Storytelling is a narrative form in which certain messages, values and knowledge are conveyed with the help of a story. In the field of human communication, literature business or media studies, storytelling is part of the standard canon of many disciplines and scientific discourses. In marketing in particular, multimedia storytelling, i.e. storytelling with the new media, is currently experiencing a renaissance.
The story in storytelling differs from a simple narrative in which the author conveys the content, first of all by using a narrator or protagonist. So author and narrator are two different characters. This difference should lead to listeners and readers being able to identify with the protagonist in a different way. Similarities, human weaknesses or a plot conflict ensure that listeners and readers absorb the story better and empathize with the narrator.
However, the purpose of this distinction also lies in the conveyance of knowledge and values: the stylistic device of narration via the protagonist should enable the meaning of the story, the punchline or certain values to be conveyed better. This is achieved, among other things, by the fact that the narrator does not use a direct, factual address, but pictorial actions, metaphors or his thoughts and feelings.
Storytelling in this form allows the listener or reader to better understand and grasp the meaning of the story. He remembers what should be transported. How a story is told therefore largely determines how the story is perceived by readers and listeners. Storytelling is therefore a form of infotainment.
The principle of storytelling is often used in modern practice. In the literature of business and media studies, it is common practice, in corporate communication and marketing it has been rediscovered for several years. Because the mere communication of facts and product highlights is not always well received by customers and business partners. This is particularly evident when marketers go off the beaten path and pick up customers when they have a problem recommending their products to them.
Companies are increasingly relying on storytelling to present their business in the right light and to communicate core company values. In the meantime, people are often moving away from written text and instead making use of the possibilities of new media. Pictures say more than a thousand words – This maxim is applied to marketing and successfully integrated into product advertising.
Modern designations such as digital and liquid storytelling stand for the application of the principle in these areas. Multimedia content is used to tell a story and engage interested customers. Brands and products are brought to life through images, videos or interactive websites. It is not uncommon for a branding campaign or specific product advertising to be behind it.
A current example is Opel’s “Relocate in your head” campaign. The products are not in the foreground, and neither is the brand itself. Rather, Opel is attracting more attention through this campaign and giving itself a new image. At the same time, the campaign is structured in such a way that it reaches the public both as print advertising and as viral marketing. Multi-channel marketing and storytelling go hand in hand.
By the way: Special tools and platforms can support storytelling, for example, photos on Slideshare or interactive content on Project.
Importance for SEO
Search engine optimization is always about good content. At least since the last update from Google, it has become clear that content marketing is an indispensable tool in online marketing. Storytelling is a way to enhance and communicate your content. Depending on whether it is about the creation of valuable content for websites or entire campaigns, terms such as corporate identity or branding play an important role in storytelling.
On top of the storytelling level, there are then aspects that have to formally mark the respective content so that users on the Internet are aware of it. And search engines can also do something with this content. Videos or images are marked with keywords in the ALT attribute so that a crawler can read them.
The structure of such stories is also important if users and search engines are to capture them. In addition to the aspect of the narrative form, various technical aspects affect the accessibility of the content and ultimately the quality. The results of successful storytelling can be Viral attention, increased traffic, social signals, branding effects or even increased conversion rates if the product is well-done advertising, which is ideally new, unusual, interesting and therefore convincing.