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Storytelling Marketing: An Overlooked But Foundational Tactic

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Posted in Marketing Strategy, and Storytelling Marketing. 3 min read

As marketers, we live in an overly saturated environment with ads taking up a lot of our Google searches, social media feeds and more. Because we’re constantly trying to break away from the noise and make our products or clients heard, we’re always on the lookout for the next marketing strategy.

This makes it so easy to get caught up in the financial and technical side of what we think we need to be doing - spending money on more ads, buying the latest marketing software, etc.

No matter how many technical skills and platforms we use to amaze our prospective clients, we will undoubtedly fall short if we don’t focus on content marketing. You’re probably reading this thinking, “Okay duh, I know that. Content marketing isn’t new.” You’re right, it’s not new but we’ve gotten so caught up in the day to day grind, that we forget the big picture of what content marketing really is.

Content Marketing & Storytelling

At its core, content marketing is storytelling. If you don’t master the art of storytelling first, your content is sure to be a flop. You can have an awesome product, and you can pay a lot of money to get it in front of the right people, but if you can’t make your product relatable and therefore wanted, you’ll ultimately be left with a wasted idea.

Amazon, Nike, Budweiser - I don’t even have to ask if you’ve heard of these names. According to Forbes, these three brands are some of the most valuable in the world, and for very good reasons.

If I asked you what they all have in common, you’d probably start with the fact that they have kickass products and marketing tactics. However, if I asked you what about those marketing tactics makes their products memorable, given what this blog is about, I’d hope you say it’s because they take their storytelling marketing very seriously.

I’d argue that storytelling is the foundation of many careers and fields, but as important as it is, I’d also bet it’s something that a lot of us overlook.

Let’s take a look at the Budweiser Superbowl commercial from 2013. Yes, I did just reference a 5 year old commercial because it’s just that damn good. And No, I’m not crying. You’re crying. So, what makes this commercial so powerful? Is it the music, the actors emotion or maybe the carefully chosen shots? If looked at individually, the answer would be that it’s none of those things. But if looked at as a whole, the answer would be that it’s all of those things.

Clydesdales represent an important part of Budweiser’s history, and by connecting that history to their product, Budweiser was able to make their beer more than just another can of beer. The company had a clear vision of what they wanted this commercial to represent, and they nailed their vision with strategic storytelling.

Like Budweiser, all the companies on the Forbes list have carefully crafted their marketing storytelling over the years. They’ve recognized what makes their product different than their competitors and they sell their product through passionate stories that directly tie into their buyer personas life.

There’s no hard push for people to purchase their products, instead they focus on making their products resonate with the correct audience. Their innate storytelling skills make their products human, and because of that, the products practically sell themselves. Remember, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

Now that I’ve explained why it’s so important to start any marketing campaign with storytelling, you’re probably wondering how to tell an effective story? Stay tuned, I’ll cover that in my next post! 

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