Storytelling is an ancient art, which is present in most areas of our lives, since it touches many fields, from the study of ancient cultures to movie making, fiction writing, to marketing and branding. We need stories, almost as much as we need food and sleep. “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” says Philip Pullman.
Storytelling is not about language, it’s about telling and creating stories in a compelling way. It’s about finding the right metaphors, and above all the structure in which to tell a story. In doing so, the storyteller (re)creates a part of life and generates a story that is easily remembered and unique.
What is the relationship between content marketing and storytelling?
The intensive pace of technological innovation of the past decades led us to live now, social and content-intensive times. Storytelling can thus help you stand out with your content marketing, as great narratives are key to success in any content marketing campaign.
In order to create great stories that don’t just stick but also enthuse, nurture and stimulate people, you need to focus on what people want to hear and share. This will pay off, as if your stories capture the attention of the audience, they will be quickly boosted by word-of-mouth, social sharing, and social media in general. As Bryan Eisenberg reminds us: “Effective content marketing is about mastering the art of storytelling. Facts tell, but stories sell”.
The first thing you need to do when designing a content marketing campaign using storytelling is to ask yourself a set of questions such as:
- What is the story and narrative behind everything you do as a brand, ranging from what you stand for, to the reason why you developed your product or support a good cause?
- How can you use storytelling to connect with people using your brand?
- Can you create stories that will cause a change in behavior or a change of perception?
- What stories are your customers and audiences already telling to each other?
- How can you capture, hear and include them on your own storytelling?
- Can you think of a collaborative storytelling with your customers?
- We are living times where values of trust, openness, transparency, relevance and participation are key. How can you use storytelling in your content marketing which is in tune with these values?
- How to use art and scientific data in your storytelling?
- How to use strong visuals (infographics, animations, photo essays) to capture the attention of your audience?
Based on the answers to these question you can experiment to use storytelling in your content marketing by:
• Sharing compelling narratives on how your brand started.
• Creating a visual brand that helps people understand what type of brand you are and what you do.
• Inviting people to give well-written testimonials about your product or service.
• Sharing social media posts that other people make, talking and telling stories about your brand.
• Using videos to introduce your staff to the world
Finally, don´t forget to spread your story! You can use Outbrain’s marketing platform to drive quality traffic to your content. With the help of this platform, you can get your great content recommended on premium sites, including CNN, People and ESPN.
So just get started, and begin writing your stories now!