Why Storytelling Matters

With the growth & cluttering of the internet and the decreased attention span of consumers, content marketing provided an answer to advertisers biggest problem. How? Content marketing allows advertising to reach and relate to their customers in an unobtrusive, authentic way. Well, that’s the intent. However, as content marketing experts, we sometimes stumble upon cringe-inducing content. Here’s a quick example of bad content versus good content.

 

Please, whatever you do, just avoid sounding like the annoying salesperson at the mall.

This is exactly the opposite of what content marketing strives for. No one wants to be hounded to buy your product. “What does this have to do with me?”, you’ll ask. Content marketing is all about listening to what your customer wants and responding to it in a peer-to-peer fashion.

As a blogger, your job when hired to create sponsored content for a brand is not to make the sales pitch, it’s to create a story around the product. Check this out:

 

Example 1:

 

Did you know that you can order pancakes online, 24/7, 365 on www.pancakesdelivered.com ? And better yet, it’s only a THREE BUCKS! I personally use Pancakes Delivered all the time! These pancakes are so great! The process was super easy, too! Pancakes Delivered is hands-down the BEST pancake delivery service.

Example 2:

 

My best friend, Marissa and I were just headed home from a night of socializing in Williamsburg. A typical Friday night in New York City is not considered a success amongst our friends unless it ends with a greasy slice of New York style pizza (even the thought of it now has my mouth watering!). We were waiting to cross the street, and I noticed a brightly colored sticker on the traffic light pole. “Pancakes Delivered”. What a funny name. We laughed for a second, and then stopped in our tracks. “Marissa”, I said, “We can order a bunch of pancakes right now. Why wait until the morning to brunch?” So we went back to my tiny Brooklyn apartment, and ordered pancakes with the click of a button. We laughed about the ridiculousness of what we were doing, and the novelty of two 22 year old girls trying to make it in the big city. But for now, we are just sitting on their cluttered apartment floor at 1AM, eating pancakes.

Okay, I understand the premise of the product I just made up is either :

  1. Absolutely absurd.
  2. Absolutely amazing. Why hasn’t someone invented this yet?

People won’t remember your pitch, but they just might remember your story.

Regardless, you’re likely to remember example two before example one. People are more likely to remember a charming story than a forced sales pitch. Example 2 creates a story around the product that their target can relate to. “Hey! That sounds like something my friends and I would do.” It’s an empathetic approach, compared to an icy-cold promotional piece. Maybe they won’t download the Pancakes Delivered App (Hey! Don’t get any ideas, I’m trademarking this gem.) right now, but when it comes time for a Google search a couple of days later and they’re trying to remember that pancake app, this story will pop into their mind. These kinds of stories are the type that brands love. If brands see stories like this on your site, they’ll want to collaborate with you.