How does storytelling help to sell more goods and services? Can stories be used in marketing? How should a content marketer tell interesting and profitable stories?

Stories are powerful. The story is not supposed to be a thousand and one nights or a magic lamp giant to captivate the reader and listener. We relate to stories because we grow up with them. Movies, animations, series, video clips and even commercials all tell us stories.

In the virtual world and social networks, there is a strong presence of storytelling. It is said that content creation is nothing but storytelling. Influencer marketers also tell stories to their audience and introduce a product or brand with a story. When there is such an effective tool, why shouldn’t it be used in content marketing?

This content tells you the story of storytelling in content marketing.

Storytelling in content marketing

Content marketing is a sub-branch of digital marketing. The work of content marketing is the production and distribution of content. Sites, apps and virtual networks are useless without content. When a user enters a store site, he sees the contents of the site (photos, pop-ups, product descriptions). The user looks for the product he wants in the menu and product categories.

When a brand wants to introduce its new product to the market, it takes help from all kinds of content. The important question is how those contents, including online advertisements, are both attractive and convincing to the audience (potential customer) and differentiate the product from competing products. All businesses know that someone wins the competition who produces and publishes stronger and more impactful content. So, there is a heavy competition in content marketing.

After all, all brands and businesses use Instagram marketing and Twitter marketing and site SEO. Everyone knows that they should produce high-quality and attractive content and they do it. But what all brands, content marketers and content producers may not be able to do is storytelling and telling stories to introduce the brand and product.

Storytelling is the art and science of using a fictitious or non-fictitious narrative, character, and plot to convey a message that indirectly markets your product or category of products.

So, storytelling in digital marketing and content marketing is not easy at all. Every story and subject is not suitable for marketing and may fail completely. That is, instead of stimulating the audience’s curiosity and involving him in the story, the story may confuse him or seem very irrelevant and ridiculous.

Why is storytelling important in content marketing?

Successful storytelling in content marketing

How should a content marketer tell a story? What story should he design with what characters to suit the brand and product? In what format should the story be told and on which platform should it be published? Is motion graphics good or stop motion or making a short video whose actors are real customers of the brand?

It is necessary for the content marketer to design and implement storytelling based on the following steps:

1. For successful storytelling, one must fully understand the brand, product, competitors and target market

The screenwriter also starts his work with research. For storytelling, the content marketer must be aligned with the digital marketing strategy of the business. You have to do a lot of research and see if the competitors have used storytelling. How about what was their story and what was the feedback? Who is the listener or viewer of the story (target group)? What are its features?

Stories attract audiences that are human and empathetic. The marketer must know the target group and the problems and crises in their lives properly in order to design an empathetic story. The more humane and empathetic the story is, the more and better it attracts the audience’s attention, remains in his memory and compels him to do something (buy the product or share the story).

2. For successful storytelling, you must have a goal, plan and technique

Does the marketer want to use storytelling to introduce a product on a blog site or is a story to be designed to introduce a new and very important product for advertising campaigns? The purpose of storytelling must be defined. The purpose of storytelling in content may be one of the following:

  • sell a product
  • Introducing new product features.
  • Information about services,
  • Introducing the brand and its values and missions.
  • Rebranding,
  • Starting discussions among users and making the content viral.

When the goal is determined, it is time to choose the type of story and the technique that is suitable for narrating it. There are 4 common techniques for telling stories in marketing:

AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action)

First, you must attract the attention of the user/audience. Then you should tell or show him something that will interest him and give him motivation and reason to follow the story to the end. Finally, he is asked to take the action that the business wants (buy or share or write a comment).

4P (Promise, Picture, Proof, Push)

The narrative and the story starts with the introduction of the product or service or brand and what it is supposed to do for the audience/customer. Then it should be portrayed in the most attractive and expressive way. Of course, that attractive image needs to be strengthened by presenting statistics or infographics (data). Finally, the reader or viewer or even listener should be encouraged to take action.

(BAB (Before, After, Bridge

First, you have to start with a specific problem. Then he told the solution (product) of the problem and finally showed the audience how to reach that solution and solve the problem.

The Hero’s Journey

Sometimes the best story is the story of Hercules and Spider-Man. The story of a hero who overcomes difficulties and succeeds. Of course, it should be noted that the audience/customer must be the hero of the story or be able to imagine himself instead of the hero.

3. For successful storytelling, quality and attractive content must be produced

If the best stories are not depicted and presented with high quality and visual appeal, the probability of its success and that the audience will stay with it until the end is very low. If the content is textual, it should be written carefully and obsessively. If the content is audio or video, it should be creative and original. A repetitive or familiar story is not attractive to any user.

Some examples of successful storytelling in business content marketing

In practice, how do brands benefit from storytelling in their content marketing and increase sales of their products?

1. Nike. Just Do It

The successful campaign story of this big brand started almost 30 years ago. A campaign that made millions of dollars for Nike. Nike decided to use the story of heroes in all the content produced for the brand. The point here was that not only the stories of sports heroes were told. Of course, the story of the life and heroism of well-known figures like Serena Williams was also told. But the main idea was that whoever you are, wherever you are, just try and do what you love. Trying to reach a goal and doing it is a hero.

2. Apple. Think Different

Think differently slogan and campaign started in 1997. It is not an exaggeration to say that this was the slogan that made Apple. Apple has used the second technique (4P) to make that story. Apple announced to the world that its products bring difference and differentiation. Those who think differently can do great things and change the world. They are the ones who see differently and are not satisfied with existing standards. Apple itself is different and wants to go beyond existing standards and produces tools for different people and their work.

To sell the narrative of being different, Apple took help from the stories of different and sometimes strange figures in history (such as Albert Einstein, Gandhi, John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Alfred Hitchcock, Nelson Mandela, etc.).


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