What is storytelling in marketing?
When it comes to marketing, visual branding and storytelling go a long way in establishing how others view and interpret a company. Telling a story and establishing a narrative is essential for all modern brands so you can engage with customers and share your brand's mission.
The ability to craft a well-woven narrative into the storytelling arc of your marketing campaign can drastically change how your business is interpreted. From using comedy to real-life dramatic elements, there are plenty of ways to introduce storytelling into marketing today.
Why is brand storytelling important for building customer connections?
Using brand storytelling to share compelling success stories and to develop your brand personality is a great way to break into different markets and industries, even if you are launching a brand-new business from the ground up.
Establishing trust and generating a narrative surrounding your brand can also go a long way, especially when it comes to garnering new followers or customers. When customers feel they can relate to a story shared and promoted by a brand, they are much more likely to feel an innate connection with that business and will continue to support them.
Benefits of using storytelling in marketing
There are many different benefits that come with using storytelling in marketing campaigns, whether you are marketing locally, online, or internationally. Reviewing storytelling marketing examples can help you better understand how a narrative can shape the perception of a brand over time.
Some of the many benefits of storytelling in marketing include:
Improves customer relationships
Storytelling is a great tool to build an emotional connection and establish trust with users online and prospective customers. Improving customer relationships with your brand goes a long way when attempting to generate leads and sales.
When a customer feels a connection with a brand and wants to support them, they are much more likely to spend their hard-earned money on that business and recommend them to their friends and family.
Storytelling marketing drastically increases engagement, especially when stories genuinely resonate with a particular target audience. When your marketing team can craft good stories that are relatable and relevant, it is much easier to appeal to a wider audience, resulting in increased clicks, purchases, and engagement.
Showcases your brand's personality
Whether you have an official website, a newsletter, a YouTube channel, or a podcast, storytelling is possible on just about any platform today, including social media channels.
Using storytelling in marketing is ideal whenever you want to spread the word about a particular brand or message while simultaneously building a connection with your followers.
Helps you stand out
Storytelling in marketing helps you stand out, especially when you integrate it with your website design and make it a part of your brand. Using various marketing channels to promote your story can give your business a competitive edge in the industry while allowing you to reach more customers.
Storytelling provides unique opportunities to create and find stories that genuinely help users connect with your brand on a more personal and intimate level. From personal stories to success stories, there are many different ways that storytelling can inspire and connect with your customers while helping your brand stand out from the rest.
How to write an effective brand story
Writing an effective brand story requires more than just an understanding of a company's history and foundation. To appeal to a wide audience, knowing how to write an effective brand story without alienating any part of your audience is key.
Figure out your message
The first step in writing an effective brand story is figuring out your message. When creating your story, ask yourself the following questions:
- What emotions am I trying to evoke with my storytelling?
- Am I looking to appeal to a specific audience, or am I trying to learn more about those interested in my brand?
- What platforms will I use to share the stories I craft with those I intend to reach?
Asking yourself these questions before you actually write your story will give you a better idea of what you want to say and the type of story you want to create.
Identify your target audience
Identifying your target audience is also essential when crafting your own stories for your brand. When attempting to hone in on a particular audience, consider the following factors:
- Age range: What age range do you intend to reach with your products, services, or brand?
- Location: Are you targeting an entire country, region, state, or city? Will you be targeting individuals based on zip code?
- Income range: What income level do you intend to target with your storytelling, and why? Are you attempting to appeal to individuals based on a particular price point you have in mind for your current marketing campaign?
- Hobbies and interests: Are you planning to target users based on their specific hobbies and interests? How do their interests correlate with your existing business and product offerings?
Construct your storyline
Once you have a basic understanding of the audience you intend to reach and an overarching view of the plot of your story, you can begin writing your storyline.
Use a method of storytelling suitable for your audience and most likely to appeal to them, regardless of where you intend to promote your story. Remember to keep your customers in mind when crafting your storyline.
Write your story
The next step is to begin writing your story. You can do so by keeping the following factors in mind:
- Introduction: Create an introduction to your story that helps familiarize readers with the characters, individuals, or ideas you will highlight throughout the story. You want to grab your audience's attention immediately with a great introduction.
- Themes: Use themes to present the various characters and plot points you intend to showcase throughout the entire story.
- Suspense: Create a point of drama or suspense to hook readers and viewers and keep them interested or coming back for more. This is also useful when building connections for your brand.
- Resolution: As with any great story, a resolution is in order. Determine how your characters or ideas will solve any issues presented throughout your story.
Share your work
Choosing the right channels to share your story is essential as a marketer. From social media content to a podcast and official website, there are countless ways you can share your work online.
If you're trying to figure out where to share your work, consider the following:
- Who: Who do you plan to target with your story? Are they more likely to read a newspaper, scroll for information using their smartphones, or browse social media?
- What: What will you be sharing? Will you share your story in bits and pieces or in video format? How accessible will your content be? These questions will help you to find platforms that are right for your specific needs.
- Where: What platforms will likely render the most engagement, sales, and revenue?
- Why: What message do you intend to share with your story? What objectives and goals are you trying to achieve by using storytelling in content marketing?
Tips for writing a compelling story
Using written stories to create successful marketing campaigns is not a new tactic, but it is one of the most effective. Before getting started with creating compelling stories of your own, keep the following tips in mind:
- Be authentic: Maintaining authenticity is key whenever you are marketing a brand, big or small. Use a voice that resonates with your target audience without pandering or sounding too corporate or robotic.
- Show, don't tell: Demonstrate what you are showing in your stories with images, videos, and interviews with real individuals.
- Use visuals: Visual photographs, graphics, and digital illustrations will go a long way when telling compelling tales for marketing purposes. It's also advisable to integrate video marketing on various platforms if possible, as videos tend to convert better.
- Create suspense: Creating drama or suspense in your story arc can also help to grab the attention of followers and prospective customers. Keep them excited and on the edge of their seats with compelling crafting skills.
- Create an emotional connection: Use the storytelling opportunity to create an emotional connection with readers and prospective customers or clients. The more connected a user feels with a business after reading a compelling story, the more likely they are to support them.