Storytelling: Great Stories Need to Be Told
Telling stories seems simple, doesn't it? The truth is that it is. You can tell a story –invented or real–, with more or less emphasis and capture the attention of the person who is listening. However, if you want to tell a story to make it known on social networks, to strengthen your brand or to sell products, you’ll be interested in knowing what storytelling is.
Storytelling is not something new that has emerged in recent years. It isn’t the result of the ingenuity of marketers... The stories have always been there, whether they are legends of how earth was formed, military exploits, mythology or the closest thing to our times, the stories that sell your products or services.
With storytellings, brands manage to spread some of that magic that leaves both children and adults open-mouthed, as you can appeal to the emotions of your target audience and, in the process, create a unique experience.
In the following article, we will teach you everything about this art of storytelling to sell, we will get into its meaning, what it is for, examples and advantages you’ll get by using this technique.
What is storytelling?
Storytelling is the art of creating and telling stories. It does not focus exclusively on the narrative or literary, in digital marketing it is used to reach the customer by creating a special context.
Within storytelling, the narration acquires a vital importance, since contributing names, cases and, why not, exemplifying the idea that is being transmitted can get to empathize with the user. It is a widely used mechanism that gives optimal results to engage the audience.
With storytelling you’ll feel that emotional connection that is created when a story that is told is quite old, although it is true that within the world of digital marketing it is not so old.
However, it is a concept deeply rooted in marketing 3.0 and the transmission of the values it represents. Many specialists in digital marketing claim that it is a good practice to connect with the audience by generating sensations, always through the story.
What is storytelling for?
A story tell serves to propose a story that has a content that goes beyond presenting a simple story. It serves to connect with the public to which a particular brand is addressed, to strengthen its presence in the market and also, in the process, to achieve a certain empathy by generating an emotional impact.
It also works very well when it comes to appealing to emotions and promoting an interesting image about the brand. It is a good branding exercise to reinforce the values and humanity of the company and, in a way, to strengthen ties with the audience.
Types of storytelling
Within storytelling there are different types, mainly based on the content of the story you want to tell, depending on the message you want to support and convey to your audience.
Below, so that you know better what storytelling is, we are going to show you some examples of storytelling so that you can see more clearly how this type of tool works.
This storytelling is characterized by telling a story that is not based on real events, but relies on characters or recreates invented situations just to convey a message.
The great brands with years of history in their sector use this type of storytelling a lot to review their history, remember how they have succeeded and become established, or to generate nostalgia or emotions in the public.
It is a type of storytelling that tries to tell real situations, although sometimes it is difficult to adjust to that reality. Its main mission is that the public is reflected in that story while consuming the product or service of the brand that announces it.
With this storytelling, it is intended that the protagonists of the story to be told embody the values of the brand itself. The aim is for the public to relate the brand to the personality of the protagonists of the story, leading to a much stronger positioning with those values.
What should be in a good storytelling?
If you know what storytelling is, you will realize that a good and well written one can reach the consumer and provoke his or her emotions, taking into account a series of characteristics so that the longed-for hooking on the story can be produced from the very first minute.
Now, we present you the characteristics that must be presented for a storytelling to be successful.
- One must always be careful to tell stories, to generate emotions before wanting to sell a product or service.
- Data and qualities do not matter, what matters is the consumer experience when interacting with the brand.
- Make a powerful, authentic and engaging content from the first minute, not forgetting to reflect honesty and transparency in the story.
- The message must have a certain coherence because the company's values are being shown in the story.
- Keep the viewer with the uncertainty of what is going to happen until the end.
- The story must have a protagonist with charisma.
5 tips to make the best storytelling
Now that you know what storytelling is and the different types that exist, you can get down to work on your storytelling.
In order to help you see what storytelling is, we have prepared a series of tips so that you can create the best story for your brand and generate the emotions that link the product or service you are selling with your audience.
1. Main character
One of the keys is that the main character of the story plays the role of a fragile and helpless person, with whom people quickly empathize. The audience will want something good to happen to this character, to achieve their goals, their dreams, so that we can finally identify with him.
2. How you want your brand to look
It's the first thing to keep in mind before you do a storytelling. You must be clear that you want to transmit, if it is strength, motivation or to tell a story of self-improvement, focusing all the ideas on these values to transmit them in the best possible way.
3. Who you want to connect your story with
Another key is to adapt the story you want to tell to each audience or profile. Each user will connect differently with the message you want to convey with the storytelling.
4. Beginning and end
Knowing what storytelling is, you will know that it usually manages to attract the consumer's attention thanks to the strong empathy shown with the message.
However, it never hurts to add an incentive at the beginning of the story, which captures the attention and maintains the tension of knowing what is going on until the end. If you manage to leave the ending open for users to interact with the brand, you will have done an excellent job.
5. Call to action
One of the main problems of brands is that they do not manage to lead the user to perform an action through their communication actions. It is therefore important to know what the objective is, whether it is to sell, to build loyalty or to position oneself.
If you want to sell, take advantage of the moment when the story is at its peak in terms of emotion to generate that desire to buy. If what you want is to position yourself, the ideal is to find the right moment to make a call of attention.
Advantages of storytelling
You are seeing that telling stories is much more than just spouting a story and having people pay attention to you. At this time, they are a great call to sell and to generate a good branding and companies are not oblivious to this fact.
However, now that you know what storytelling is, its potential doesn't stop there. We offer you a list of advantages of creating stories with your brand as the main axis:
- Generate an emotional connection with the audience. The brands that have a similar philosophy of life to the one of the audience you are addressing will be the ones chosen.
- Trust is basic when it comes to building audience loyalty and generating an emotional connection with them.
- Virality. Stories are nice, but if they are original and arouse curiosity, they can become a social phenomenon.
3 great storytelling
Today storytelling is present in many areas, as storytelling has gradually become established as a very valid way to convey the values and ideas of a brand.
To help you understand storytelling even better, we are going to show you 3 clear examples of how companies or public figures capture the attention of their audience with engaging stories.
1. Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs is, undoubtedly, one of the masters when it comes to attracting attention. If you are still not clear about what storytelling is, we invite you to see some of his presentations in which he used to tell a story about the product he was going to present.
Apart from being stories with a touch of class, with his charisma and narrative he managed to capture the attention of his audience practically from the first minute. A clear example is his graduation speech at Stanford University, a true jewel.
2. Barack Obama
The former president of the United States of America is an expert in telling stories. In almost all his speeches he uses storytelling as a formula to attract and conquer his audience.
One of his most famous stories is the "Victory Speech" told in Chicago's Grand Park the night he won the presidential election. Here's an excerpt from the story.
“This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election, except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.
She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons — because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.
And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America — the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes, we can”.
3. Spanish Christmas Lottery ads
The king of ads in Spain. Christmas would not be the same without the lottery ads. For many years, the storytelling formula has served to generate emotions, unity, happiness and a desire to improve.
It has everything that a good storytelling must have: a good story, a fragile protagonist, a good beginning, it keeps the uncertainty until the end and a happy ending for the protagonist.
Storytelling, a new way of selling using emotions
Storytelling today is a technique that must be taken very seriously. Although it has been around for a long time, as you have seen it has been opening up a space within digital marketing as a new way of selling through emotions.
It is an excellent way of reaching the public, awakening emotions in them that will surely make them feel comfortable and identify with the brand.
If with the tools we have provided in this article, you are able to create a good story, with a good central character, which is capable of generating emotions, you will be one step away from that public that sees you feel identified and buy your product.
In short, if you know what storytelling is and put it into practice effectively, you can see how the results in terms of the image of your brand and your products improve considerably and encourage consumer loyalty.