Why to Focus on Storytelling in Digital Marketing Strategy

storytelling in digital marketing strategy

Once upon a time, a Midwest girl had a dream to up-end the marketing world by cultivating the kinds of meaningful conversations we have in real life, but on digital platforms.

She wanted people to feel seen and heard. And through her work, she began to see the benefits of approaching digital marketing with a different lens. She saw that it was truly possible for personable, human-centered digital marketing to support thriving, sustainable small businesses.

Even her own.

Today, Wayward Kind is its own thriving small business with a team of 5 amazing people, serving a diverse client base. And it all started with that spark of connection.

It may be just a snippet of our story, but understanding where we came from and where we want to go is a valuable part of our digital marketing strategy. And it’s a valuable part of your strategy, too.

We may sound like a broken record over here, but we really do love a good story. Especially good storytelling in digital marketing strategy.

But we don’t just love stories because they’re awesome. The effectiveness of storytelling is scientific. Stories make you feel connected, seen, and heard. They help us remember things. And it’s all because of the sweet release of oxytocin that accompanies hearing a good story.

If you’ve been crunching the numbers and presenting a lot of data, waiting for the connections to happen, this is the post for you. Let’s learn more about why you need to start telling the story of your small business!

Be Relatable

One of the keys to telling a good story is making yourself, or your business, relatable to your audience. Consider our brief story above—have you ever felt a spark of inspiration and wanted to run with it? Or felt the challenge of growing a business? Then you can relate to Wayward Kind’s story.

It’s a core part of our belief that people buy from people, not brands. So, being human in your storytelling can help to cultivate that relatability.

That’s not to mean that you don’t have to develop elements of your brand voice and style. But your story should be an integral part of that, not an afterthought.

So, how do you bring relatability to storytelling in your digital marketing strategy?

Know Who You Are

You can’t expect to tell a good story about your business if you know your own narrative. And that’s not just what you sell. Consider some of these questions:

  • What are your values and why?
  • Why did you start your business?
  • What are you passionate about and why?
  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • Why do you love what you do?
  • What obstacles have you overcome to get to where you are?

Knowing these answers, and even taking the time to write them down and ponder them, can really help you communicate clearly about your business. And these are the things people want to know—they want to see the struggle, and the triumph. They want to know the why behind what you do.

Know Your Audience

There’s tons of details and segmentation that can happen on the strategy side of this. But, for simplicity, who are you talking to? Who do you want to attract to your business? What do they need?

Consider what they’re feeling when they’re starting a search query. Are they hopeful, desperate, anxious, excited? Remember, it’s not just about their demographics, but about getting inside the minds of your potential clients.

Be Honest

You won’t be relatable if you’re not authentic. Storytelling in digital marketing strategy will only work if the story is real. Jules really is from the midwest. She really does value connection. That doesn’t mean that you don’t use great copy and content to enhance your story. But, whatever your story is, make sure it’s yours.

Slow Your Roll on the Data

One of the challenges for storytelling in digital marketing strategy is how to balance numbers and figures with the emotional appeals. You need both, but too much at the wrong time, or you could alienate your audience.

It’s possible to tell some kind of story in numbers, but it can be pretty complicated and dry. Unless you’re speaking to a highly-educated group of scientists doing research, you can probably air on the side of less data. And even then, make it interesting.

That doesn’t mean you never use data. Those figures are important logical evidence of what you do. They build credibility. But, tell a story with that data. Spice it up with how your company’s values contributed to those numbers, or how you helped your client achieve a big goal, or discuss the pain points in your industry. Give your audience something they can relate to in the numbers.

If you’re not sure about how much data to include, ask yourself: “Would I want to read this or listen to this?” If your answer is no, then that’s probably your audience’s answer, too. You are a pretty good bellwether for what your audience wants to hear—trust that inner voice.

All of this boils down to some pretty simple principles: be in touch with the heart of your business and the heart of your audience. The more you know, and the more connected you feel, the more likely it is for the inner storyteller to emerge as a digital marketing force!

One of our favorite things to do is tell the story of businesses. We’re passionate about getting to know everyone of our clients so that they can have all the digital marketing tools they need to tell their story. If you need a little help defining your own story, contact Wayward Kind. Let’s get the next chapter of your story written!

Author Kelly Doran

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