What is Story-Based Marketing?
Story-based marketing is the strategic use of narratives (otherwise known as stories), rather than data or descriptions, to sell a product or service and build out a brand. It can be used in video ads, print ads, social media, websites, and anywhere your organization reaches your audience of prospective buyers/investors/donors/clients/superfans.
For centuries, stories have been used to entertain, teach lessons, and pass on history. It makes perfect sense that these same stories would increase your ability to connect with your audience.
Stories Make it Memorable, Meaningful
Using stories, you’re able to communicate complex messages simply and memorably. Of course, the facts and figures are important, but let’s be honest: Too often they go through one ear and out the other. The data is much more likely to make an impact if the viewer can attach a name, a face, or a story to your info.
Stories Show Rather Than Tell
Audiences today are more marketing-savvy than ever. They rely more and more on recommendations from friends and doing research on their own. They are more likely to resist a message if it’s too direct or heavy handed. Today’s consumer doesn’t like being told what to do — but by showing them rather than telling them, you can guide an audience to a conclusion without outright telling them what to do.
Emotions Are More Persuasive Than Facts
Stories are so powerful in a marketing sense because people connect with them on an emotional level. While facts and figures can be compelling to the logical mind, a well-crafted narrative appeals to our empathetic, emotional side, too. Stories also show off your organization’s values, which builds trust with your audience.
Crafting a compelling story is an excellent way to establish your brand, share your message, and show your audience why it matters.
How Can You Use it?
There are several ways to incorporate storytelling into your marketing strategy. Here are a few tips:
- Case studies are a great place to start. Think of your most successful client or customer, and tell their story: What were their needs? How did you help them? What was the end result?
- Put yourself in your prospective customer’s shoes. Who are you trying to attract? What are their greatest pain points? What would catch their eye, pique their interest, or pull their heartstrings?
- Characters are essential. Build them into your marketing — they give your audience someone to connect with.
- Don’t be afraid to let your organization’s values shine. It builds trust, likeability, and audiences love an org with personality!
- You don’t have to ditch your data — a powerful statistic followed by a narrative example is sure to drive your message home.
- Social media is your friend. Create shareable content, like a video or an infographic, and post it on twitter or facebook. If it’s compelling, your followers will do the rest!
Ready to put story-based marketing to work for your project? Give us a call at 202-747-0404 to get started writing your story today!