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What Is Storytelling Anyway?

Marketing has its buzzwords just like any other area of business. Except, instead of (or as well as) ideating and disruption, it's all about Instagramable and hyperlocal. One of the words you're sure to hear a lot is storytelling, which sounds like it's something you already know. But then you realise that you have no idea what it means in the context of content and marketing. What is storytelling if it's not reading to a toddler, telling lies to your parents or sitting around a campfire? In the marketing world, storytelling is still telling stories but used to reinforce more buzzwords, like content and brand.

Telling Your Brand's Story

Storytelling is about telling your brand's story - where did you come from and where are you going? If you want to get started with storytelling, you're probably going to start with a biography or history of your brand. But storytelling isn't just about presenting the facts. You also need to use it to show your brand personality. Through your storytelling, tell people what your values are and why you do what you do. What do you care about? Don't just talk about when and how your company started, but also why it started.

Visual Storytelling

Telling stories through written content alone is a good start for building your brand. However, using more visual content can get you even more attention. Infographics, images and video production are all amazing ways to create a more visual story. There's a rule in storytelling that says "show, don't tell", and using visual elements help you make sure that you're showing what your brand is about and not just telling everyone. It's more genuine to encourage people to come to certain conclusions than it is to say "this is who we are, we're the best, believe us".

Continuous Storytelling

Storytelling isn't just a one-time event. It's something that you have to engage with all the time. It's not just about writing a really captivating "about" page for your brand and then forgetting all about it. You should engage with storytelling on your website, on social media and using various media. Tell stories consistently to keep building on your brand tone of voice. Even though it's called storytelling, it's also important to listen. Engage with people and show that there are real people behind your brand. Don't just tell your story but engage with and share your audience's stories too.

Finding Your Next Story

To always be storytelling, you need to think about your next story all the time. Finding the best stories to tell means you have to constantly look for how to put a storytelling angle on events. What is your brand up to now and how can you turn that into a winning story to tell your audience? If there's nothing new happening, you can still find stories to tell. Share testimonials from your customers or videos of your staff working or talking about a timely topic.

Remember that storytelling isn't a euphemism for lies in this case. Your stories should be based in fact - even if you embellish them a little!

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