Seventy-three percent of people who hear a story remember it, compared to just 5 percent who remember statistics. You’ll probably forget this statistic in the next minute or so. Perhaps it would have been better to begin this new post with a story…
Once upon a time, there was a guy on a bus heading from Boston to New York. He had his laptop with him and he was about to start working during the 5-hour-long trip. He settled comfortably in his chair and powered on his computer.
And then it struck him — he forgot his USB stick at home. He decided then to change things for the better. One day, he would fund a company that made transporting data easy. His name was Drew Houston, and the result of that mishap was a company you may have heard of — Dropbox.
Storytelling in content marketing isn’t a new trend. It has been around for many years. Brands like Coca-Cola and Ford have been using it long before the advent of social media or the internet. Now every organization, however small, can embrace storytelling as an engaging way to reach their audience. Social media and blogging make that easier than ever before.
On Instagram, you can tell stories in pictures. On YouTube, you can tell stories in videos. On WordPress, you can tell stories through blog posts. The web is full of opportunities for companies who turn to stories as their main content marketing strategy.
What Is Storytelling in Marketing
Storytelling in marketing shows, doesn’t tell. It creates a setting, characters, and a plot that enables fans and followers to put themselves in the shoes of the protagonist.
This may sound a bit complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. A set of images can make for a compelling storyline on a social network, just as an infographic or video can.
Storytelling in marketing may come in many forms:
- Narrative videos
- Image slideshows
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Company About pages
Compelling stories in marketing have a beginning, a middle, and an end. They feature a character your audience can relate to and often explain the why behind a business.
But good stories are more than that. Because they work by building empathy, people who hear them feel naturally drawn to the voice behind them.
When it triggers empathetic reactions, a story is more likely to turn out to be a marketing success. This is true across all types of stories.
Why Storytelling in Content Marketing?
Stories give a face to a problem or product and, by being personal, connect people. Consumers prefer stories over ads and other forms of marketing.
Stories break down taboos, establish trust, and influence people to answer calls to action. People do not always respond to facts or logic. Stories, on the other hand, use emotion to get to people’s hearts.
Stories have a powerful effect on our brains, which cannot distinguish between a story and an event. When we hear a story, it activates the part of the brain associated with new experiences. That’s why a story can be such a deep and compelling read. Stories turn us into protagonists, help us associate with the narrator.
Storytelling in content marketing is also relatively cheap. A simple story, told plainly on your blog or social media, can grab attention and generate a lot of shares. Content that tells stories often generates more shares and engagement than other types of content. It goes viral and can be even spread by word of mouth.
Storytelling in Marketing Examples
We’ve already mentioned Dropbox. The world of marketing abounds with storytelling examples. From foundation stories to social media content, brands are narrating their stories in ways that invite customers to listen.
- Dollar Shave Club’s manifesto story. Dollar Shave Club’s CEO stepped into the spotlight for this tour-de-force video, which won him and his company almost instant fame. This is a great example of how a brand can use video to tell a story that encapsulates its vision into a catchy format.
- GoPro’s adventure stories. One of the world’s best action cameras makers highlights the convenience and sheer fun of its products through its many action-packed videos. Shows how video can be used as a medium to grab attention.
- Mouthfoods indie food creators’ stories. Mouthfoods combines gorgeous images with text in their Instagram marketing to tell wonderful stories about the creators behind artisanal chocolate or hand-made pasta.
These are only some of the ways brands use stories to connect with their audience. If you look at the social media pages of popular brands, you’ll find that they are all telling stories in one way or other. They can inspire you to tell your own brand story, in a way that others can’t ignore.
How to Create More Compelling Stories
There’s no recipe for creating good stories for digital media. Rather, you have full reign to choose your subject and how to present it. Here’s how to get started:
- Create an emotional connection between yourself and your audience
- Make your story honest and inspirational
- Give your products or services a story people can rely to
- Keep your story simple — the shorter it is, the more memorable
- Establish an inviting brand voice, one that people can’t easily ignore
- Related your stories to your audience
- Use images and video to make your stories more visually engaging
- Use popular faces to validate and endorse your stories
- Align your stories to the latest trends in digital marketing
Stories work best for marketing when they are honest and fit into the everyday life of your customers. That’s when they resonate the most with others.
Content Creation Services
Looking to integrate storytelling into your content marketing campaign? Our content creation services offer you a fast and affordable solution.
Combining your ideas with your creativity, we can help you craft compelling stories for your audience during all stages of the buying process. In this way, you can promote your company while at the same time engaging your audience.