the power of social media, people are more willing than ever to share their thoughts about a brand across multiple platforms with anyone who’ll listen. This means that if you’ve got consumers, you’ve got consumer stories somewhere in the world.

Now that it’s been established that consumer stories exist and are essential, the next step is understanding how to leverage them for maximum impact. You can use several strategies to take advantage of the stories that your consumers are telling.

Utilize Heritage Storytelling

If your brand has been around for a long time, you’ve likely got a lot of stories that you can leverage. But, beyond the number of individual stories, there are the stories of an individual’s numbers. How powerful would it be to display the story of someone who has been using your brand for years? That story speaks volumes about the quality of what you do.

Why Video Testimonials Are Effective

Storytelling has an emotional impact, to be sure. However, that impact varies depending on how the story is being told. People gravitate more toward the spoken word and facial expressions. This is why video testimonials are a great way to leverage consumer stories efficiently.

Hearing someone talk about how your brand helped solve their problem or fulfilled a need can be more effective when people can also see them smiling and genuinely enjoying the subject. Seeing a person become excited will make your consumers realize that your brand is something to get excited about. And witnessing the seriousness on a consumer’s face will convey how sincere they are about their story, which makes it more impactful. 

Take the Bad With the Good

No brand is perfect. Sometimes, people make mistakes. The important thing is not how you avoid making mistakes but how you handle them when they happen. For many consumers, a response to adverse situations can inform their decisions better than any marketing campaign ever could. 

However, this strategy is tricky because it requires you to frame negative situations in a positive light. Let your consumers talk about how you solved the issue and why they decided to stick with your brand. Most importantly, let your honesty speak for you to help you form a deep connection with your consumers.

The most important part of consumer storytelling is authenticity. If the stories being told about you don’t feel genuine, people will treat them as just another marketing strategy. The most effective way to get authentic stories from your consumers is to provide them with a service that they feel good enough to shout about from the rooftops. 

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