- It is practice of using narratives and compelling storytelling techniques to convey a brand's message, values, and product stories within the context of online shopping.
- Storytelling builds an emotional connection with readers and potential customers, making content memorable.
- Stories provide credibility by showcasing products or services as solutions to overcome challenges.
- Storytelling gives readers more context about products or brands, educating them and fostering loyalty.
- Building a hero-villain narrative can position products as heroes, emphasizing their value in comparison to competitors.
Storytelling plays an instinctive role in our lives — even from a young age.
For example, as children, we’ve all read stories about the Gingerbread Man. Fast-forward a few years later, and then began introductions to the classics like How to Kill a Mockingbird and Oliver Twist.
And now, even as adults, stories still exist in every facet of our lives — be it through the books we read, movies we watch, ads we see, or the things we tell each other.
You can’t ignore the power of storytelling and how it can bind a reader (i.e., potential customers) to a topic, even when it comes to the business sense of the word (i.e., eCommerce content marketing).
So, let’s explore how storytelling plays a crucial role in eCommerce content marketing.
What do you mean by storytelling in eCommerce?
Storytelling in eCommerce refers to the practice of using narratives and compelling storytelling techniques to convey a brand’s message, values, and product stories within the context of online shopping.
It involves crafting engaging and cohesive stories that resonate with the target audience, immersing them in a narrative that goes beyond the transactional nature of eCommerce.
Through storytelling, brands can connect with customers on an emotional level, creating memorable experiences that drive engagement, loyalty, and ultimately, conversions.
Storytelling in eCommerce combines elements such as brand origin stories, product narratives, user-generated content, visual storytelling, and personalization to create a rich and immersive online shopping journey.
Role of storytelling in eCommerce content marketing
So, let’s dive in to explore the role of storytelling in successful eCommerce content marketing.
1. Builds an emotional connection
Think back to your favorite books or movies, and reflect on what made them go into the “favorite” category.
Chances are, they had an immediate pull on your emotions (either positively or negatively), making them memorable.
eCommerce brands today want to replicate those emotions.
For example, consider Amazon’s “Joy is Made” ad. There’s nothing really said between the characters, but it still doesn’t fail to pull at your heartstrings.
We’re not the only ones saying this. Just take a look at what other publications have to say about this ad:
And this isn’t the first time Amazon has made such an ad. In fact, emotional storytelling seems to be its forte. Just type in “emotional Amazon ad” online, and you’ll find a bunch of different options pop up.
2. Provides credibility
There’s no one way to convey stories. Consider case studies or white papers, for example.
While one may not consider case studies an act of “storytelling” in the typical sense, they still use the “overcoming the monster” archetype to tell a narrative and engage the target audience.
Such stories also provide readers credibility because they showcase your product as a way of overcoming the hurdle (a form of social proof) — thus encouraging your readers to trust and use your product too.
The best part? A case study isn’t the only piece of content that proves credibility. Blog posts can have the same impact.
Here’s an excellent example where uSERP tells the story of how it maintained productivity while growing 7x in 3 years.
Jeremy Moser, a small business owner, uses classic storytelling techniques to engage readers and highlight his key strategies for growing a team.
But how does it provide credibility? The raw data sits at the epicenter of the story.
And with a little bit of search engine optimization (SEO) on this piece, he has the power to jump to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), showcase this credibility to a wider audience, and increase organic traffic.
Similarly, repurposing this content across social media platforms also has a profound effect on building credibility and attracting prospective customers. Why? People buy from businesses they trust.
So, don’t underestimate the ability to build credibility for your brand through your content marketing efforts.
3. Gives the reader more context
Think of Apple as an example. The brand has always been at the forefront of innovation and has continuously been a forebear of change — even in the content creation process.
For a reader who’s still unaware of the unique selling proposition (USP) of Apple, it might get difficult to match the dots.
But campaigns like “Think Different” provide more context on the USP of the product and hence help build the image of Apple.
But providing more context is not only great for educating readers about the USPs of products, but it can also help with informing current customers how the product works. Happy customers equal loyal customers.
For example, consider Penn Tool Co. They often post informative blogs, how-to videos, and social media posts, educating users about their best-selling bepnch lathe and other products.
4. Drives results
What’s the number one reason brands rely on storytelling techniques? To drive sales.
And what’s the one thing that storytelling does? Bring in those sales.
- Tru Earth was able to increase its conversion rate from 2% to 4% after creating campaigns that focused on the stories of the user.
- Purple Fire also increased its conversion rate from 2.5% to 5% by using storytelling techniques.
- Freelance Writing Jobs grew its website traffic by 60% and increased registrations by 40% after including a heartfelt story of a freelancer.
- Glossier tapped into user-generated content to build a 1.2 billion brand.
How’d they do it? Doubled down on different types of content that resonated with potential buyers. Diversifying your content strategy can reap many benefits.
As the saying goes, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
At the same time, don’t create content for the sake of hitting publish. You can easily use an AI writer to write content for you, but its always worth revising it to add your personal touch to it.
Focus on relevant content that aligns with the customer journey and adheres to the needs and preferences of your target audience.
5. Builds the hero-villain narrative
The hero and villain archetype is as old as storytelling itself. And you can use this archetype in your favor if you wish to make your products the hero of the story and generate valuable content.
Consider brands that review their competitors, for example. They don’t do this out of love and appreciation for their competitors.
They do it to paint themselves as the hero, thus leading the other party (aka the competitor) to be viewed as the villain.
6. Makes you memorable
Storytelling, the characters you use, the cast members, the color schemes, the vector images, graphics, music, tone, humor, accent, background, etc., all play a part in making your brand memorable across content types.
For example, Zomato, an eCommerce food brand, is synonymous with humorous storytelling — be it through social media marketing, the notifications they send, or the brand announcements they upload.
Due to the same, the company is renowned as India’s top delivery company and is an all-time customer favorite.
And since the world is so saturated with visual content, it’s a good thing to stand apart from the crowd, either through stories or otherwise.
7. Humanize your brand
Last but not least, storytelling can also humanize your brand.
While these may not be eCommerce-specific examples, here are a few brands to take inspiration from:
- Wendy’s is no longer a corporate brand — it’s a humorous friend (the same goes for Zomato).
- Ben & Jerry’s is not just an ice cream company — it’s someone who stands up for their beliefs.
- Mint Mobile is not a telecommunications company — it’s a reflection of Ryan Reynolds’ personality.
You don’t need to go all out like these brands to create a successful eCommerce content marketing strategy — you can start with something as simple as introducing your team, your beliefs, your brand story, and the reason you’ve launched your product.
It takes a lot of time and effort to create stories that create a human connection or convert prospects.
And it often takes brands a couple of tries to nail their storytelling skills to perfection while also creating helpful content.
However, marketing companies like PSDCenter have the experience to know what makes a story create an impact in the reader’s life.
So, to get access to all our insider tips and tricks, check out our blog!