What is storytelling when it comes to business, and marketing in particular, and why does it even matter?
Storytelling has the power to connect individuals, cultures, and brands, since time began. Its importance lies in its capacity to foster connections, direct people on a path, and unveil the narrative behind a brand, product, or individual.
Storytelling ~ a path towards conversational connections
Human beings are naturally drawn to narratives and conversations, seeking a connection that transcends transactional relationships. This craving for connection has only been magnified by the isolation and separation we dealt with during the last few years of the pandemic. A compelling story moves us beyond the transactional nature of buying and selling, cultivating deeper, more meaningful relationships.
Guiding the journey with a narrative
Storytelling offers us a unique opportunity to guide people on a journey, allowing them to engage with us and understand what our brand represents. Nowadays, the desire to connect with a brand on a deeper level is more prominent than ever. As a result, visual storytelling, through platforms like Instagram, and Facebook, has taken centre stage. Visual narratives paired with carefully chosen words capture attention and fuel our inherent need for connection.
Crafting connections through cultural narratives
Storytelling uncovers the narrative behind a brand, an individual, or even a product. Sharing stories gives us a glimpse into our values, culture, and ways of being. This glimpse, in turn, creates connections. Drawing from our respective cultures and traditions, we can share metaphors, wisdom, and knowledge, adding value to the product or service we offer by fostering connection.
Weaving storytelling into your content
Creating compelling, relatable content involves intertwining storytelling elements.
Here are some steps to guide you:
- Find a story that resonates with you: Consider your own experiences and expressions of individuality. For instance, Jenni (my co-host from Elephant in the Room Consulting) shares her SHOES as part of her storytelling, and while shoes might symbolise freedom and a breakaway from corporate constraints, Jenni is reflecting her personal rebellion and freedom of choice. She shares her love of shoes (primarily AirForce One's and Jordan's!!) to give some personality to her posts, and tell a story!
- Identify your preferred storytelling medium: Choose a platform that aligns with your goals, comfort and authenticity. Whether it's Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, or another social platform, make sure it aligns with your values. Your chosen platform should help you maintain brand consistency, avoid misalignment, and effectively deliver your brand promise.
- Showcase glimpses of your story: Share aspects of your life or culture that reflect your identity. Whether it's talking about your indigenous culture (Jenni Walke is a proud first nations woman, or sharing your experience with disability (Kylie (that's me!) has extensive experience both living with disability (I'm hearing impaired, and have been wearing hearing aids for 8 years - they're a challenge!) and alongside disability (my husband is quadriplegic after a rugby tackle broke his neck 16 years ago)) or discussing your experiences working online from a small village (Bangalow, Northern NSW to be precise!), sharing these stories can resonate with others, and potentially inspire them!
Your narrative can manifest in different forms, whether it's the shoes you wear, the flowers you photograph on your morning walk, or the cultural traditions you embrace.
The key is to find a way to share your story that feels comfortable and authentic. It's about redefining storytelling in your own unique way—be it through words, videos, dancing, silly Snapchat filters, shoes, or even traditional emails.
Find your niche, be consistent, and keep showing up. By doing so, your people will find you, and your stories may just inspire them!
Listen in to our Bite-Size Business podcast episode about "The power of storytelling in content marketing."
Watch this episode of our Business Bite-Size on YouTube to learn more: