Start to Use Marketing Storytelling
“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller.” Steve Jobs
Brand storytelling is a powerful marketing tool, should you use it correctly.
Your stories stand to captivate your audience.
And great stories always have the potential to gain wide exposure.
Brand storytelling is a universally accepted notion and there’s been lots written on the subject.
Stories are 22 times more memorable than mere text and will entertain your audience far more.
This article will teach you how to tell your brand stories.
- What Is Marketing Storytelling?
- The Three E’s Of Marketing Storytelling
- How To Tell Brand Stories
- How To Share Your Brand Stories Online
- Marketing Storytelling Examples
What Is Marketing Storytelling?
Storytelling is an art.
Your stories are a way to apprise customers of your company values and what you stand for.
They’re a method of connecting your audience to your brand. And they require care and attention to ensure they’re crafted to the correct quality.
Most marketing campaigns you see are based on an underlying story. You might never have realised it but it’s that that draws you in.
Great teachers are often remembered for their storytelling. They give examples through stories and this helps you to learn. They make difficult concepts and complex pieces of information easier to understand and remember.
“Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill when it comes to business.” Gary Vaynerchuk
It’s important that your stories transmit your message to your audience. Without this your stories lose their purpose.
Because the ideal scenario is that your story generates word of mouth.
But the word of mouth needs to direct people, not only to the story, but to your company also.
They should be talking about you as an organisation as a result of your story.
Marketing expert, Jonah Berger, calls this ‘valuable virality.’
Lots of content goes viral each day without brands receiving any positive impact from it. People don’t associate the brand with the story that’s being told.
This isn’t the desired outcome.
The Three E’s of Marketing Storytelling
Telling stories is the way forward.
When you’re planning your next piece of content, consider the three E’s of marketing storytelling.
They’re important elements to review before releasing your content.
Your content needs to:
To begin building a consistent audience you need to attract them in the first place.
You can write the greatest story in the world, but if from the outside it seems uninteresting then it might end up a gem unnoticed.
There are two main things you can do to entice people to read your stories.
Write a killer headline
Your title has to make people feel like they need to click on your content.
There are various tactics you can use to do this.
Always include the topic of your content in the headline. You have to make it relevant to the rest of the piece.
Check out some ways to write great headlines.
Use a relevant featured image
Including brilliant visuals in your content makes it ten times better for the user.
If you’re writing blogs, the featured image is the first visual your audience will see.
Set the bar high by making it attractive and relevant to the rest of the content.
Making sure your featured image is top-drawer is especially important if you’re using push notifications.
With push notifications, the receiver has only the featured image and the headline to decide whether to click through, so it’s vital you get these right.
Tell stories about intriguing subjects.
Find a topic that’s interesting and that you know people will want to learn about.
Make sure it’s linked to your industry, of course.
Offering people value with your content will help to engage them.
Solve a problem for them. Give them inspiration through new ideas. Teach them something.
If your content genuinely helps people then you’re on the right track.
But value has to be there. That’s how you’ll engage people.
Make sure your writing is amazing. Or that your video is superbly edited. Or that your infographic is so eye-catching that out of pure curiosity the user simply cannot scroll past it.
Not only does it have to be interesting and offer value, but the content itself needs to be of a high standard.
You might be writing about an interesting subject but if your story is difficult to read or includes lines and lines of poor grammar then you’ll lose people.
Your video might help a lot of people but if the visuals are hard to see and the sound is poor then it’ll decrease your brand authority and deter people.
People appreciate quality and are attracted to highest standards. So make your content look irresistible.
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How To Tell Brand Stories
To sell you need to tell stories. But to tell stories you need not sell.
The stories you produce should not directly promote your products/services.
That’s not what it’s all about.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Simon Sinek
Incorporate the art of why into your brand storytelling.
Tell people of your company’s values, and the people behind the business. Tell them what you believe in.
