What is storytelling in marketing?
Storytelling is a method of conveying information in the form of stories. Storytelling Marketing has already established itself as a successful marketing tool. Stories are created around a product, a brand, or a company, which should make the potential customer feel emotionally addressed. The storytelling marketing should primarily achieve the following goals:
- The target group should be able to identify with the product, the company, or the brand.
- Customer loyalty and new customer acquisition should be improved.
- The company’s sales are to be increased.
The information can be prepared in the form of texts, images, or videos, which makes storytelling marketing very multifaceted. The distribution in digital media, such as social networks, works very well. The stories can be real, everyday situations, or constructed stories. The goal is always to get the previously defined message into the mind of the potential customer through a memorable, emotionalizing, and therefore good story.
How important is storytelling in marketing?
Communicating messages, knowledge, and data in such a way that they remain in the recipient’s memory is the number 1 goal of marketing strategies and advertising projects by companies and advertising agencies.
However, given the flood of advertising and information, this is no longer an easy task. Anyone looking for information on Google comes across a wide range of online offers. Usually, people only look at the first 3-5 search results from Google, and these only briefly. If the interest in the content is not awakened in the first seconds – for example, through particularly original and high-quality content – they are then googling continues. So the chance to get attention is wasted.
It is, therefore, important to stand out from the crowd as successfully as possible. Your own messages must be conveyed sustainably. And that’s exactly what storytelling is for in content marketing excellently suited. The desired message is conveyed vividly and anchored in the memory by evoking emotions. This anchoring is possible primarily because the customer is emotionalized. Reaching customers with their content promises to attract more attention. Of course, this applies above all too exciting stories with which people can identify.
Also, information is often becoming increasingly complex. This means that suitable ways must be found to convey this information. Storytelling is a method that is very well suited to simplify information and to present it memorably and understandably. In storytelling marketing, the interest of potential customers is awakened.
The authenticity of the stories
However, your own stories not only arouse emotions and ensure identification with the brand. Also, good storytelling increases authenticity and credibility, as well as the professional competence of the brand or company that consumers perceive.
Also, the stories often have a high entertainment value, which can positively influence the attitude towards the product, the brand, or the company. Many consumers keep this in their memories.
Why does storytelling work?
The storytelling method has become increasingly important in recent years and is an effective means of storing a positive image of products or services in people’s minds. If a person can identify with a product, the chances are greater that they will buy it.
This is the focus of storytelling. A story that captivates the listener right from the start is essential for the success of such a marketing measure. Storytelling should convey the background and benefits of a brand, a product, or a service to people. When people start talking about it and spreading what is presented, the campaign is successful.
Of course, some aspects need to be considered before you can use storytelling for marketing purposes. Each of us can tell stories. They give us knowledge, lessons, and ideas. By sharing experiences, people come closer, whether you know each other or not. This is where storytelling starts. The aim is that a person can identify with what is being conveyed.
A need must be created that can only be satisfied by the product or the brand. The entire world is networked through the Internet, and the marketplaces are constantly growing, an ideal platform for digital storytelling. This development offers companies new opportunities to expand their business. Issues like family, love, or friendship are just three examples with which everyone in the world can identify. This is where content marketing has to start to spread a good story.
What types of storytelling are there?
Storytelling itself exists in many forms in the media. It ranges from the boss’s speech at the annual Christmas party to lectures at congresses to thousands of listeners. It includes books, songs, commercials, journalistic reports, blog marketing, social media posts, documentaries, etc.
Nowadays, the Internet offers numerous opportunities for multi-media and interactive storytelling. Here audio, text, video, image, etc. are used promisingly. YouTube is also very suitable for this as an advertising channel. This enables the recipient to take part in the story directly. He can pass this on and take a stand.
Of course, it always depends on the target group that you want to address with your story, as well as the communication channels that you use for it. Storytelling marketing is used, for example, online in affiliate marketing. When testimonials, company stories, and the like are used on the affiliate website to inspire potential customers. The situation is similar to influencer marketing, because influencers, such as well-known bloggers, often publish information about the product in their blog or on social media, embedded in a story.
Five tips for successful storytelling
The 5 best tips for successful storytelling can be found here:
Motivation and goal setting
First of all, a company has to think about what the goal of the story should be and why it is relevant to the target group. On the one hand, this can be an increase in sales. On the other hand, the goals can be an improvement of the brand image and a better positioning on the market.
The stories should relate to the desires and needs of the relevant target group. Therefore, the company should deal with topics that are of interest to the target group and focus the stories on them so that potential consumers can identify with them. On the one hand, it can be about classic everyday situations and, on the other hand, about special subject areas, provided that the interest of the target group is aroused.
To get attention and maybe even produce a viral hit, the story should be original. So it will be anchored in the minds of potential consumers. This means that companies should not only focus on their competitors. Sometimes it helps to think outside the box and try a new perspective.
Kind and protagonist
The storyline often works according to the same scheme: there is usually a hero and a problem and finally a solution to the problem. This scheme is always the same, regardless of whether it is a commercial or a social media campaign. The company just has to think about what kind of story fits the product and the company. Whether comedy or love story – there should always be an arc of tension. The protagonists of the story also play a major role in identifying consumers.
Spread the story across multiple channels, even if not every channel is suitable. As a result, it reaches several people, and the potential consumers are more often exposed to the product or brand. The story is thus better anchored in the memory. Of course, you should still pay attention to which channels make the most relevance for the target group.
Storytelling examples for inspiration
There are many successful examples of companies that do successful storytelling. You can find an example here:
Coca-Cola has put storytelling at the focus of the new communication concept and is, therefore, a good example. The content strategy focuses primarily on entertaining stories that are intended to strengthen brand loyalty. The stories are implemented creatively and often show a character of world improvement in order to inspire and pick up potential consumers. The following video reflects the concept of Coca-Cola:
Checklist storytelling marketing
Everyone who is involved in storytelling marketing should ask themselves the following questions:
- What is the message behind the story?
- Which target group should be addressed?
- Is the company reflected in history so that it looks authentic?
- Is there an emotional or exciting starting point to attract attention?
- Are the emotions related to the product or the brand?
- Are there protagonists with whom the addressees can identify?
- Does history have meaning and development?
- Is the story original?
In order to retain customers in the long term, a relationship must be created between the consumer and the brand. Storytelling connects people with the brand through the experience and emotional impact of a story. The positive effect can improve the image of an entire company and set it apart from the competition. If you want to learn more about storytelling and learn how content marketing can be used, please contact us!