Why Does Storytelling Sell?

Once upon a time

How does your brand’s story start?

Forbes recently published a great article about brand storytelling. They said that while brand storytelling isn’t a new practice, ‘with the explosive growth of content marketing, the opportunities to tell stories as part of direct and indirect brand marketing initiatives have become a strategic priority’.

Why do stories sell?

Dustin Hoffman once said ‘Stories? We all spend our lives telling them, about this, about that, about people … But some? Some stories are so good we wish they’d never end. They’re so gripping that we’ll go without sleep just to see a little bit more. Some stories bring us laughter and sometimes they bring us tears … but isn’t that what a great story does? Makes you feel? Stories that are so powerful … they really are with us forever’.

It is for these reasons that storytelling is much more effective than sales spiel and pitches. Stories connect people and get them involved and absorbed in a product, service, business or cause.

So how can we as marketers weave story telling into our email marketing efforts?

Create Characters

First off, every story needs a character. The best characters in any story are the ones that audiences like and root for. Have you heard about the TOMS shoes ‘one for one’ campaign?

It starts with a guy called Blake who, when visiting Argentina found out that there are lots of children who go without shoes. Blake tells the story of how he decided that for each pair of TOMS Shoes that are purchased from his company, they will donate a pair of shoes to a child in need.

TOMS used Blake as their stories main character in their emails, their social media efforts and their video marketing campaigns. His face, voice and personality are used to bring the story to life, creating a character that people want to cheer for and support.

Keep It Simple

Simplify your story. Even if your product or service is one of the most complicated in the world, your story doesn’t have to be.  Returning to the Tom’s example, as you can see from this video, it is an incredibly powerful story, yet a very simple one.

Relevancy Is Key

Finally, your stories must be relevant. Craft a story that is aimed at those that fit into your buyer persona’s.  In order to create a truly powerful story you’ll need to know who your customers are, what they care about and what they’re thinking.

Story Telling Ignites Word Of Mouth Marketing

Blake Mycoskie, CEO and “Chief Shoe Giver” of Toms Shoes says that he realized ‘the importance of having a story today is what really separates companies.  People don’t just wear our shoes, they tell our story.’

If you look closely at some of the world’s greatest stories, you’ll find there are several strikingly common tactics that they rely on. Content Marketing Consultant, James Carson, presented on this recently.

What’s your brand’s story? Have you used stories in any of your businesses marketing efforts? Let us know in the comments below, we always read and reply…

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