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What is storytelling? Definition and Techniques

What is storytelling

To get people’s attention, there’s nothing like telling them a great story.

That’s my opinion anyway.

And that’s the crux of the matter of Digital Marketing.

Indeed, to optimize your efforts in Digital, you must succeed in capturing the attention of Internet users.

This is where Storytelling comes in, my topic of the day.

Storytelling is the keystone of Marketing and especially on the Internet. Your prospects are bombarded with messages and solicitations everywhere, all the time, by all means. To make a difference, come up with ideas to capture attention and tell a great story. In addition, to be transparent, humans love to invent and listen to stories. And as a result, with Storytelling, you can have fun and enjoy your work!

It is why I decided today to tackle this topic.

  • So how do you build storytelling?
  • What are the techniques of storytelling?

I investigated for you!

What is storytelling: a definition

What is storytelling

Storytelling, literally narrative communication, is the art of telling you stories to get a message across. Brands apply this technique to sell their products; the more the story speaks to you, the more it will send a strong message, and the more it will permeate your memory.

Storytelling, why do it?

It is an effective communication tool because most people like to be told a story, which is why this method has a strong power of seduction and is based on beliefs; it is part of the construction of the corporate image brand. The purpose of storytelling is to appeal to your emotions to get you to buy a product, so you will be more tempted to acknowledge a story or anecdote around a product.

Storytelling can be a way to get you to buy into the values that the brand communicates. In a society flooded with messages, storytelling is a good lever for a brand that wants to stand out, go through your emotions to reach your sanity.

In addition, storytelling is not just related to Web marketing. But I see an apparent difference between books written by Americans and by Europeans. I’m not talking about novels, short stories… but books about economics, society, politics, etc. American books often begin their chapters with a story. It puts the reader in a situation and context. The reader believes in it. He is then “in” and ready to read and understand the rest of the chapter, even the most technical or formal.

In conclusion, with Storytelling, you grab the attention of your future customers.

They feel an emotion (hopefully positive) towards your brand that prompts them to:

  • Visit your site,
  • Discover your offer,
  • Become clients,
  • Maybe even one day ambassadors of your brand!

By applying this approach, you are discovering a way to distinguish yourself from your competitors.

Indeed, your story is unique to you.

The differences with the “classic” sale

A traditional salesperson positions himself in the rational, in what is logical.

He talks to his clients, listens to them, analyzes what they say, and prepares appropriately.

This answer is often logical to answer the objections or questions of the customer, which he tries to convince at all costs by the rational one.

Now imagine Marc, a lawyer, 50 years old, who lives in Paris with his wife and two children, Paul and Marie.

Marc gets up early every morning. Today, the battery of his smartphone is not charged.

He must hurry like crazy, so much so that he drops jam on his shirt!

And he arrives late at his office.

Unfortunately, Marc has an important meeting with a client this morning.

When he arrives at his office, the client has already left.

He just lost an important budget!

Marc needs a solution so that this never happens to him again.

Admit that I drew you into this story? It is an example of Storytelling.

It only remains for me to offer you my application which automatically detects when you may not have enough battery to reach your next alarm.

And you might be convinced, right? 🙂

A salesperson uses storytelling so that his customer emotionally appropriates a context in which his product or service is helpful to him.

Instead of speaking logically, tell your customers a story that positions them where your product or service helps them.

You May Also Like: How to Write a Catchy Headline That Generates Clicks?

What are the techniques of storytelling?

What is storytelling

Okay, now that you know what Storytelling is, I’m going to show you how to do it!

Here are some of his techniques that I found most relevant:

Define your target!

And yes, we always come back to the fundamentals of Marketing.

For your storytelling to be compelling, you must first define who you are targeting.

By the way, start by establishing personas.

Then, for each target, its story:

  • Do you sell skateboards, and your target is teenagers?
  • Do you provide digital support for entrepreneurs?

It is not at all the same story, nor the same style of language, nor tone.

