Great storytelling draws in a reader by painting a picture and bringing ideas to life. It entertains as well as informs the reader. The power of storytelling can help brands be more relatable and eventually win customers over. Stories aid in reinforcing brand identity by boosting brand recognition for traction and growth.

With countless posts of how to’s, lists, and other instructional content the space of content marketing is diluted with tired and repetitive articles. It’s becoming harder for readers to filter out the noise and even harder for content creators to stand out against the competition. Brands can set themselves apart from the crowd and make an impact on customers by captivating them with stories that engage and immerse. Here is why storytelling is a powerful content marketing strategy that brands need to implement now:

Stories create a connection

It’s important for brands to make a connection with customers if you want your business to succeed. Customers who are disconnected from a brand are more likely to take their business elsewhere, whereas customers who feel deeply connected to a brand will remain loyal even through the rough patches. Take Apple for example. iPhones aren’t the best cell phones on the market and despite the less-than-great reception of the newly announced iPhone 5c, you can bet their loyal fans will continue to argue in favour of the greatness that is Apple. They have done an incredible job of marketing their products as integral pieces in the daily lives of their users, but they also show that even the normal and mundane moments are special. Staying connected to the important people in your life is highlighted, but it also highlights Apple as the product that makes it possible. You begin to associate the feeling of sentimentality towards your Apple products, because those products are associated with the closeness you feel to your loved ones.

Humans are emotional beings and storytelling is a way to tap into and connect with customers. The narrative can be thought provoking, entertaining, or tug at the heartstrings to trigger emotional responses that deepen connections between brands and consumers.

Stories are memorable

A story can be memorable for a number of different things like characters, originality, delivery or feeling. To linger in the minds of customers is a good thing for any brand. Chipotle’s ad “Back to the Start” beautifully tells the story of a farmer who rejects the unethical practices of industrial farming to return “Back to the Start” when farming was natural and sustainable. The message is clear and impactful as the animation is played to a gripping Willie Nelson’s cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist”. It educates viewers and leaves them to think about the sustainability of the food they regularly purchase, while always reminding them that they need not worry and can feel good about eating at Chipotle.

Audiences remember the emotions that were experienced through these stories and that essentially strengthens the feelings they have toward your brand. Great stories are memorable stories, and in turn the storytellers are recognizable and remembered too.

People love to share stories

Word-of-mouth is the best type of marketing. People are more inclined to make a purchase based on a friend’s recommendation than from an advertisement, which is why highly shareable content is so valuable. We as humans have a natural inclination to share with others. We share our knowledge and expertise, our feelings and experiences, and we all love to share a great story.

When we hear a great story we immediately want to tell everyone about it. Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” became the most viral video ad of all time (it currently holds the third spot) shortly after it’s release in April 2013. People shared it on various social media sites, people blogged about it, and people talked about it. The ad’s message resonated so well with its audience that the video was everywhere and was being discussed by everyone.

Storytelling gives brands an opportunity to create content that’s truly unique from the rest. Within the confines of content marketing, storytelling can create an engaging story while conveying your brand’s value and message. Be genuine and show off your brand’s personality and creativity. Give customers content that they crave and look forward to. Storytelling is an art that doesn’t come easily, but the benefits are worth the endeavor. Tell us, what timeless brand story made a large impact on you?