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Marketing storytelling via web stories - how it works

Marketing storytelling can be an effective way to introduce people to your brand. Especially if you incorporate web stories into it.

Jana
Jana
March 29, 2022

Modern marketing entails that you use modern tools and methods. Some are relatively straightforward, like using emails to engage potential customers. But others are more complicated to both understand and properly utilize. In this article, we will explore marketing storytelling and how web stories can help you apply it with surprising effectiveness.

What is marketing storytelling?

In simplest terms, marketing storytelling is presenting marketing content in the format of a story. The story format itself entails many different types of stories. From the linear ones where there is a clear start, middle, and end. To circular ones, where the story loops back into itself. You can even have branching stories, where the reader interacts with your content and gets presented with different info depending on their interactions. All these are simply types of story format, which you can use to great effect in your marketing campaign.

There is wide use of storytelling in marketing that you might not be aware of.

The idea of storytelling in marketing

Using the story format in marketing is hardly a novel idea. If you take a closer look, you will see that most successful marketing campaigns were based on some kind of marketing storytelling. Effective marketing is about conveying the core idea of a brand in a digestible way. If it can be done through a catchy jingle or a short message, great. But, for most companies, effective marketing necessitates examining what their brand is all about. And to make your audience listen, your best bet is to rely on story format. Do it right, and you can easily weave into it any catchy jingle or short message that you come up with.

Why is story format so effective

There are many reasons why the story format is so effective. But, almost all of them revolve around the simple fact that we, as human beings, have grown up with stories. Good stories stick with us. Stories that have a compelling message and are told in an engaging way tend not only to remain in our memory but help shape how we perceive our everyday lives. The best stories either become a piece of folklore or become outright religious stories. And it is through remembering them that we define who we are, and how to conduct our lives.

We are taught to appreciate good stories since our childhood.

Now, does this mean that marketing storytelling will shape people's lives? Of course not. But what we've written so far should give you an idea of why story format has seen such success in marketing. People can't help but remember a good story. And if you can present your marketing content as such a story, all the better.

The importance of emotions

When people create marketing content they often overvalue the importance of information. Inexperienced marketing managers believe that hard data and facts are what will convince their audience to become customers. In some cases, this can be true. If you are dealing with B2B marketing with a serious company, you might be better off simply outlining why working with you is statistically the best business decision. But, in almost all other cases, appealing to the reader's emotions is far better than giving them cold-hard facts about why you are best.

Whether we like it or not, emotions are our primary drives behind decision-making. While we like to think of ourselves as composed and rational. But, it is worth noting that our brains are wired to first consider emotions, and only then logic. This is simply how our brains develop. And, no matter how rational we strive to be, there is simply no way to circumvent this. So, once you create marketing content, you'd be much better off at appealing to the reader's emotions. And, as it turns out, stories are the best ways of doing so. No matter what feeling you are trying to evoke, a good story will be your best tool. And it is precisely this emotional potency that stories are so good at what they do.

What content is suitable for the story format

Since stories are primarily written, you might be led to believe that it is only written content that is suitable for marketing storytelling. While, in reality, there is essentially no limit to what type of content you can use. Apart from writing, you can also use:

  • Images.
  • Visual content.
  • Comics.
  • Interactive content.
  • Web story content.
  • Audio content.

All of these can be used as a part of a story. The only limit is how creative you are, and how well your brand connects to specific types of content.

If used properly, storytelling can be an effective way to guide the customer's journey.

 

Where to find examples of good storytelling in marketing

For examples of good storytelling, you will have to dig a bit deeper into the history of marketing. The thing about it is that a marketing story isn't told through one instance of content, or even through a couple. For truly effective storytelling you will have to spend months following customer trends, working on brand development, and creating suitable content. Companies like:

  • Spotify.
  • Zillow.
  • Google.
  • IBM
  • Coca-Cola
  • Nike.

All have terrific storytelling examples. But, you need to understand the context in which they told their marketing stories. Only then you can properly outline the reasons behind their marketing success.

Future potential

No matter how the marketing landscape changes there is every reason to believe that story format will remain relevant. Seeing that the crux of it is based on our innate appreciation of stories, there is hardly a risk that it will go out of style. The only potential change is where we will be able to convey marketing storytelling. New technologies like AR and VR only stand to broaden the potential of stories in marketing as they give new playfields for content creators.

How to use web stories

Now let's address the second part of our article, which is the role of web stories in marketing storytelling. Web stories, as a new type of content, can be used in different ways for marketing storytelling. Here we will look at the three most common uses, and how each of them can benefit your marketing campaign.

Telling a story through web story carousel

While a single-paged web story can be densely packed with information, your best bet is to present it as a story carousel. As such you not only avoid oversaturating a single page with information, but you also make your web stories a suitable place for marketing storytelling. Namely, you can tell a decent promotional story related to your brand entirely through a web story carousel.

A template page for story carousel that you can use for marketing storytelling.
A story carousel has a natural connection with marketing storytelling.

 

The most obvious option is to go for the linear story. Here you can sparse out what you want to say and have a clear beginning, middle and end. The beginning should serve to capture the viewer's attention. Middle to provide the bulk of necessary information. And the end to either convert the viewer to a paying customer or to direct them to further content. Since carousels can naturally roll back to the beginning, you can also opt for a circular story format. But these, in general, are more difficult to create properly. Since StorifyMe gives you an easy way to incorporate interactive elements into your web story, branching can be an option. But, again, you need to understand how branching stories work if you are to make good use of them. Personalization is a big factor in this type of storytelling, and it can be used to great effect.

Integrating web stories in content storytelling

Another way to utilize web stories is as a part of your general storytelling content. For instance, you can weave web stories into your written content to help emphasize certain elements. You can use web stories to lead people to other content and further elaborate on your storytelling. Or you can use them as packets of information that your readers might find interesting. If you already plan on using visual elements in your content, web stories can be quite useful as they add a layer of dynamic and interactivity.

Web stories give you a natural way to introduce interactivity to your storytelling.

Using web stories as trailers for a marketing story

The most straightforward use of web stories in marketing storytelling is to use them as trailers for further content. A well made web story can sum up what a blog post or a video is all about. Once done, you can place them in various promotions, from social media posts to emails and QR codes. By viewing your web stories the customer should get an idea of what the blog post is about, and whether they'd be interested in reading it. Even if not, the mere fact that they've interacted with your brand is a reason enough why web stories work.

Conclusion

Even if you don't have much marketing experience, by now, web stories should seem like a powerful tool for marketing storytelling. And if you have, you are already considering where to learn more about creating them and how to best use them. In either case, we strongly suggest that you further research web stories and consider incorporating them in your storytelling. We see more and more companies that combine web stories with their standard content to great effect. Especially if they understand what web stories do and how the average viewer perceives them. So, don't shy away from doing the necessary research before tackling storytelling in marketing and web stories.

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