The Power of Storytelling in Marketing

31st Jan 2024

The Power of Storytelling in Marketing

Storytelling is a marketing method that taps into the emotional side of your target audience. Rather than promoting a product, service or brand with facts, prices and standard sales techniques, you speak to your audience through a story. Think Christmas ads. Most big supermarket brands create thought provoking and often emotional TV ads that tell a story, instead of simply showing off their Christmas deals and offers.

The Benefits of Storytelling

Storytelling sparks emotion and gets your audience thinking. Talking about a product or brand through a story is deeper and much more meaningful than a classic sales advert. Storytelling is also hugely beneficial for creating brand awareness because a deeper connection with your audience increases the chance of them remembering you. The best and most memorable stories are the ones people relate to and can really resonate with. You can create this by knowing your audience and knowing what they will likely have in common. Make sure your story is based on this so that it feels personal and relatable. This could be featuring a problem and showing how your brand or product is the solution. Another great benefit to this method of marketing is how it can make a product or service easier to understand. Imagine a business process or a service that can be told as a story, it’s much more interesting and engaging than a basic, factual explanation. 

 

 

 

How To Create Your Story

Establish your origin story: Where did the brand/product come from and why was it created? You might also want to tell your audience about how your business was founded or how you came to create a particular product. 

 

Build your hero’s journey: The hero should always be your customer. In this part, explain what issue they faced and how your solution solved their problem. Make sure to include the end result, for example, how will their life going forward improve after your brand fixed their problem?

 

Show your brand’s personality: Is your brand light-hearted, fun, serious, funny, powerful, an innovator? Show this throughout your story with the tone, the overarching message, visuals and characters.  

 

Brand purpose and values: Ensure these are integrated into your story. This can be shown through things like inclusivity, the problem that you solved and the brand personality that you present. 

 

Write your story: Once you have thought about and planned the previous four steps, you can start writing your story. Try to keep it short and somewhat simple. You want your audience to be engaged and intrigued, rather than feeling bored and not being able to keep up. However, make sure you include enough detail to ensure the story feels realistic and compelling. 

 
 

INVEST in Good Storytelling

INVEST is a set of criteria used to determine the quality of a story. If your story encompasses all six elements, chances are it’s a good one. 

I (Independent) Your story should not hinge on any other story; it should be original and different, and ideally something your audience will not have heard before. If your story is based on an innovative product, or your brand which is different and unique, this part will be easy. 
N (Negotiable) Making sure the story can be developed further will enable you to recreate and extend it in the future. This means your marketing story can be added onto and used again. This step is also about ensuring your story can be the subject of discussion. If it’s something that gets people talking, it’s something that will be remembered. 

V (Valuable) Your story needs value. It must show how the customer will benefit from using your product or service.
E (Estimate) Make sure your story is quantifiable and includes enough detail, without being overly complicated and long. 
S (Size) Is the size of the story suitable? For example, a brand story published on the homepage of your website, in a social media post or as a TV ad shouldn't be too long as your audience may lose interest. You can simplify and shorten the story but have the full, more detailed version somewhere accessible, like a dedicated page on your website. 
T (Testable) This means your story can be tested against its initial criteria, allowing for further development and improvement. 

 
 

The Science Of Storytelling

Humans have used storytelling throughout history to share information and connect with one another. Whether around a bonfire, through cave paintings or from parent to child, stories create emotional responses that have been proven to make it easier to recall information and store memories.


When our brains see or hear a story, its neurons fire in the same pattern as the speaker’s brain, known as neural coupling. “Mirror neurons” create coherence, a connection, between a speaker's brain and the brains of their audience. Storytelling also activates the reward system of our brain, which then releases dopamine, making us feel happy. Dopamine enhances our memory and attention, which is the reason stories can be so engaging and easily remembered. Infact, stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone (Aaker). 


To read more about why your brain loves good storytelling, check out this fascinating article we found from the Harvard Business Review: Why your brain loves good storytelling 

 

 

 

Storytelling has been around since humans were capable of telling each other stories and the hugely positive effect it has on us is the reason for it. Using storytelling as a form of marketing differs from the regular, generic marketing strategies: it’s personal, creative and resonates with an audience. Its potency in marketing lies in its ability to differentiate brands, fostering authenticity and connection in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Storytelling marketing is something every business should be doing, especially smaller businesses, in order to keep up with and compete with larger brands. 


Storytelling is a big part of our marketing strategy at Storm12, click here to find out more about our marketing services.  

 


Sources: 

https://www.productmarketingalliance.com/the-what-why-and-how-of-storytelling/

https://www.semrush.com/blog/definitive-guide-to-brand-storytelling/

https://hbr.org/2014/10/why-your-brain-loves-good-storytelling




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