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Why you should use storytelling for marketing

Charlotte Bunker
By Charlotte BunkerCreative Copywriter
5 minutes to read

At the beginning of August, illustrator, Adam Ellis started documenting the strange things happening in his flat. His very first tweet got straight to the point and immediately had readers hooked. Six months later, Adam is still telling the same story. He tweets in fits and bursts, weeks apart, and leaves readers hanging on for the next development.

His method of storytelling works. He’s amassed thousands of followers and his Storify has, so far, been viewed more than four million times. With impressive stats like that, wouldn’t it be great if your brand could harness storytelling to achieve marketing and business objectives? Here’s why it’s worth your time.

1. Storytelling compels us to read on 

Imagine you’re watching your favourite TV show on a Sunday night. You’ve got the snacks, you’re in your favourite spot on the sofa and minute-by-minute you’re getting more engrossed in the plot. And then, just as the story takes a wildly unexpected turn, the screen cuts to black and the credits start rolling.

You’d be mad not to watch the next episode to see the conclusion. Why do you think Netflix boxsets are so binge-worthy?

As with cliff hangers in TV, storytelling compels us to read on and conclude the tale.

Capturing your audience’s attention with a well told story will ensure that your key messages are read and, hopefully, you go on to make some conversions.

For example, if your product solves a problem, tell your audience how you struggled with the same issue and decided to do something about it. Not only will this hold your audience’s attention, it will also make you relatable (but more of that later!).

2. Storytelling is memorable

You can most probably describe what happens in your favourite book or film in detail. You can probably even repeat some lines word-for-word.

That’s because our brains are hard wired to remember stories.

When we’re told a story, our brain activates language processing and sensory areas.

So, instead of simply saying you sell BLT sandwiches, make it memorable by describing the crunchy, fresh lettuce with shiny ripe tomatoes and crisp, meaty bacon.

Evoking emotions in your reader when describing your product will make it memorable. And emotions are easy to thread throughout your copy when telling a story.

3. Build your personality

Storytelling is a key way to bring your brand to life and shape its personality. In turn, this makes your brand approachable, familiar and can help give you a degree of authority.

Jack Daniel’s is a fantastic example of this with a history stretching back to 1864, and it’s more than just a story. JD has photos of its founder and even its own historian to back up its claims. Its ad campaigns in recent years have reflected its strong story telling talents and have paid attention to the town the spirit is made in.

As the Jack Daniel’s story grows, it just adds more clout to its personality. Last year, the company revealed that a slave, Nearis Green, was responsible for the recipe and training Jack himself.

Jack’s story and personality clearly works. Consumers know what they’re getting with Jack Daniel’s and that’s evident when it launched its honey flavoured whisky with the line ‘A little bit of honey, a whole lot of Jack’.

4. It’s relatable

Telling a story helps to transform you from a faceless company to an approachable business with a history.

In short, storytelling can make you and your products relatable. It can tap into the thoughts of the consumer and seamlessly align your brand, values and product with their lives.

This isn’t just marketing speculation, there’s scientific evidence to back it up. When we read a story or hear one being told, our brain reacts as if we are inside the story so neurologically speaking, it’s almost immediately relatable.  

Having a brand and product that’s relatable will help consumers believe that they need you in their lives and you’ll seamlessly fit in.

What’s your favourite brand story? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

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Articles by Charlotte Bunker

Hi I'm Charlotte and I'm the resident Creative Copywriter.