Storytelling As A Form Of Marketing

You’ve probably heard that people remember stories more than they remember straight facts and statistics.  And you’ve probably had first hand experience about that from a personal standpoint. Have you ever considered using storytelling as a form of marketing?  Corporations do it all the time– think commercials and ad campaigns; those are (very) short stories that are intended to pull you in and make a point.

The good news is that social media has made storytelling easy, compelling and some would argue mandatory from a marketing standpoint.  Even if you don’t consider yourself a good storyteller, you can still use it as a powerful medium to set you and your company apart.

You can use storytelling to:

  • Increase sales
  • Generate leads
  • Educate consumers
  • Persuade someone to change their behavior
  • Inform and train
  • Highlight your success
  • Showcase your clients
  • Motivate your employees

A good story has some basic elements:

Remember who, what, where, when and how?  It also has emotion and very often some kind of hero. Take care to really understand the emotion you want to convey:  is it trustworthiness? Innovation? Fun? Stability? Once you know the emotion/purpose you want to push, then you can weave in one or more of the following:

  • Characters
  • The setting
  • Plot
  • Point of view
  • Conflict
  • Resolution
  • Theme

More good news:  your story doesn’t have to be long to be impactful. It does have to be truthful and it does have to be authentic to your brand and market.  Here’s an example: For years I told the following story as a way to get people to remember the name of my company and what I do.  When my son was in kindergarten his class had a career day.  The teacher asked each student what their daddy does for a living.  Then she asked them “how does your mommy spend her day?” (This was over 20 years ago and most of the moms in the class were stay at home moms).  My son answered the question about his dad by saying that his dad is a periodontist and he explained to the class that this is a kind of a dentist who gives people new permanent teeth.  When asked how does your mommy spend her day, Mark looked up and thought about it and because he could not remember that I worked at the Women’s Business Development Council of Florida, he said “my mommy spends her day in the company of women.”  Well, there you have it. From the mouth of babes– I do get to spend my day in the company of women because I work with women owned businesses who want to access corporate and federal contracts.

I can’t tell you how many people would see me at different meetings and say oh yes, you’re the person who works in the company of women… instant icebreaker and relatable story.

What is your story?

5 things to consider turning into stories that you and your team can share:

  1. How you landed your first client
  2. The story behind your logo
  3. The story behind your name
  4. Stories about your employees– have they been with you from the start of your business?  One person I know always mentions that she has 3 generations of employees from the same family working at her company.  This speaks to loyalty, to business longevity and to one of their core values.
  5. Stories about special causes you support and why

So, what’s your story?  I invite you to share it in the comments below.

Need more inspiration?  Check out this Pinterest board all about Storytelling as a form of marketing –> here.

Certified WBENC