Storytelling in Marketing: 10 Ways To Make Your Story Exceptional

Jolynn Oblak
Nov 4, 2014 · 4 min read

Jolynn Oblak

Everyone loves a good story. Storytelling is powerful.

Remember that scary story that kept you up at night?

It was that romance novel that make you first believe in true love.

How about that story you parents told you about the boy who cried wolf that was a warning about the dangers of lying?

I always loved a good story, as a child I always loved fables

It was how I first understood life, the difference between good and evil, right and wrong.

As a teen, I read a lot of stories, Nancy Drew was my favorite.

As a young adult, I was so taken with stories that I wanted to tell stories for a living…. I wanted to act.

This is how powerful storytelling was to me

As we grow up, we tell those same stories to our children and grandchildren.

And so it continues.

Marketing is storytelling. The story of your product, built into your product. The ad might be part of it, the copy might be part of it, but mostly, your product and your service and your people are all part of the story. Tell it on purpose

This is why storytelling is a powerful tool for marketing your brand or business.

Seth Godin said:

Marketing with Stories: 10 ways to make your story stand out

Because storytelling is part of our culture, it’s a powerful way to connect and share real value with your prospect.

1. Study other storytellers

If you are in tune with your target market needs, you can craft the right kind of story that will endear them to you. Storytelling can get your prospect to buy.

2. Vary Your Media

I want to share some simple but important ways that you can begin to use storytelling to stand out from the crowd.

It doesn’t matter who the story teller is, from an actor to an industry leader, study their background and processes. Learn their methodology, idiosyncrasies and patterns and see where you can apply those to your content.

3. Remember the basics. Every story needs a:

Storytelling is for more than just novels and movies. It comes in many forms including articles, blog posts, videos, presentations and more. You can even find storytelling in video games.

Research what medium your target audience prefers and consider which medium works best for the story you are telling.

4. Know What Moves You About A Good Story

  • Subject: Know your audience before you begin.
  • Goal: Determine what outcome your audience is seeking.
  • Problem: Identify the reason your subject is having problems reaching their goal.
  • Solution: Show them (notice I don’t say tell them) that you are the solution.
  • Moral: Summarize the story in a direct and simplified way so they see the solution & how to reach it (your call-to-action).

Your story should take your subjects on a journey where they can see the transformation between the beginning and the end.

5. Always be truthful

Think about your favorite stories; be they novels, movies, certain articles or even online videos.

6. Find the Emotional Trigger and Connect With It

  • Why are they your favorite?
  • What parts really attract you; the character’s style, the plot line or something else?
  • What attracted you to them in the first place?
  • What kept your attention?
  • Apply those same things to your own stories.

7. Be Interesting….Don’t Bore Them

Lying and embellishing your stories may gain the initial interest of your audience but once they find out you’ve been dishonest -and they will, you’ve lost their trust forever. Consumers are smart and they already have a lot of skepticism. Stories are truth.

Stories that tap into our emotions are the ones we enjoy hearing and the ones we remember. Work to connect with your audience on an emotional level, be it through entertainment, encouragement, fascination or something else and they will remember your story and your brand.

8. Show Who You Are — Your Personality

What you find interesting and what your audience finds interesting may be two different things.

  • Tell the story for your audience, not for yourself.
  • Research to learn what real people are asking.
  • Consider the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “why,” and “how” questions & what would make each of them interesting.
  • Keep your audience’s interests in mind while creating your story.

Don’t be afraid to let your personality show. People are looking for a connection and it may just be through having a similar personality. Besides, stories without personality are just plain boring. Even if you’re not very charismatic you can still make a connection through being unique.

9. Make it Shareable

Ask yourself:

  • What makes your audience special?
  • Why do they buy your product over someone else’s?
  • What do they like and dislike about your product?
  • What makes your product special?
  • Is it designed differently than your competitions?
  • Why did you create the product?
  • Has it been recently updated?
  • Does it include advice from an industry leader?
  • How has your product changed the life of your customers?

10. Keep it Simple……

When you create a good story people will want to share it.

As you write your story, think about where it can be told and shared. Mix up the type of mediums, formats and content lengths to give your story some diversity.

Regardless of the topic, traditionally speaking, the most remembered stories are the ones that tap into emotions, make a connection, but are also simple in design.

When a story is too complex, it loses its impact.

For more on storytelling and how to use it to tell your brand or products story, read my detailed blog post here.

K.I.S.S — Keep It Short & Simple

For more on storytelling tips and resources, see my #smartlist here

Tell me, do you use storytelling as a marketing tool? What are some examples of good storytelling you have seen lately?

Originally published at .

Jolynn Oblak

Written by

Marketing @Somatix + Tech Strategist. I tell a great story

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