Storytelling: How to Make Stories Sell

One of marketing's important facets is a skill called storytelling. Different businesses may define this term in different ways, putting various senses and referring to its components. However, they all share one common point: it's hard to master the art of telling stories but it's an imperative in today's marketing.

Among other storytelling's features, a number of renowned and large-scale companies mentioned realism and trueness. They define this marketing component as a real-life story that is supposed to resonate in hearts of many people—thereby sparking interest and demand for the product created and promoted.

Что такое столителлинг

How storytelling started

This term has only recently been introduced to the marketing glossary. But, don't think that if you couldn't give something a name means it didn't exist. Back in 2011, there were very few marketers that specified storytelling as a skill in their portfolio. This can be explained: storytelling wasn't considered a standalone discipline in those days.

However, the emergence of storytelling should not be viewed as its emergence as a marketing discipline. In fact, it had existed—in another form, though—as early as in the ante-Internet era. A good example is when consumers discuss a product they bought. They told about their experience, shared what they felt—thereby creating the real-life story that could make the product appealing or unwanted. This was the simplest form of what we call storytelling today. Thus, storytelling is not just about marketers' ambition to tell about their product but also about customers discussing it.

It could be said that storytelling began with the very first attempts to create advertisements. Short, unrealistic, mostly annoying than appealing—they all were stories as well. This was the dawn of storytelling and maiden attempts to create such a form of promotion, which later morphed into true stories aimed at drawing customer's attention to a product.

Some believe that storytelling appeared when one soft drink manufacturer decided to anchor their marketing campaign by telling stories. By 2013, there had been a lot more marketers that mentioned their ability to "tell great stories" among the core skills.

Как продавать рассказывая истории

Storytelling Basics

Every story told has a basis. Traditionally, such a basis includes the following:

  1. Main character
  2. Location & context
  3. Message & moral
  4. Plot

The main character is a protagonist who can be embodied by any being—from human to animal. The imperative in creating the protagonist is that it's realistic and true, which can win customer trust and make people recognize themselves in them.

Another crucial element is location. Just like context, location must create a feeling of realism. Basically, the author needs to put the protagonist in conditions familiar to any consumer. A good true story needs to be elaborate. If not nurtured, the story may not look credible and thus it will repulse the customer

The message engraved in the story is crucial even beside the product. Speaking of, the message must not push the customer to buy but ignite the emotional response in them. A story only told to buy will never seek good reception. Rather, it will look biased and thus provoke rejection.

Last but not least, is the plot. The art of plot creation is a higher-education discipline, and storytelling follows the same principles. A plot's mission is to provide an outline for what the protagonist will do, its ultimate goal, and circumstances.

Other aspects of telling "self-explanatory stories" include artistic devices like lexical, compositional, and other figures, aimed at creating realistic images. A special category of story features encloses emotionality and manipulation—the techniques that help draw and retain attention to the product.