You may have already heard the importance of storytelling in marketing. But it may all sound a bit “fluffy” to you, especially if you haven’t seen specific examples of storytelling in campaigns.
I mean, what do stories have to do with marketing? Isn’t our goal to SELL, not to spin tales or entertain our audience?
This post will explain exactly why storytelling is a must for marketers, as well as tips for incorporating stories into your own marketing.
1. Stories are personal
Fact: Corporate messaging isn’t personal. Sometimes it’s necessary, but it probably won’t help you build any personal connections with your audience. Stories are far more relatable and help your audience see the real people behind your brand.
Sharing your company’s origin story can be a great way to make a personal connection.
What to try: Write out the story of how your brand or company was born. What was going on in your life that led you to start your business? How did you feel when your product was first launched? What needs or issues in your own life did your business or products seek to fill?
Share this story on your blog, on your website’s ‘About page’ and on social media. It will help your audience immediately feel an increased connection to you and your brand.
2. Stories can change opinions, attitudes and even brain chemistry
Fact: Simply listing off a bunch of facts and statistics is unlikely to change someone’s mind or persuade them to buy – especially if they have strong objections or a bias against your product.
However, according to research out of Berkeley, stories have the potential to “move us to tears, change our attitudes, opinions and behaviors”, and can even change our brains.Stories have the potential to “move us to tears, change our attitudes, opinions and behaviors.Click To Tweet
What to try: Stories are an integral part of persuasive writing. Incorporate stories into your sales pages, opinion pieces, and any other place where you’re trying to convince readers to opt-in or buy something, or get them to change their minds on an issue.
3. Stories are more likely to get read
Fact: It’s a sad fact that most content that gets published online gets little to no traction. With so much new content getting published every day, it’s vital that business owners do whatever they can to actually get their content noticed and read.
Stories are a great way to do this. People would rather read stories than boring, dry “industry speak”. Which blog post would you rather read? “How Our Catering Company Can Help On Your Special Day”, or “The Story of Maggie and Derek’s Wedding”?People would rather read stories than boring, dry “industry speak”. #StorytellingClick To Tweet
What to try: Incorporate case studies and short stories into your blog posts, emails and other marketing materials. These can be your own personal stories, customer stories, or even fictitious stories that help to illustrate a point (just be sure to let your readers know they’re fictional!).
Be sure to build a call to action (CTA) into your content so your readers are not only entertained, but are encouraged to take further action once they’re done reading.
4. Stories can set you apart from your competition
Fact: If your competitors aren’t using storytelling in their marketing – or aren’t using it well – storytelling can give your business a serious competitive edge.
Imagine you follow two companies on Facebook. One constantly shares the features and benefits of their products, while the other tells stories of how their customers have benefited from using them. Which would you find more compelling?
What to try: Spend some time sleuthing to see if your competitors are using storytelling in their marketing. What can you do better? How can you use storytelling to differentiate yourself? What new or different types of stories can you tell that will be meaningful to your target market?
5. Sharing stories builds trust
Fact: According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages Survey, 92% of consumers say they trust earned media, aka personal recommendations, above all other forms of media. Earned media can include word of mouth, customer recommendations/referrals, media mentions, etc.92% of consumers say they trust earned media, aka personal recommendations, above other media.Click To Tweet
What to try: Share stories, anecdotes, media mentions and testimonials from your customers to build trust with your audience. New-to-the-scene Infant soothing product Babocush has been using customer testimonials in their marketing, and has achieved amazing results. In just about a year, they’ve already grown their Facebook page to over 120,000 fans!
Storytelling is an incredibly powerful tool for building connections and trust, and for getting traction for your content.
Hopefully this post inspired you to give it a try in your own marketing, and gave you some ideas for how to get started.
Intrigued by the idea of using storytelling in your marketing, but need a bit more guidance? These posts may help:
Do you use storytelling as part of your marketing strategy? How so? Share below!