So, the first technique for good Storytelling: work on your personas and get as close as possible to the people you want to move to.

Next, define the emotion you want to elicit.

For example:

  • Rage against the burglar, in storytelling by a security alarm company,
  • Love for his neighbor, for a Storytelling by a charity.

Your customer becomes a hero

You have defined your persona.

You now have story ideas in mind…

Why not put your customer at the heart of your story?

It can take two axes:

  • Thanks to your product, your customer is a hero,
  • OR it’s your product that becomes the hero!

Since childhood, you read stories of villains defeated by heroes.

So this hero myth seems to me to be an essential lever for your Storytelling.

If I take the example of my blog, I could publish a story that makes you, my readers, the hero of your business!

By learning Web marketing techniques easily and quickly, thanks to my articles, you find many customers thanks to the Web.

Your turnover is exploding. And you become a hero 🙂

Your client goes on an adventure!

Although it’s hard to admit, our lives are still a bit monotonous most of the time.

Few of your customers have “James Bond” type days:

  • Wake up at 7 a.m. at the top of a mountain in the Alps,
  • Abseiling, then departure by helicopter to Grenoble airport,
  • Meeting with the President of the Republic for lunch in a 3 Michelin star restaurant, followed by the signing of an international contract with 5 CAC 40 companies,
  • Direction Morocco in a private jet for Morocco, where your team shoots a TV spot…

I am stopping there because you have understood the message.

Our life is rather metro-work-sleep.

So a compelling Storytelling overcomes this deficiency by using the lever of adventure or getting out of everyday life.

Talk to your customer in your story

Storytelling is only successful if your customer fits into your story.

It is why in my blog articles, I use the “you” (or “you”) rather than the “he, she, I.”

That’s silly, but if YOU include YOUR client in the story in this way, YOU will succeed in YOUR Storytelling 🙂

To take it a step further, if you do your storytelling well, you are also able to speak to your client with the same:

  • Cultural references,
  • Anecdotes of his news,
  • Expressions of his everyday life…

It is why some companies use consumer groups to get to know their customers better.

All this is to ensure that your Marketing positioning and Storytelling are as appropriate as possible.

If you don’t have the budget to embark on this type of investment, don’t panic.

With Digital, there are other solutions, such as:

  • Interact informally with them on social networks,
  • Ask them for their opinion with polls,
  • etc.

What about multimedia in all of this?

Good storytelling relies primarily on text, but why not also embellish it with photos and video.

It doesn’t have to be very expensive to take photos that support your storytelling.

  • You can start by looking for royalty-free images,
  • Or maybe a member of your team is an amateur photographer who would love to do a shoot of your team illustrating your story.
  • Or, if you have a bigger budget, shoot a 30 or 60-second clip with 1 or 2 professional actors. And your Storytelling takes on a whole new dimension.

And lots of other storytelling tips

What is storytelling

Storytelling experts are unanimous on these fundamental principles:

  • Use action verbs as much as possible; the story will be all the more dynamic,
  • Express yourself usually and adapt to the target, forgetting the simple past or the more-than-perfect. Compelling storytelling does not require intellectual effort from your client, but emotional involvement,
  • Work on your lexical field: to make sure you include as many words as possible that recall the subject of the story,
  • Read and re-read well-known tales. Why? Because the myths and stories of our childhood contain ultra-famous and, above all, ultra-effective narratives. By reading these texts, you anchor them in your memory, to better adapt them naturally to your Storytelling,
  • Take inspiration from the best commercials you see on TV,
  • And test your Storytelling ideas with your target audience before you go into production. Is she receptive? A simple 5-minute conversation can sometimes save you thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses.


Storytelling tells a story to your customers to bring out their emotions.

The goal: to bring them closer to your message and your brand.

In this article, I defined Storytelling, and I gave you ten techniques to bring out good storytelling full of emotions.

After all, telling a story is a creative exercise!

And now it’s your turn to play. What do you think of Storytelling? Have you used this approach before?

Yours Sincerely, Devansh Pathak

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