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How to Find Your Own Style of Storytelling in Marketing

Title Image - How to Find Your Own Style of Storytelling in Marketing

More than three out of ten adults in the United States claim they are ‘almost constantly’ online with nearly five out of ten going online several times a day, according to the Pew Research Center. The internet has become content-saturated with new websites going live every three seconds. Consumers have an abundance of choices when it comes to what they read, watch, and listen to. And if the content you are posting doesn’t have an interesting perspective, most are going to move on to the next fascinating source of news and entertainment. Having a unique voice is more important than ever to stand out and convince someone to engage with your content.  

Tips for Finding Your Own Unique Voice in Storytelling

1. Develop a Deep Understanding of Your Audience and Their Consumption Trends

Your audience should be at the center of your marketing as they are the people you want to champion throughout your brand stories. Everything we do as marketers, whether it’s sending out a newsletter, writing an article, or producing a webinar, we do to simplify and solve our customers’ toughest challenges. But to get our foot in the door, we must appeal to their content preferences: 

Analyze What Makes Your Best Performing Content Successful

One of Lev’s best performing articles in 2023 is “How B2B Customer Experiences Are Becoming Technology-Led.” This article is highly visited because:  

  • It understands exactly where our readers are at. Our visitors have vast marketing experience. The article is not dumbed down, explaining things they already know, such as what B2B marketing is.  

  • It features a unique perspective. B2B and B2C marketing strategies continue to evolve as new technologies and mediums are introduced. As markets become more technology-led, customers expect technology to enhance the customer experience. So, our services and content must evolve with these changes.  

  • It provides actionable next steps. This article provides an answer to the unspoken question that is asked after someone reads through our content: “What’s next?” It does this by providing actionable next steps B2B marketers can implement in their day-to-day operations instead of speaking at a high-level or providing basic information like many other articles on this topic do.  

Understand How Your Audience Prefers to Consume Content

Given how many options there are to communicate with your customers, it’s difficult to know where and what type of stories will resonate with them. But generally, we can make an educated guess by analyzing content trends that have gained traction throughout 2023:  

  • Desire for short-term video content continues to grow. With the rise in popularity of TikTok and Instagram reels, short-form video content is more attractive than ever. According to Adobe, the average user now watches 19 hours of video content each week.  

  • Email continues to be a communication juggernaut. Based on Salesforce Marketing Cloud product data, email still accounts for 80% of all outbound messaging. But with the average American worker receiving 120 emails a day, it’s more critical than ever to use 1st-party data to provide hyper-personalized offers and content recommendations to ensure your content is relevant. 

  • Podcasts are a popular source for learning and entertainment. According to the Pew Research Center, one out of five podcast listeners consumes podcasts every day with most citing that they use them to learn more about their favorite comedians, entertainment, politics, and technologies.  

By understanding how your customers prefer to get their information, you can begin to cater towards their tastes and ensure that they continue to flock to your content instead of your competitors'.  

Ask Your Audience Directly

If you still don’t have insight into your audience's preferences, it’s worth taking the time to ask them. Surveys are a powerful tool to hear directly from your segments.

Ask them questions, such as:  

  • What content do you find most interesting and/or helpful?   

  • What types of content would you like to see more from us in the future?   

  • What have been your favorite movie/television shows within the last year?   

  • How do you spend most of your free time on the internet?   

  • Where do you go most often for your news and entertainment?  

These content-focused questions will help you key in on:  

  • Where they prefer to engage with your brand   

  • How much they enjoy your stories within different mediums   

  • What elements they enjoy the most within their favorite stories  

2. Focus on Authenticity and Emotion Rather Than Production Values  

Section Image - Focus on Authenticity and Emotion Rather Than Production Values

Trust is more important than ever when it comes to connecting with your customers. According to Salesforce’s 2022 State of the Connected Customer Report, 66% of customers have stopped buying from a company whose values didn’t align with theirs. Not only should your marketing materials tell an authentic story, but they should also clearly speak to your audience's values.  

Top 5 Actions That Build Trust in the Eyes of Consumers

  • Communicate honestly and transparently   

  • Use customer information responsibly   

  • Treat me as a person, not a number   

  • Actively resolve issues 

  • Communicate proactively  

If recent events have proven anything, it’s that people value content that is relatable and comes from an honest space. A popular YouTube video that demonstrates this is Eddy Burback’s video essay on the Death of Late Night TV. In this essay, he cites watching more late-night television than ever before during the pandemic because late night hosts had to adapt to filming in their homes and we got to see them more relaxed and comfortable, producing a show on the level of an amateur YouTube video.  

Having this small glimpse into their lives with their families developed an increase in relatability within their audience. So, taking this example into account, we can infer a couple things about what elements people enjoy the most within their content: 

  • People want to be treated like a person instead of a number   

  • They also love it when creators are transparent and are not afraid to show their emotions; they communicate to them that they are not alone in experiencing the challenges they are facing 

To make a greater impact on your customers, instead of creating bombastic clickbait, focus on imbuing authenticity into your content. 

3. Be Experimental in Your Storytelling

You and your team have a unique perspective on current trends, so don’t be afraid to be experimental while trying to drill down your own unique voice. Try different methods of storytelling. Don’t be afraid to:  

  • Subvert expectations. Brands, such as Wendy’s, have grown a massive following on social media by being so open and transparent through posting memes with a production level equivalent to Microsoft Paint.  

  • Tell a story that you aren’t 100% sure may land. Sometimes you don’t know how your audience will react to a story until you tell it. Continue to experiment to see what messaging style works and refine from there. If you are unsure of how they may react and don’t want to risk offending anyone, tell your story to internal team members and get their feedback before posting it online for all to see. 

  • Be open and transparent. Don’t be hesitant to give a behind-the-scenes look, show a sense of humor, or be referential. Your customers may appreciate you more for it. 

Storytelling is not a destination; it’s a journey that you share with your audience. By looking for more opportunities to tell experimental stories, you’ll become a better storyteller and find new methods of storytelling that truly resonate. 

Looking for more ways to connect with your customers? Read our eBook on Next Level Personalization to learn about more actionable steps your team can take to personalize the customer experience in a way that is compelling rather than creepy.