How to use storytelling in marketing?
Storytelling is a form of content marketing based on telling stories about a brand and its products. Stories must have some fundamental characteristics...
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Storytelling is a form of content marketing based on telling stories about a brand and its products. To be effective, these stories must have some fundamental characteristics such as maintaining brand value, awakening emotions, avoiding promotion, and inspiring content. We will introduce you to the most important rules that you must follow in order to reach customers more easily and increase interest in your product.8 rules of storytelling
- Values - Storytelling is a fundamental part of branding and as such must be an echo of the brand message. It’s not just about telling a story, but such content must be in line with the values they want to convey through marketing.
- Emotions - In an environment completely saturated with advertising, storytelling manages to stand out because it creates an emotional impact. This influence can be achieved through laughter, tenderness, togetherness, inspiration… but what it must not do is leave the viewer or reader indifferent.
- Discreet approach - Sales stories do this, paradoxically, without directly talking about the virtues of the brand or product. Within your marketing, you need to very clearly distinguish between promotional content like that for discounts during Valentine’s or the holidays and stories that seek both a more subtle and long-term effect.
- Beginning, middle and end - Every storytelling in marketing must include important steps to reach the audience in the right way. From the initial warm-up with the story to the climax where the emotions that lead to the last step are awakened: sales. There is a demand for the product or service you are promoting.
- Simplicity and quality - If the goal of storytelling is to sell, the first thing is to make sure you sell the right thing. To create a story that sells, you need to have one very clear message.
- Familiar environment - The stories that best connect with the audience are the ones they can most identify with.
- Tone and style- Language and creative resources must be adapted to the values of the brand and the recipient: formal, informal, for adults, children, women, men…
- Reliable company or brand - If it does not come from a reliable source that nurtures its values, users will not trust the message. They need to be consistent with the presentation of your brand and the marketing you are promoting.
Stories are great for simplifying abstract concepts and complex messages. When trying to understand a new idea, it’s normal to feel confused, but stories can very well help us. As in everyday life, we need to gradually adopt new knowledge and information. The same goes for products and corporate stories. If you explain a new technology product through a story focused on its benefits, users will quickly understand what it is all about.
Stories bring people together, and a good story makes a lot of different people feel the same way at the same time and that can help you build a community around your brand. Stories inspire and motivate, and make brands feel transparent and authentic. With storytelling, you help consumers connect with your brand. By appealing to people’s emotions, stories can improve brand loyalty and ultimately motivate users to take action. You don’t have to create complex actions and special effects to attract people’s attention. Just tell the real stories of the people who work for your brand and open the door behind the scenes.Get to know your audience
Before you embark on a story placement, you need to ask yourself a few important questions. Who might be interested in your story? Who will benefit from this information, offer or product? To create an interesting story, you need to understand your audience. Before you start writing your story or screenplay, research your target audience and customer needs. Throughout this process, you will be able to get to know people even better, but also reach out to those who will be happy to read, watch or listen to you.Define your message
The main message is the foundation you need to build right away. To define a message, think about the meaning of your story and what you want to achieve with it: raise funds, explain a service, present a novelty… When you come up with an answer, try to summarize the message in a few words.Decide what story to tell
Not all stories are the same. To decide what kind of story to tell, you need to know how you want your audience to feel or react when they read or hear it. And that will depend on what your main goal is:
- Encourage action - Your story should describe how something has been achieved in the past and how the reader or viewer can also achieve it.
- Tell us who is behind the brand - Connect with your audience by explaining your challenges and difficulties, triumphs and failures. Customers appreciate fair and original brands.
- Illustrate your values- Tell a story with emotions, characters and familiar situations so that the audience can understand how it relates to their lives. This is especially interesting when you talk about values that not everyone agrees with.
- Fellowship and Collaboration - Create a story that encourages the audience to discuss and share your story with others, or to say, “The same thing happened to me!”
- Education - In this case, it is good to tell the story of “trial and error”, so that users are aware of the problem and the applied solution.
Although the stories they sell should not be too promotional, it is necessary to be very clear to the user what he should do after reading or seeing your story: donate, subscribe to the newsletter, sign up for a course, buy a product, get involved in donations…Choose your format
Stories can be presented in many different ways. The format of your storytelling will depend on the type of story and the resources you can invest, for example:
Written form: articles, blog posts or e-books with a combination of text and images. They are the most affordable way to start telling your stories.
Voice: in live presentations or via podcasts. This story format helps to connect more emotionally with the audience, but also requires more skills.
Video: with a traditional commercial or some format designed specifically for the internet such as reels or IGTV. Although it requires more time and resources, this format is also one of the most effective for connecting with audiences and generating virality.
Digital format: this option allows you to combine multiple resources, such as text, video, animations or interactive elements.Share your story
As is always the case in content marketing, creating a story is only half the process, as a good dissemination strategy is a key to reaching as many people as possible. This strategy depends on the format of the story and the channels used by your brand. Social networks have proven to be the best channels to reach as many target groups as possible. Be sure to research which social media best suits your brand or service, and create a content-sharing strategy based on that. Instagram has several options within the platform, from reels, IGTV to stories that can make it easier for you to share a story.