Read the new ReputationUP Coach guide about storytelling in marketing. Learn what it is, the content strategies, and how it works in a company.
What is storytelling?
The concept of storytelling has been introduced, in the field of marketing, as a new strategy to convey the history and other important stories of a brand.
Let’s start this article with the exact definition of storytelling.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as:
“The activity of writing, telling, or reading stories”.
Through storytelling, concrete elements are introduced, such as the characters or the setting, to tell and develop a story with a beginning, middle and end.
The message must connect with the audience in an emotional way, so that it becomes unforgettable.
Storytelling has reached content marketing as a new strategic modality.
It consists of telling stories, in a way that is effective and attractive to the consumer, and ends the marketing funnel process.
The way to do storytelling right is not just to tell a story, it must reach the audience, and reflect the essence of the product, service or brand.
As we have indicated previously, storytelling is not simply carried out.
Like any strategy, it has some guidelines and characteristics. Let’s see some of them in the following list:
- Pursuit the emotion of the audience: the story is not an advertisement. The important thing is the story, led by characters.
The goal is that the story and its protagonists emotionally impact the audience.
Storytelling can evoke different feelings, such as cuteness or fun.
- The promotion of the brand isn’t part of the storytelling: the stories do not seek, directly, the sale of a product.
They seek to convey the philosophy of the brand, and, in an indirect way, to get into the mind of the audience.
- Brand awareness: the story must be related to the company, its essence and history. That way, the audience will get to know the company better.
The storytelling strategy is part of content marketing.
It is about telling a story about a company or brand, in a way that creates an emotional bond.
The important thing is to create a bond of trust with the audience, leaving the sale in the background.
Storytelling is a digital marketing strategy. It is based on the narration of the values of the brand, highlighting a story and the humanity of its characters.
It is a different strategy to the direct sale of the product or service, comparing the benefits of a company with those of the competition.
This sales technique is best for a potential client, who is already familiar with the company.
Instead, through storytelling, the essence of the brand is presented through characters and a story.
With the narration of the story, the company connects with the audience and grows the brand’s online reputation.
To use storytelling as a content marketing strategy, the following tips can be taken into account:
- Simple story: a clear message that the audience can understand;
- Credible characters, with whom a person can feel identified;
- Style and tone consistent with the audience and brand: adult, child, etc;
- Like any story, it must have a fixed plot: beginning, middle, and ending;
- The story incorporates drama and tension so audiences are hooked from start to finish.
Carrying out a good storytelling strategy requires time and professionalism.
ReputationUP Coach trains companies in all fields of marketing and intelligence, such as web design.
In this section, you will learn how storytelling content is created, step by step:
- Research and understand the audience: each product, service and consequently, each story, is directed to a different sector.
In this step, you have to get to know the audience to tell them your story.
- Set the message: what do you want to convey about your brand?
From this question, you must think what is the message that you want to reach your audience.
You can explain it in two pages or a fifteen minute video, but then you must simplify it in a single sentence.
- Mark the objective of the message: to know what type of story you are going to tell, you first need to know what the goal is.
For example, show your values, educate or explain to the audience who you are.
- Choose the format in which to share the message: written, podcast, video, etc.
- Distribute the message in the different channels of the company.
- Integrate a Call to Action (CTA) so that the audience knows what the step to take is: buy a product, go to the Web to learn about the brand, etc.
Headstream did a study on how users react to a good story, written by a brand.
55% consider buying from that company in the future. 45% will ‘like’ the brand on Facebook. 44% will share the story.
29% will follow the brand on Twitter and other social networks. Lastly, 15% will buy immediately.
ReputationUP Coach will help you carry out all the necessary storytelling steps, based on an analysis of the market and brand identity.
Storytelling works in marketing because it brings different benefits to companies through a story.
The stories, with characters, humanize the brand and reduce the difficulty of explaining a product or service.
Through storytelling, we put aside the corporate video to make way for a story, with which the audience identifies.
The audience feels that they are part of the story, connecting with the company’s values.
Storytelling in a company is a form of communication, in which the company tells a story about the brand.
This way it connects with the audience or clients, to share with them a message about the company.
Internal business storytelling can also be used to inspire teams and make more interesting presentations.
Doing product storytelling requires a strategy that supports every step of the execution.
To develop it, the company must be able to present the product, without seeming to sell it.
That is, it must highlight its values, history and characters ahead of product features.
The objective is for the audience to get to know the company and identify with the story and its characters.
And in addition, it gives them an emotional feeling, so they finally feel connected to the brand.
Thus, the internal team will become autonomous in the creation and management of social strategies and content on the different platforms.
Personal storytelling is a strategy that is applied to personal branding.
Like the business brand, this typology makes a personal and unique story to make an individual known.
Barack Obama‘s early speeches are an example of personal storytelling.
The former president of the United States told a story about his family origin and the American dream.
There are various online tools to make storytelling strategies.
In the following list, we explain some of them:
- Shorthand: it is a perfect tool for businesses, with which they can launch a landing page. It covers different formats and designs.
- Boords: this option offers the realization of storytelling, using templates and boards. You can upload photos, add sound, tags, etc.
- Storyline creator: using this tool, the user can enter characters and scenes within a timeline.
- Storyboarder: this tool is intuitive and easy to use. It only has six drawing tools and can also be edited with Photoshop.
In the following section, we analyze important brands that have applied storytelling in their content marketing.
Who doesn’t know Coca-Cola and some of its advertisements? The company perfectly understands its audience, knows what to offer and how to do it.
Likewise, it adapts the story according to the moment. For example, with its long-awaited Christmas commercials.
Its latest Christmas ad had the motto “This Christmas, give something only you can give.”
It showed a father facing many difficulties, around the world, to be reunited with his daughter at Christmas.
The story, in video format, has more than eight million views on YouTube.
The Spanish company is well known for its products and television spots.
Through its stories, the company presents families or groups of friends as main characters.
The audience identifies with the characters due to the everyday nature of the scenes.
The Casa Tarradellas product shines as a solution to the conflict in the story.
The conflict happens between the parents and their children, who are not convinced about the new change in life.
Story ends when the mother uses a Casa Tarradellas pizza to make peace with her daughters.
The video has more than eleven million views on YouTube.
Instagram allows you to tell stories of a personal or business brand.
Instagram stories allow you to tell a story in 24 hours, creating a need, solving it with the product and ending with customer satisfaction.
Another possibility is the succession of images on the user’s feed.
In short, all the content that is uploaded to the social network is a way of telling information about the brand.
But, for it to really be storytelling, it must be done in a narrated style.
Therefore, as with the rest of the tools, a strategy must first be established, according to the objective.
Through this guide we have learned the concept of storytelling and its application to the business environment.
From this article, we can draw the following conclusions:
- Storytelling conveys a story about the brand, using characters and a setting.
- The message must connect with the audience, in an emotional way.
- Carrying out a good storytelling strategy requires time and professionalism.
- Storytelling can also be applied to personal brands.
ReputationUP Coach helps internal teams to carry out all the necessary storytelling steps, based on an analysis of the market and brand identity.