We all love a good story. It’s what sucks us into the books, movies, and tv shows that we love most since the storyline is what connects us to the characters. Storytelling is one of the most compelling ways to convey information because of how it connects the storyteller to their audience.
This makes storytelling marketing essential to a solid content marketing strategy because it can be wielded as a technique to gain insight into the target audience by establishing empathy and gaining emotional access.
In this post, we’ll define what storytelling marketing is, underscore why it is important, and provide a few ways for you to get started with implementing stories as part of your company’s content marketing strategy.
What is storytelling in marketing?
People love stories and the wisdom they offer, the journeys they take us on, and the knowledge and ideas they provide.
Stories relay culture and are reminders of the lives people lived. It’s humanity’s way of sharing information no matter where they live or where they come from and has the power to create friendships, shape history, and bring families and other communities together. Basically, it’s the core of what makes us human.
Good storytelling in marketing doesn’t focus on the product but uses emotions to show how customers will benefit from the values of the brand. Successful brand storytelling won’t necessarily emphasize logic but will evoke an emotional response from the consumer.
Why is storytelling important for your brand?
Simply put, brand storytelling is educating and entertaining your audience through the sharing of events by words and images.
When considering how to implement this into a good content marketing strategy, it’s important to remember that while all brand storytelling is content marketing the two terms are not interchangeable because storytelling is a specific type of content meant to evoke an emotional response.
Storytelling is a critical aspect for brand marketing because:
The right story can create tremendous brand loyalty, which means people are much more likely to recommend a product or business by word-of-mouth marketing, which is arguably the best and perhaps even the only way to establish social proof.
3 Tips for Making Brand Storytelling Part of Your Marketing Strategy
Whatever your industry, your brand has plenty of stories to tell.
Each stage of your journey, from the inception of your brand concept to the direction you are moving in, is a story. Look to the mundane - not just the highlights and successes - as well to cultivate even more resonance within the audience.
If you are feeling stuck, think about:
#1) Don’t be afraid of emotions and laying bare both the good and bad.
This is how a story can inspire and motivate someone into action. When you are able to tap into raw emotion through authentic storytelling, you humanize your brand and let your audience know that you understand their pain points. This connects you, builds rapport, and drives empathy. Showing you truly get it and then offering a solution stakes your brand’s claim firmly in their memory so even if they aren’t ready to purchase now, your brand will be at the forefront of their mind when they are.
#2) Remember what makes a good story.
Beyond the high school literature lessons of all stories consisting of characters, conflict, and resolution, remember that good stories flow well and are entertaining, educational, and memorable to keep the audience engaged and their curiosity piqued. Some sources will tell you that a story needs to be universally appealing, but this depends primarily on the goal of the specific campaign. We focus on authenticity in advertising, which means that the ability to reach certain groups is innately not universal. The key here is to make sure you have well-defined goals and a solid grasp of your target market so as to know how best to reach them. If this is something you need help with, we are brand wizards and can work our magic to help you solidify your brand goals and build an effective marketing strategy.
#3) The main character of your story must be relatable to your audience.
A story is not a story without characters. Your main character can be a person, place, or thing, which opens up room for a lot of creativity. Whatever noun you land on must be a character that appeals to your audience. This doesn’t mean you have to implement a ton of character development within the story itself, but it will significantly aid you in creating the story since your entire story must revolve around this character. Making the consumer the main character is an obvious path to conveying a message that resonates though using a different angle on an otherwise overlooked item is another idea that can give your story an extra little edge to stay at the front of the audience’s mind.