What is corporate storytelling and why is it important?

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Persistence is the quality that often gets attributed to any type of success in marketing and sales. Most professionals will tell you that you have to repeat the same message over and over again until you get satisfactory results.

But is this really true? What if your message is wrong?

This is where corporate storytelling comes into play.

Stories have existed since the dawn of time and were used to entertain and educate. They are one of the strongest driving forces in the universe being able to start revolutions, unite people and bring joy. Good stories persist throughout the ages.

When it comes to corporate storytelling, the principles are the same as with traditional stories. The main difference is that you are using them to promote a product or a service or to position a brand.

Stories usually come in a form of text. However, it is also possible to tell a good story about your company through a video. In fact, as videos become more and more important in terms of SEO, corporations slowly turn to this type of promotion.

Here are some of the main elements of a good corporative story and reasons why we introduce them.

Woman writing in notepad at wooden table

Good corporate storytelling should include:

1) A hero

Similarly to classic fairy tales, every story requires a main protagonist. They will overcome all the obstacles. At the same time, this person has to be relatable. In the end, if we are unable to connect to them, we will soon lose interest.

Some companies use subtle messages indicating that the main protagonist is in fact the consumer. You are the one that needs to overcome obstacles by using a certain product or service.

2) A main plot

One of the biggest challenges of modern marketing comes in a form of short attention spans. Given that we are living in a world littered with advertisement where everything is easily attainable, there are only a handful of things that can truly shock us or attract our attention.

That being said, good plot is the necessity which will leave a reader (or a viewer) intrigued waiting to see what will happen at the end.

3) Drama and obstacles to overcome

Dynamic storytelling is imposed by the modern society. In order to intrigue the reader, there has to be some kind of a twist. Drama is necessary as a method that will involve reader emotionally attaching him to a product.

4) A trustworthy message that’s simple and consistent

If you are promising more than you can deliver, consumers will see your story as a ploy and will not get hooked. The message has to be believable.

Besides that, it also has to be simple. Otherwise, the consumer might not understand the meaning behind it. Lastly, it has to be consistent. This is not as important for an individual message; however, it is crucial if you wish to build a brand.

As you can see, the elements of a corporate story coincide with those of a classic one. However, the reason for its existence is completely different and one may even call it selfish. Nevertheless, you cannot deny its power.

Creating a sense of achievement

Each time there is a new and revolutionary product being launched, a mass of people will gather in front of the stores. All of this is a result of good storytelling.

People are not that attracted to the product itself. Instead, they are intrigued by all its benefits. In a sense, by purchasing said item, they will have a sense of achievement.

As we previously mentioned, they will be emotionally engaged in a story that the company presents. They will feel as the main protagonist managing to overcome all the obstacles and finish their quest.

However, do not think that consumers are foolish or gullible. They will only acquire a product or a service that will help them improve their life.

Regardless of a story, you have to have a “hook” that will persuade them why something that are you are offering will have such an incredible impact on their lives. Like with all marketing campaigns, the consumer is at the forefront.

Storytelling in the internet era

Creating a great video or article is only the beginning. Your product represents the basis upon which the story is being told. But, if there is nobody to receive the message, all your efforts will be in vain.

Always remember that corporate storytelling is directed towards revenues. That being said, the more people read your story, the higher the chances to make additional profit.

When creating content, you have to consider SEO. With that in mind, your content has to look impressive, to be well written, to consist relevant information and most importantly, to be sharable. To sum it up, it has to be link-worthy.

Your story has to inspire people. You have to create an impression that by sharing your content, individual is able to help others. This is crucial because everybody wants to feel like a hero. And with your story, they are able to be just that.

Liking and sharing needs to be a part of a story. Furthermore, you have to find a way to reward the reader for passing on the message. That way, you are providing all the experience which the real story provides: creation of a hero, plot twist, anticipation and reward for protagonist’s sacrifices.

If you wish to create a brand consciousness, you have to create a story that can continue on. It can come in several parts or it can be created in a way so that a viewer anticipates additional messages.

This way, you are able to keep individual engaged for a longer time and instead of connecting to a particular product, he will become emotionally attached to a brand.

Keep in mind that promotion of a brand requires some additional considerations. If one of your stories is bad or if it doesn’t provide the necessary stimuli to a reader, the entire campaign may flop.

Similarly, the message needs to be clear and consistent so that the person can connect the dots between the individual stories. Risks are much higher but so are the rewards.

Conclusion

Storytelling is and will remain one of most impactful ways of promoting your content. All of us are emotional beings and we like to let our imagination run free. Stories are an amazing catalyst that ignites that passion and imagination letting us visits those magnificent worlds.

By exploiting those emotions, you are able to position your product in their minds creating an emotional need for your product which is usually much stronger than the rational one.

Nikolay Stoyanov is one of Bulgaria’s top SEO experts with more than eight years of practicing SEO and a contributor to ClickZ.

This article was previously published on our sister website ClickZ.

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