Storytelling makes advertising and social media successful

Storytelling makes advertising and social media successful

published on December 2, 2021   
updated on June 30, 2023

Storytelling – The most important in a nutshell

  • Storytelling is a narrative method that allows companies to present their own content in stories.

  • A story always consists of a character, a predicament and liberation.

  • The human brain processes stories better than plain information.

  • Social media is also changing the nature of storytelling.

  • Classic advertising is predestined for storytelling.

Storytelling is a huge topic in marketing. Whether in product development, commercials or on Facebook, Instagram & Co, experts everywhere recommend relying on the power of stories. But what exactly is behind the term, what examples of success are there and how can you implement it yourself?

How do you define storytelling?

Wikipedia says: “Storytelling describes the social and cultural activity of sharing stories, sometimes with improvisation, theatrics or embellishment.”.

In the marketing and business world, this involves putting one’s own content into stories. The reason for this is that stories sell better and the human brain processes stories better than simple information.

A story is always a combination of three things:

  1. Figure
  2. Predicament
  3. Aimed liberation

The result can then be as long as the Lord of the Rings series or as short as a well-known advertising slogan: “Every 11 seconds a single falls in love via Parship”; more on this below.

How do I use storytelling in marketing?

Basically, it makes sense to think in terms of stories already during product development – because if the product has emerged from the story, it is much more catchy than if you build this story after development. The example of Amazon shows how this can work in concrete terms. If someone there develops a new product and it is presented in an imaginary “press release from the future”.

The core elements of this press release are:

  • Who are the users?
  • What is their problem?
  • What is the solution?

The product that is created in this way is thought of from the result – at Amazon this is called “working backwards”. As a result, product and story merge into a convincing unit.

How do I use storytelling in advertising?

38 percent of Parship users who ended their membership in 2013 said they had found the great love. Didn’t you know? Then how about “Every 11 seconds a single falls in love via Parship” – because that’s the story the company built from it.

Why is this version so much more catchy? Because it creates an image: a lonely (predicament) person (figure) and the singles exchange as liberation. In our minds, such a person closes the laptop and sets off on a date – every 11 seconds. How wonderful – whoosh, another one.

Classic advertising is of course predestined for storytelling. Especially in the commercials that inspire during the Christmas season. A good example is Thomann Christmas fairy tale of 2021: People all over the world associate a warm feeling with the Christmas season. Playing an instrument again conveys an equally overwhelming feeling. The story picks up on this, so grandfather and grandson rediscover their love of music.


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How do I use storytelling in social media?

Social media is also changing the type of storytelling. Two important aspects of this are memes and stories.

  • Memes: These are a kind of inside gag of a certain community. A famous example is “I’m asking for a friend”. Here the story is already told – I can connect to it relatively easily as a brand or user.
  • Stories: Almost all social media, but especially Instagram, Snapchat and Tiktok, allow users to tell stories in several stages – so-called stories. These should also be used: Good dramaturgies of successive stories ensure that users spend a lot of time with the brand – story after story after story.

Storytelling as a successful marketing strategy

Storytelling makes ideas more catchy and successful. That’s why storytelling should be considered in many marketing areas – from product development to classic advertising to social media. A good story makes people talk. The right content that fits the brand and appeals to the target group is important.

Update: Storytelling with AI

Since artificial intelligences can also write texts, the world of storytelling has changed. Now it is possible to let programs like Chat GPT do the storytelling for you. Still, of course, the AIs need to be given the right instructions to deliver good results. Here are valuable tips on how to improve your storytelling with the help of ChatGPT.