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Marketing Through Storytelling – What Storytelling is and is not

As Annette Simmons, author of The Story Factor once said: “If you wish to influence an individual or a group to embrace a particular value in their daily lives, tell them a compelling story.”

Marketing through storytelling isn’t that different. It’s about crafting realistic stories that impart the knowledge your audience needs to solve their problems. You also need to create relatable content, surprising and delighting your audience, all while being realistic and truthful.  Let your audience get to know you on a whole new level, breaking down boundaries and creating brand loyalty that cannot be matched with other marketing methods.

You need to create emotions

You want your audience to laugh, cry or jump for joy that they’ve finally found what they need. Your story needs to easily accomplish that. It needs to be the difference between your brand and another brand that promises two for one if you buy widget A. Your story can compel your audience to take the leap to solve their problems without any false sales tactics or emotional blackmail.

Marketing through storytelling should make your audience want to laugh, cry or jump for joy that they've finally found what they need! Click To Tweet

At its core, marketing with stories is about making a connection with your audience. After all, the stories you create are about them. The stories you write need to be about them and address their concerns, their needs, their pain points. They should also tell how your product or service will fix those issues. Remember nothing has changed about basic marketing. It’s still about your audience and benefits over features. As harsh as it may sound to you, no one cares about anything other than what’s in it for them, and how your product or service solves their problem. Price is far down on the list, as are the many features you are excited to tell them about.

Make it about your audience

Marketing through storytelling gives you a good way to make it about your audience. You can focus on benefits over features by telling your audience’s story in a new, interesting and compelling way. By telling stories about your audience and customers, you tell your audience exactly what they want to hear. You aren’t making the mistake of telling them things they don’t want to hear.

Your Uncle Bob tells the story about releasing his ‘inner Banksy’.  The time he tried his graffiti skills out by spray painting his arch enemy’s house and then getting arrested for vandalism. Remember, it wasn’t really about that. It was about telling you what not to do. Teaching you about the consequences that actions carry in the hope you would learn from his mistakes. The easy way to get you to listen was to try to make the story humorous and exciting. That way you would listen to the end and get the moral of the story.  And, of course, you still got the message.

Every story you tell has to include some very specific elements for it to work. Next post I’ll explain what your stories need to include, and what they always need to have in order to get the results you want when marketing with stories. So stay tuned for the next instalment……

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