Storytelling for Marketing: What’s the Point?

Have you ever had someone tell you the most long-winded, detailed story and when they finish you’re like, “Is that it?” What was the point, besides wasting 15 minutes of my time? You NEVER want your customers to feel this way {You also don’t want your CEO to feel this way about any campaign you create.} To craft a great story, you should first think of the end.

In marketing, the end game is conversion.

With any action we take in marketing, try to keep your team focused one two questions:

Will this convert?

What’s the point?

Will this convert?

Challenge yourself and your team with this question over and over again.

As you finish each stage of a campaign, design, or narrative, make sure this is at the forefront of the concept. A beautiful marketing video with no direction or call to action isn’t any more effective than a print ad with no phone number.

Regardless if we are designing a new drip campaign or media buys, the question we always go back to is, “Will this usher our prospect to the next stage of the buying decision?” If the answer is no, we’ve most likely lost our focus somewhere along the creative journey, and it’s time to stop and regroup.

How does this apply to storytelling?

Storytelling is a highly effective way to keep your prospect engaged with your marketing. Your customer would much rather listen to a story than read marketing jargon. Think about it, have you ever cried or felt goosebumps while watching a commercial? I’m totally guilty of this! It’s usually the ones about soldiers coming home or that Folgers one at Christmas when he surprises his parents. Or this one that you saw during the Super Bowl this year from Budweiser.


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Regardless of how you feel about the political undertone of this 60-second spot telling the tale of German immigrant Adolph Busch’s journey to American in 1857, the words “Welcome to St. Louis” probably prompted more than a few goosebumps.

Or even more on the nose, the 60-second spot that left a ‘to be continued’ breadcrumb trail to the Lumber 84 website certainly evoked emotion.


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You’re not going to tear up listening to a random spokesperson reading off the features and benefits of XYZ product. But you are immediately emotionally and mentally invested in a story you watch or hear. And by association, you’re invested in or connected to the brand telling that story.

What's the point?

As a marketer, should have a reason you are telling the story, and that reason should be that you are driving your prospect one step further down the customer journey. You need to think about why you are telling this specific story.

Are you demonstrating your company values like in the videos above?

Are you providing social proof for your product?

“After years of struggling with weight loss and the frustration that came with it, Sally tried our shakes for 30 days and now is down two dress sizes and fits back into her graduation day jeans.”

Are you overcoming an objection?

“I’ve run into that before and here’s what happened to me…”

Are you explaining why your product exists in the first place?

“We saw the frustration on prospective renters’ faces when they arrived at a property, and no one was available to tour them so, and we knew there had to be a better way…”

Or are you just filling up copy space on a website with features?

“Our apartments are filled with energy efficient appliances, granite countertops and …” Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

If it’s the latter, STOP.

Take time this week to think about where in your customer’s journey storytelling can help you usher them to the next step. Next week, we’ll explore the component that every great story needs.

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