Storytelling is one of the hottest buzzwords in marketing.
(And subject to much mockery, as a result.) But what does it actually mean?
And why is it so powerful?
To start with, storytelling is nothing new. Obviously. Since man (and woman) has been painting on cave walls, humanity has been telling stories. It is simply how we communicate with each other. Whether it is a means of passing on the news of the day or something deeper that taps into a greater truth (i.e. fables, fairytales and myth), stories have been a part of our culture since we first started walking upright.
But why does storytelling matter when it comes to content marketing?
1. No one likes to be “sold” to. Think about it. What is one of the most universally hated things to shop for? A car, right? And why? Because of the perceived pushiness of the car salesman. People don’t like to feel like they are being pressured into something. We don’t like feeling like someone is trying to sell us something. Not only does telling someone a story when marketing a product eliminate that bad aftertaste that comes from “salesmanship,” but storytelling also creates an interest in connecting.
2. We all want a connection. Let’s face it, most of us desire a way to feel more connected to our fellow humans. One of the best ways we do that is by bonding over common experiences. Creating those connections are part and parcel of storytelling as it pertains to content marketing.
1. But it has to be believable. Simply slapping a story on your product doesn’t mean you are a storyteller and that consumers will be drawn to whatever it is you are selling. If you are going to embrace storytelling in your content marketing, then you need to be telling stories that people want to hear. Plus you have to be willing to evolve. Today storytelling isn’t just a matter of using words, its pictures and video, and whatever other exciting new medium is around the corner.