The Educated Marketer


4 Tips on Using Storytelling in Marketing

by Vicky Lynch | Jun 24, 2016

 |  college recruiting strategies, college recruitment plan


Inbound marketing is all about delivering high quality content that will delight your readers and prompt them to share their information with you because they want more. So it’s no surprise that the best marketers in this new marketing world are storytellers.


What’s more--according to a Onespot infographic, 92% of consumers want ads that feel like a story. The science behind this is that stories activate parts of the brain that make us relate the message with our own ideas and experiences.

Seth Godin, marketing guru and best-selling author highlights the art of authentic storytelling in his book, All Marketers are Liars. He points out that in a world full of nonstop messages, it’s hard to take marketers at face value. However, if we are able to craft authentic stories, then we can capture the imagination of large audiences and gain exposure. We gain trust and we tell a good story.

So how can we begin as marketers to tell stories? How does that work?

Here are four tips to help you be a storyteller:

  1. Know your audience

I know, this comes up time and time again when we are talking about inbound marketing. But it truly is the most important element to any campaign. The key to telling a good story is knowing what your audience is interested in and what they want to hear and share. As Marketing Land puts it, “Once you know the story you want to tell, you need to make sure your audience cares.”

  1. Make your story interactive

Once you’ve figured out the story you want to tell, what better way to further engage your audience than to make it interactive? This means adding videos, animated GIFs, presentations, etc. Hubspot shows you how to make your own GIFs in Photoshop here.

  1. Keep the basic story structure in mind

If you’ve decided to use storytelling in your marketing, make sure you are actually telling a story. According to Forbes, you will need a central character; a beginning, middle and end; and lessons and/or takeaways for it to be a story.

  1. Leave the reader wanting more

Tell your story, but as Forbes points out, don’t give it all away. You’ve executed a successful marketing campaign when your reader wants more. So, make sure there is more to give them. Storytelling is a great tactic, but the story should simply entice your audience.

Still unsure if storytelling is right for your campaign? Here are some additional resources you can check out:

Search Engine Journal “7 Examples of Great Storytelling for Boring Brands”

Forbes “Not Using Storytelling In Your Marketing Campaign Yet? Now’s the Perfect Time to Start”

Entrepreneur “Storytelling Could Bring Your Brand to Life and Strengthen Your Marketing Impact”

Fast Company “Why Our Brains Crave Storytelling in Marketing”

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