That is what will strike chords with people – not how good your product is and what it can do. That’ll come later.
First get people hooked on you.
Make the customer the main character
It’s all about the customer – it always has and always will be. This is true in your brand storytelling too.
See to it that they’re the beating heart of the story.
If they can see themselves in the story then they’ll connect with it much more.
It becomes a lot more relevant to them.
Write about what you stand for
Direct the story towards your company values.
What do you consider important?
Delve into why you exist as a business. What’s your underlying reason for showing up everyday?
It’s not simply your product/service. It’s not solely about making money. Focus on what makes you different from your competition.
Convey your values
Include your company’s traits.
What makes you, you? Give your audience something they can resonate with.
The more they relate to what you’re saying, the more they’ll trust your brand.
Be honest with your values and try to shape your story to exude them from every angle.
Trojan Horse Analogy
When you write your marketing stories, think of the trojan horse analogy.
You need to sneak your message in subtly, whilst maintaining the storytelling tone.
People can detect overt selling easily nowadays, so your marketing needs to be as elusive as possible.
Jonah Berger’s Contagious uses this analogy to help you understand how to tell stories.
Stories is his sixth principle of what makes content go viral.
How To Share Your Brand Stories Online
Marketing storytelling isn’t limited to writing. And the digital world offers the gift of content variance.
So the written word is only a small section of what you can give.
Here are some ideas to expand the type of content you release:
Video is all the rage at the moment.
People engage with video more than they do text-based content.
And as humans, we process this visual information 60,000 times faster than text.
Infographics are great for relaying information.
They have the visual capabilities to engage the reader, whilst giving them the information they need.
Make them colourful, make them flow and make a story from beginning to end.
Storytelling content might not be limited to writing but nonetheless this is still a great way of sharing your stories.
Blogging has been around for a long time and there are lots of benefits.
It’s great for connecting with your reader.
Offering valuable content.
And it helps to boost your SEO.
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3 Examples of Great Marketing Storytelling
Get inspired with some of these examples of brand storytelling that really stand out.
They’re creative ideas
You might be familiar with some of them…
If you’re a premium Spotify member then at the end of every year Spotify will send you some stats.
They’re stats about your listening history over the past 12 months and they call it Spotify Wrapped.
The statistics delve deep into the heart of your activity.
They collate your 100 most listened to songs, give you a list of 100 new songs you might like and tell you how many minutes worth of music you’ve listened to – which is often thousands.
Check out what last years’ Spotify Wrapped looked like on the video below…
Spotify tells you a story about yourself.
And it’s awesome.
It’s a brilliant piece of marketing storytelling and makes you appreciate Spotify even more.
AirBnB really embraces the idea of putting the customer at the heart of their storytelling.
So much so that they ask their customers to share their own stories.
AirBnB’s website has a dedicated section titled ‘Stories from the AirBnB Community’ and people from all over the world contribute with their fascinating tales of travel and host-stories of their intriguing accommodation.
It brings customers closer to the company as not only are the stories massively interesting but it gives insights into the type of people hosting on Airbnb and what the experience may be like.
See if you recognise the video below.
It’s John Lewis’ Christmas advert from 2014.
The story of Sam and Monty the Penguin made headlines.
It did so well because John Lewis’ audience could resonate with the feelings the characters felt throughout the advert. The sadness, the joy, the freedom. It flows through each scene and locks you in an inescapable grip; a grip held together, not by a string, but by the power of emotion within the story.
John Lewis associated their name with an advert that made an entire nation feel. It went viral almost instantly – for all the right reasons.
And it was thanks to the power of storytelling.
Without the story driving the film, you don’t relate to those emotions as strongly.
Because children want to feel the same way Sam felt.
And parents want their children to feel like this.
And parents want to feel that way themselves.
This is why we look forward to John Lewis’ advert each Christmas.
You have to use storytelling in your marketing.
Your content will be much stronger and have a much better effect if you do.
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