What Hollywood Can Teach Us About Storytelling

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Written By Natalie S

It doesn’t matter whether you love Friday nights at the multiplex or prefer to stroke your chin at the indie cinema, there’s one thing we can all agree on:

Hollywood movies sell.

And just like Hollywood movies, small businesses can harness the power of storytelling to sell products to customers.

Here’s how you can use storytelling in your marketing strategy.

Why is storytelling so effective?

There’s clearly something very powerful about stories. After all, we’ve been telling them to each other for thousands of years.

These days, scientists know that storytelling activates the brain in special ways.

When you listen to a story, your brain releases feel-good chemicals like dopamine. You find yourself immersed in the experience and highly engaged.

It’s no wonder Hollywood movies are so addictive. Now, you can hook your audience in the same way.

How to tell your story

So what can marketers and small businesses learn from flicks like Space Jam and Fast & Furious?

It all comes down to authenticity.

Even though Hollywood stories are fictional, we’re more than happy to spend 90 minutes absorbed in their fantasy worlds.

A lot of money goes into making that fantasy feel authentic, even when it isn’t.

Luckily, small businesses have authenticity in spades. No need for big production budgets or teams of screenwriters. Just the real you.

Simply by telling your story, you can engage your audience.

Storytelling for content marketing

You can use storytelling at all points of communication with your audience, from Facebook ads to letterbox drops.

But storytelling is most valuable in your content marketing strategy – things such as blogging and social media.

As an inbound marketing method, content marketing lets you get your messaging out there at a lower cost compared with paid and outbound marketing.

Because it is so low-cost, there’s also a lot of competition vying for your audience’s attention.

Storytelling lets you cut through that noise. It lets you engage your audience better than the rest.

Storytelling tips

Here are a few ways that you can harness storytelling in your everyday marketing. Be creative and, most of all, be yourself.

  • Home page

Tell your story in just a few succinct lines. What makes you unique?

It might be the quirky way you got started, or the way you serve the community like no one else can.

  • Blogs

This is your space to tell stories that are informative and useful. Use storytelling principles like beginnings, middles and ends. Give your stories characters: you and your customer.

  • Case studies

Tell the story of how you made life better for your clients. Through case study storytelling, you audience can easily imagine what you could do for them.

  • Social media

Individual posts tell micro-stories about what your business has been up to. A complete social media strategy will tell a bigger, even more engaging, narrative.

Happy endings

Every business has a story to tell. When you tell it well, you reach your audience and even grow it.

You don’t have to be a Hollywood screenwriter to tell effective stories for marketing purposes.

On the other hand, it’s also true that professional storytellers do it better.

If all else fails, professional content and copywriting can help you tell your authentic story to better engage your audience.