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STORYTELLING IN MARKETING: WHY IS IT USEFUL AND HOW TO USE IT?

Updated: Dec 15, 2023


The author of this article on storytelling in marketing is Christina.

Author: Cristina Cristea

Date of publication: 18/04/2022





What is storytelling and how is it related to marketing? Why is knowledge of storytelling technology useful for company development? In this article, we will fully reveal each of these topics, as well as teach you how to write scripts for product promotion. Storytelling is a marketing tool, but compared to others, its use is a little more nuanced. However, these nuances can greatly affect the effectiveness of a company's promotion.


The concept of "storytelling" comes from a combination of two English words: "story" and "telling". In other words, you are telling a story. It turns out that storytelling is a genre of writing texts in which there are main characters and a plot. In marketing, storytelling is used to convey an idea to an audience by luring a potential buyer into a story. In this way, you can express thoughts and answer questions as the plot develops.


Storytelling illustration

THE ART OF STORYTELLING: HOW DOES THE BUSINESS BENEFIT FROM IT?

The advantage of texts written in the storytelling genre is that they can illustrate problems in an accessible way and talk about solutions. As with reading literary works, readers can start to empathize with the main characters and think about how they would act in a similar situation. This allows a brand or company to win over customers’ trust and improve communication.


The advantage of storytelling is that the vivid emotions, plot twists and non-flat characters are often more attractive than advertising slogans and catchy banners. This is why storytelling is becoming so popular in marketing.


HOW TO GET YOUR MESSAGE TO THE AUDIENCE WITH THE HELP OF STORYTELLING

Companies from various fields use storytelling to increase audience loyalty. Here are five examples of how a story can be told:


History of the company or brand

A book or documentary that tells the story of your company's journey can help you grow your audience and grab their attention. Surely, after watching the movie The Founder, one might feel closer to the company than simply following the brand on social media.


A story about the development of a specific product

Storytelling can also be used to expose your audience to the process of developing a specific product or service. Explain why a new product or service is important to your company and how it can serve them. Seeing everything with their own eyes, your audience will trust you and your company more.


Correct values

It is not necessary to regularly remind people that your product is cheaper or has more advantages than the one of competitors. In fact, it’s better to simply tell potential customers what they will gain by choosing you. Let people buy products based on their quality, not to save money. In addition, make sure you use different methods to develop a story about your values ​​and ideas. Show your audience the impressions of previous buyers on your products, and focus on positive emotions as much as possible.


Answers on questions

The FAQ section in a website is popular and valuable for customers. Clear and structured information entices the user to learn more about a product. However, this section can be made more original and more attractive if you give answers to questions in the form of stories.


Development of the company

Tell about the life and evolution of your company, highlighting its successes and the most joyful stories of employees. Well-developed heroes certainly get a positive response from buyers, but telling about the lives of ordinary people is even more powerful.


Storytelling cases can be found everywhere, but there are many tricks. So how can you deal with them correctly?


STORYTELLING IN MARKETING: HOW TO USE IT CORRECTLY

The main thing in storytelling is to correctly pack the story idea into a concise shell. In other words, think about the setting of the story, what characters are needed and why. Don’t forget that your story should include forces of good (e.g. company heroes) and evil (e.g. client problems), ways to deal with evil, a battle, and a victory. After that, a conclusion should follow. Sometimes, the ways to fight evil can be individual qualities (of your heroes), and not necessarily specific actions. This could make your story even more inspiring.


Let's now consider the structures of texts that you can use for storytelling.


There are different structures of text or scripts that you can use in storytelling.

TEXTS FOR STORYTELLING: MAIN STORIES

The plot is the basis for building a story. Here are some scripts for storytelling that can serve as suitable shells for promoting a product.


The Battle

A classic story about the victory of good over evil, which is so loved by the mass public.


The Quest

A story in which the heroes find a solution with the help of ingenuity or exceptional skills. Here, the product can act as a reward for the characters.


The Journey

A story about the adventures of the protagonist, including his growth and gain of new insights and abilities. Adventures can also be meeting new friends, having enemies, and reaching a goal, eventually becoming happy.


The Transformation

A story which is depicted more like a journey. However, instead of a thorny path, the hero reaches a goal with the help of luck.


The Becoming

A story of spiritual growth. Here, the hero does not struggle with external problems, but with internal problems. It is important to show that the hero and his struggles are similar to the reader’s. In addition, the ways in which the hero copes with difficult situations are also similar to the coping mechanisms “normal” people use.


The Defeat

A story about characters who fail and make mistakes. Such stories can also bring the company closer to the target audience. This is because readers will likely see a part of themselves in the hero. Just like everyone else, the hero might go through some tough times and is not able to find the strength to cope, or find solutions on his own.


STORYTELLING FORMATS

It is important to note that the structure of a text in storytelling plays a huge role. Indeed, it makes it easier for readers to perceive the story if you use the right structure. There are two popular structures and rules of storytelling you should not ignore:


1. Three acts

In this case, the story consists of an introduction, a development of events and a denouement. There is also a more difficult version, which contains five acts instead of three. These include an introduction, a development of events, a peak of history, a fading, and a denouement.


2. "Before and after"

History, without development of events. In other words, the initial situation and the result of its resolution are shown here. This structure can be turned on its head to create a scenario for Hollywood. That is, show the plot twist at the beginning and then tell how the characters in the story came to this twist.


STORYTELLING IN MARKETING: PLUSES AND MINUSES

The storytelling format is universal, which cannot be a minus. In addition, it can be used in a wide range of areas, solving various problems. Original stories are also easy to remember and, if associated with creators, they can inspire and increase confidence. Finally, with the right presentation and engagement, storytelling in marketing will not be perceived as advertising.


Probably the only disadvantage of storytelling technology is its complexity. To create a successful story that leads and increases your audience’s loyalty, you need to follow the storytelling rules as best as you can.


TO WRITE A MARKETING STORY, YOU MUST FOLLOW THE FOLLOWING RULES:

  • Express as clearly as possible the idea you want to convey to the public

  • Write a well thought out and engaging script

  • Choose a place and time for the story, characters, and main elements

  • Work on the structure of the text under which the plot will be framed


 

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