The Power of Storytelling: Why Your Business Needs to Start Telling Stories through Content Creation
Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways for a business to connect with its audience. Yet many brands fail to harness the art of storytelling in their content creation.
Instead, their social media posts and blogs simply push out promotions, product features, and business updates. This informative but dry content creation may check their “post 3x per week” social media box, but it won’t captivate attention or spark viral sharing.
People crave stories. Our brains are wired to think in narratives. When done right, stories evoke emotion, imagination, and engagement. That’s why the top TV shows, books, and movies use masterful storytelling to draw us in.
So why aren’t more businesses using storytelling in their content creation?
The Problem With Most Business Content Creation
Here are some of the most common types of (boring) business content creation I see:
Promotional content creation that touts sales or discounts
Product-focused content creation about features and specs
Corporate announcements and news updates
Industry jargon and overly technical explainers
Dry statistics and corporate reports
Bland “About Us” pages and company bios
Self-promotional boasts about awards or achievements
This type of informative but impersonal content creation might work for an annual report. But for marketing, it fails to connect emotionally or stand out from the crowd.
Without an intriguing story, social media posts easily get lost in the scrolling feeds. Blog posts may come across as glorified sales brochures. Potential customers tune out.
Storytelling Breathes Life Into Your Content Creation
Storytelling in content creation is powerful because stories:
Captivate attention in an entertaining and memorable way
Appeal to emotions and imagination rather than just logic
Allow you to develop rapport and trust with the audience
Spark interest and viral discussion rather than glossing over
Help the audience visualize themselves in the story
Make you more relatable, approachable, and human as a business
Let’s compare an example of bland business content creation vs. storytelling content creation:
Bland Content Creation: “ABC Company was founded in 1992 in Seattle, WA. For over 30 years, we’ve been a leading manufacturer of industrial parts, serving Fortune 500 companies globally. Quality and innovation drive our business.”
Storytelling Version: “In 1992, Fred started ABC Company out of his garage with nothing but some used equipment and a dream. He spent that first year cold-calling potential clients day and night. Failure after failure. Most people would have quit, but Fred believed this was his calling. One small client took a chance on Fred’s craftsmanship, and soon the orders started rolling in. Today, ABC Company supplies parts to some of the biggest global brands, but we'll never forget those humble beginnings in Fred’s garage that made it all possible.”
The story immediately pulls you in and helps you relate to the founder’s underdog journey. It’s far more engaging than a dry history of the company.
Stories Build Relationships
Storytelling enables a personal connection between the storyteller and audience. Stories convey your values, passion, and purpose that facts and figures alone can’t.
When you open up through storytelling, customers start to know, like, and trust you.
Consider these examples:
Telling the origin story of your business makes you more human vs. touting achievements
Sharing employee stories builds rapport vs. generic “about us” pages
Describing setbacks overcome shows perseverance vs. only highlighting successes
Giving a behind-the-scenes look at your creative process builds empathy
Spotlighting inspiring customer stories makes audiences identify with them
Make your storytelling conversational, candid, and emotionally resonant. Use vivid details, humor, conflict, and relatable characters. This level of authentic, heartfelt sharing isn’t easy, but it’s incredibly worthwhile.
Turn Anything Into a Story
Here are some types of content creation that lend themselves well to storytelling:
Origin Stories Share how your business got started, including the founder’s early motivations, struggles, and inspirations.
Looks Give a “fly on the wall” view into things like product development, company culture, customer service feats, etc.
Profile individual employees, diving into their unique backgrounds, passions, and what they bring to the team.
Customer Success Stories
Detail specific customer challenges you helped solve through narrative case studies.
Company Values and Purpose
Explain not just what you do but why you do it through anecdotes of foundational moments.
Use a story metaphor to illustrate a complex service or production process.
Share insights gained from past business challenges, failures, and evolution.
Bring larger trends to life through imagined scenarios and future projections.
Revealing the Humans Behind the Brand
Ultimately, great storytelling gives audiences a genuine glimpse into the living, breathing humans behind your brand - failures, triumphs, passions and all.
Take inspiration from these widely shared stories from big brands:
Dove: Shattered the narrow beauty standards women face through empowering interviews with real customers.
Volvo Trucks: Tugged heartstrings with the dramatic tale of a 4-year-old girl getting her wish to ride in a truck.
Apple: Shared the historic early days of the company in its iconic “Think Different” ads.
Patagonia: Highlighted its commitment to environmental activism through the arrest story of its founder.
While you may not have Superbowl ad budgets, you can still tell powerful stories through blog posts, social media, video, and more.
Start Implementing Storytelling
Here are some tips to weave better storytelling into your content creation:
Identify your brand’s core narratives. What origin stories, unique differentiators, value propositions, or human connections can you draw from?
Interview employees and loyal customers. Their firsthand stories are full of passion.
Get inspired by books, movies, and speeches with great storytelling. Study why they resonate.
Use story frameworks like the hero’s journey to craft compelling narratives.
Rely less on facts and more on emotions, characters, and drama.
Write in a conversational, casual tone. Make it sound like you’re sharing over coffee.
Photographs, videos, animations, and other visuals can complement stories.
Practice telling stories verbally to groups or even recorded alone to improve storytelling skills.
Analyze metrics to see which storytelling content creation performs best. Refine your approach accordingly.
Stories Make Your Business Memorable
Today, consumers are bombarded with more choices and information than ever. Standing out is a tremendous challenge. That’s why your content creation needs great storytelling.
Facts, features, and promotions fade away. But powerful stories stick in our memories and hearts. Leverage stories to foster real human connections. When you give audiences something meaningful to relate to, your business becomes unforgettable.