I can think of one recent example where storytelling in marketing and advertising takes supreme importance.

Think about the Super Bowl on Sunday evening. While some of us cared immensely about the game, others were more interested in what happened during the commercial breaks. It’s literally the only television event where some people are more interested in the advertising.

Every other day of the week, for any other show or event, we’re a captive audience when it comes to commercials. Why? Well, part of it might be that we’re all a little sick of the New England Patriots, and could care less about seeing them win another championship. For the rest of us, it’s the creativity and stories that these commercials tell.

What lesson can we bring back to our businesses? Storytelling in marketing is here to stay. It’s the way to resonate with our audience. Let’s look at a few of the ways that this can have a tremendous impact.

Here’s Why Storytelling in Marketing Matters

It’s How Companies Can Establish a Rapport – Stories are a fundamental human experience that drive a deeper human connection. I’m thinking of this Hyundai commercial with Jason Bateman at this point. He’s taking a group of people down an elevator in a building as they go through all sorts of miserable human experiences. One is a root canal. Another is “the talk” from your parents regarding sex. And one is car shopping. We can all relate to the ensuing misery. We’re all connected.

The guy he’s helping says, no, he’s looking to shop for a Hyundai, and all of the sudden he reverses the elevator to head up – that’s a positive experience. It’s an excellent way to use common human experience to position your company in a positive manner.

storytelling in marketing

Storytelling Is How We Learn – I love baseball. I love watching the layers of strategy that go into the battle between the pitcher and hitter. I love watching how defenses adjust to specific hitters’ strengths and weaknesses. Now. I have no freaking idea what Kirk Gibson’s lifetime batting average was, but if I close my eyes, I can see his walk off home run in the World Series play through my mind. That fist pump as he rounds the bases limping is magical. It’s a beautiful story. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch this video.

The point is that statistics and numbers have their place, they bolster an argument. (Kirk Gibson is among the game’s greatest players.) But what he did, and the story behind it, is what we’ll truly remember. A good story stays with us. It’s what we’ll remember. This remains true of storytelling in marketing. It’s the most powerful stories that we’ll remember.

Win Attention in a Fragmented Landscape – It’s hard to find people who have seen the same television shows or read the same books as you. We used to have three basic TV channels, and that was it. Now we have hundreds of channels at our disposal, along with countless new shows and movies. According to one report, there were more than 1 million books self-published in 2017 alone.

For marketers, there are blogs, YouTube videos, Instagram accounts, Facebook pages and more. It’s tough to win attention in such a fragmented landscape. But a powerful story can help you do it. Storytelling in marketing can differentiate your business and help you win an audience when audiences’ attention is splintered.

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What Storytelling in Marketing Looks Like

Your story doesn’t have to be elaborate. It’s not something that you need to overthink. As you sit down to craft your marketing materials, make sure you include a few basic things:

The Usefulness of Your Product or Service – How do you solve the problem that your audience is experiencing? They came to you for help. Your blogs, website content, and other marketing materials should convey your value clearly.

Engaging Design – We live in a visual world. For better or worse, books and websites are judged by the cover. Make sure that you include enticing imagery. If infographics make sense, consider including some. Deliberate over the artwork that you choose to include in your marketing materials.

Include Some Personality – Does your brand have a voice? Don’t just recycle generic and boring content. Pretend like you’re speaking to a potential client over coffee as you write your materials. If their eyes gloss over in boredom, it’s time to shake things up a bit. You are writing to this one person.

Consider How it Will Resonate – Storytelling in marketing can be challenging. Your marketing materials won’t do you any good if they don’t have a lasting impact. Is it something that will keep people moving towards the call to action? Is it something that they might share? What can you do to make your marketing materials more appealing?

Conclusion

Storytelling in marketing can be an excellent way to differentiate your business from the competition. It’s an excellent way to capture your audience’s attention and improve your business’s brand.

As you sit down to create blogs, websites, landing pages, sales letters, and other marketing material, make sure that you consider the impact of the piece. If you’d like help creating powerful marketing materials, contact me today!

Matthew Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing copywriter and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right: Sell Now.