Turning Storytelling Into Storyselling: The Beginner’s Guide

storytelling marketing strategies

March 27, 2024

The art of storytelling can undoubtedly do wonders for your business if you are well familiar with its strengths and shortcomings. If you’re reading this, chances are, you’re looking for some advice on crafting winning content that can bolster your sales rates. Good news is, creating impactful stories is not rocket science. And the even better news – we’re about to give you the roadmap to quality writing. Let’s delve into it.

Why does storytelling quality matter?

Storytelling is one of the main pillars of any successful marketing approach. Not only is it a powerful tool through which you can communicate a message to your audience, but it can also be a marketer’s best friend when it comes to bolstering consumer engagement rates and improving customer relationships.

There are various ways through which you can approach the task of crafting a storytelling strategy that would bring results for your business, as choosing an appropriate narrative style and tone of voice is highly dependent on your brand image, goals and target audiences. Yet, despite the unique features of each business, why good storytelling is significant for brand development can be boiled down to 3 fundamental advantages:

  • Stories can simplify concepts that are hard to grasp: Certain ideas or even products might be challenging to understand and translate into the context of a person’s individual experience. Stories, such as case studies or real-life examples, could be a great tool to implement when you need to break it down for your audience.
  • Stories provide ideas clients can identify with: Past research has shown that stories can alter human behavior and motivate action, which can not only inspire your readers to identify with your brand personality, but can also help you cultivate a dedicated community for your business.
  • Stories motivate consumer engagement: Once you’ve tapped into the emotions of your reader audience and inspired them to identify with your story’s message, it becomes a lot easier to navigate consumer intent and motivate actions that benefit your business.

The power stories hold over consumer audiences, though, is only half of it in the marketing world. The rest depends on the storyteller’s ability to strategically craft content that sells.

Storytelling vs. Storyselling

Storytelling for the most part serves a communicative function, as its fundamental purpose is to relay the details of a particular event or experience. In contrast, storyselling is product- or service-focused, thus aiming to build customer trust and inspire a certain type of action.

While the name illustrates ensuring higher sales rates as one of the key goals to be achieved, keep in mind that selling a story is a subtle form of art. Within the context of overcrowded global markets powered by the engines of capitalism, contemporary consumers are overwhelmed by businesses that sell their products explicitly.

To effectively captivate the attention of your digital audience, you’re gonna have to go the extra mile and provide them with something relatable, nudge them towards envisioning what your business has to offer in the context of their own day-to-day. Put simply, you need to sell them a lifestyle, not just a product. Many of the big names on the market – for instance, Starbucks or Nike – have implemented this approach in their marketing strategies and the results are indisputable.
If you’re also looking to breathe life into your brand and product, read on – we’ll guide you through all the building blocks of effective storyselling.

What makes a good story?

To craft impactful stories that resonate with your audience, you need to be well-versed in the components that constitute good writing. While it is important to always have in mind your brand image and mission, there are several elements that marketers tend to resort to when they are looking to make a splash in any industry.

  • Captivating plot: The development of your narrative should be easily traceable, with a clearly outlined introduction, middle and conclusion. Whether you choose to resort to the basics of marketing storytelling or you opt out for something more extravagant, always keep your story coherent and easy for the reader to absorb.
  • Emotional intensity: The emotional spectrum you will try to evoke among your audience should be closely tied to the message you aim to relay with your story. Regardless of how you choose to connect with the reader – through sympathy, humor or something else entirely – establishing an emotional bond with them is how you motivate action, so never underestimate the power emotional intensity holds in marketing storytelling.
  • Relatable protagonist: If you want your reader to identify with your message, communicate it through a character they find relatable. If you’re writing for an audience of your existing customers, maybe craft a protagonist that embodies your brand’s values. And if you’re looking to reach potential new clients, consider the problems they need solved and portray their resolution through your character’s experiences.
  • Attention-grabbing details: In today’s digital landscape, a compelling story no longer consists of just words. Try incorporating a more dynamic set of elements (e.g. infographics, videos, etc.) to create a multisensory experience that will have a lasting impact on your audience.

Now that we know what our end game is, let’s take a look at how to get there.

Key steps for crafting an effective storyselling strategy

The type of content that sells may vary according to each brand’s personality, resources and goals, but there are a few steps in the process of creating it that might just be applicable to all businesses out there. We’ve summarised them for you below, in case you’re looking for a shortcut to higher sales rates.

Ignite your readers’ curiosity

If you’ve recently dabbled in the world of social media, then you already know that the attention span of the average consumer is probably lower than it has ever been. Therefore, how you introduce your story matters immensely. Don’t spare any time thinking of a catchy, curiosity-inspiring title or opening, as without one, all of the effort you invest on the other components of your story technically goes out the window.

Don’t just tell them, show them

Remember those visual elements we talked about in the previous part of this article? Use them to demonstrate how your product or service can bring a positive change into your readers’ lives. Show your audience you understand their struggles and underscore why your help is not just useful, but also necessary to them.

Keep the positive vibe

No matter the emotional rollercoaster you take your reader on throughout your story, make sure to always end it on a high note and leave them feeling good about themselves. Motivating consumers to associate your brand with positive emotions is key to expanding your customer base.

Looking to bring storyselling into your own marketing game? Give us a howl, we’re all set to write your brand’s story together.

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