5 Minute Read

[October 07, 2022]

We get it. Trying to catch the attention of a prospective customers gets harder every day. Competing for attention gets exhausting for marketers and customers. That is why you, as a company, need to employ multiple methods in order to grab the attention of your next customer. Another method you can add to your utility marketing belt is storytelling.

Storytelling allows a prospective customer to identify more emotionally with your company, product or service. We say more emotionally because people are already emotional buyers. Telling a good story gets people to stop, read and identify. They might buy, they might not. They may also share your story to their friends. Having a good story jump-starts discussion and get those emotions churning. Storytelling is a tool every business can use. Plus, storytelling can break up the mundaneness of any other type of marketing you are currently doing.

Why does storytelling work?

One of the biggest reasons we encourage storytelling in your marketing is because our brains are wired for story. It’s how we’ve connected with other humans and learned for the last 40,000 years.

Some people might be turned off by the idea of telling stories in marketing. You may not have time to write the stories or you might think no one will read them. However, you can give a snippet of a story, which can be all you need to entice a potential customer.

Storytelling can give you an edge over a competitor. Storytelling can resonate with prospects. The stories we tell are unique to our experiences, background, and voice. And that’s what it takes to stand out in a sea of sameness we’re encountering today. According to smallbizgenius.net, the average person is bombarded with over 1,700 banner ads per month, but only sees half of them. Not to mention the millions of messages and videos and trillions of photos that command our attention every second of the day. How does one choose what to pay attention to?

What is it about the marketing that stops our scroll or keeps our eyes stuck on a page for more than a few seconds? What is it about some companies that we want to read more of their content and learn more about what they do and the services they offer?


What to know when creating a marketing story

Before you include storytelling in your marketing, make sure you know the following:

  • Who your target audience is in order to know which stories would resonate with them
  • How to tie your story to a business lesson
  • Which underlying emotion you want to evoke with your message
  • What action you want your prospects to be inspired to take afterward

And what not to do…

Have you ever been around someone whose stories take forever to get to the point or when they do get to the point, the “punchline” just falls flat?

Yeah, don’t do that.

Where to use stories in your marketing for the greatest impact
Stories can be used in a variety of marketing formats and can help you achieve different goals in your business:

1. Case studies

  • Demonstrate authenticity.
  • Case studies are a way to close the deal, giving prospects a person or situation they can relate to.

2. Blog posts

  • Customize generic content.
  • Make complex topics simpler.

3. Brochures

  • Make your business more relatable.
  • Share your values and beliefs through the stories you tell – people do business with those who share similar beliefs and values.

4. Emails

  • Make a personal connection with your audience and build rapport.
  • Entertain — you don’t always have to be selling. Sharing stories with an occasional sales pitch will likely be better received by your subscribers.

When we share stories, we generally follow the same format. Think about the last novel you read, or movie you watched. Was it told the same way as a previous book read or movie watched?

Follow a story blueprint

Donald Miller, CEO and author of StoryBrand, explains the framework for all storytelling:

  • A Character (the hero)
  • Has a Problem (villain—a person or a circumstance)
  • And meets a Guide (that’d be you)
  • Who gives them a Plan
  • And calls them to Action
  • That ends in Success
  • And helps them Avoid Failure.

Stories bring a human element to our marketing. No one can decide if they like you based solely on the same ol’ facts they hear from everybody. You can control how people perceive your business, products or services.

Your marketing stories should show, not tell, someone why they would want to work with YOUR business.

Bring out emotions if you want to make sales

Once your prospect feels like they want your product or service, they’ll want to make sure you can deliver. That’s when you provide the data to back it up and make the sale.

Most likely, there are many competitors in your space offering similar products and services. So, why would your prospects pick you?

They have to base it on your marketing because since they don’t have a way to inherently know that you’re better.

But they might take a chance on you if you back up your claims, are knowledgeable, and have innovative ideas they’ve never considered before. However, if you stopped there — what would be different between you and the next guy or gal trying to win their business?

You need Connection, Beliefs, Background, Inspiration…

All the things you find in storytelling!

If you want to incorporate elements of story in your marketing, one of the best and only ways to stand out today, reach out. We’ll help you craft a story that sells!