Everybody is talking about storytelling and how important it is to do it. But once in a while I get asked, what is actually is all about. Storytelling basically describes a form of media and content to communicate with your audience.
Great right? Still no idea? Let’s dive a bit deeper into it…
By telling a story, a company or brand sparks emotions and a reason for individuals like you and me to stick with your products and brand. So now you are asking yourself: “How do I tell stories when I’m just selling some shoes, shirts, a software or food. Let me tell you this, I get it, it can be quite overwhelming.
Why we tell stories
Storytelling for example is what your brand stands for. This means, it can basically be described as the old school Vision & Mission + and the corporate Identity. But just writing some rudimentary lines of text just doesn’t cut it in 2019.
We tell stories to educate, sell, brag and get what we want. Just throwing out some information on an excel sheet doesn’t provide any value for anyone. We hurl data into a story and telling it in the old fashioned way that everyone understands. Have you seen Game of Thrones? Or Star Wars? The Lord of the Rings? Then you probably experienced a moment when you just wanted to keep reading or watching the next episode. We get hooked, we want to know how the story continues.
I bet many of you are watching YouTube videos, read how-to’s or check an Influencer profile now and then if there’s something new going on. No matter what they are doing (educational, entertainment etc) they all tell a story of their life or their business. An you, after watching them for countless hours, are part of their community. You engage with them and you have the desire to want to know more.
Why Storytelling is so important
Let’s get back to the basics and discuss a great example how you can tell a story. Imagine you are selling a product and for every sale your company is donating a few % of revenue to an NGO, plant a tree, provide aid to local animal shelters etc. By coming up with a creative idea and share it with your community / following (e.g. video) they get to know you better & more importantly know how you are doing it. Literally take them with you along the way and show them what you are accomplishing. Show them how it is done!
Need another example? Here you go.
A great concept for travel companies or local guides can be by using daily stories or vlogs on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram to show your community or at least interested tourists what they can experience at a certain destination. You could teach them some historical facts, tell them interesting stories about your city or take them along with you while you are visiting some cool locations.
How Apple & Google do it
We’ll take a look at Google & Apple. Two tech giants of the Silicon Valley. They tend to use real life stories (of actual people), how their products and services had an measurable impact on their daily lives. Their ads show you how e.g. the iPhone made a life easier or how a Google’s virtual assistant changed the way we communicate with our surroundings. The virtue of real life stories is that in general, they can be easier related to and raises the desire to experience the product yourself. This way storytelling not only adds value to your brand, but also increases possible sales and generates new leads.
In conclusion, storytelling is about providing insights and value to your brand and customer. Then there’s a bonus as well, it gradually creates a massive amount of content to be posted on your social media profiles & website.
Storytelling is only the beginning
But don’t forget, Storytelling is just a tool to engage with your (potential) customers and should always be a part of the customer journey. To grow your business you need to evaluate, analyze, and listen to your userbase. Only then you will be able to grow sustainably.