What is storytelling and how to apply it to content

People have always been interested in stories, they are able to grab attention and take a person into the abyss of events. Now the stories are still relevant. They are used in social networks and are not easy to entertain users, but to create emotional loyalty. The story allows the reader to experience real feelings – empathy, excitement, inspiration, or even anger, whatever.

Storytelling is the ability to write stories in such a way that the reader himself comes to the desired conclusion. Brands using this format of storytelling become more transparent and human, and the blogger has to himself and develops trust. Let’s talk about the basic rules of storytelling and how to start writing them yourself.


1. Basic rules of storytelling
1.1 How to make storytelling interesting
1.2 An example of a story with storytelling
1.3 An example of a story without storytelling
1.4 Storytelling in advertising and business
1.5 Storytelling: how not to do it 2. What storytelling business should
write about

Basic rules of storytelling

There are several components that make up the structure of storytelling. It ensures the interaction of all elements of the story, allows you to retain attention and lead the reader to the desired thought. But any good story begins to intrigue and grab the reader’s attention from the headline . Therefore, first take a separate time to write it, because creating a story is one thing, but getting interested in reading it is quite another.

The main elements of storytelling are:

The main character of the story and characters

This is a very important element, the author must make the reader see himself in the main character, empathize with him, feel his emotions. So it will turn out to build a relationship with the user and motivate him to take the targeted action at the end. The hero can be the author of the story, close people or even a fictional character.

Place or time

Usually this is more of an auxiliary element, but it is the details and immersion in a specific location that distinguish storytelling from a regular narrative post.

For example: “It was in a small town where everyone knew each other and greeted each other on the street.”

Or: “It was a nasty autumn rainy day. Usually my mother said that in such weather a good owner would not even take a dog out into the street … ”.

You can use a specific place or even a date, but you can also indirectly indicate the location and time (as in the examples), this is also enough to convey the mood of the hero and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the action.

Problem or conflict

This is a climax with a description of the difficulties or problems that the hero faced and overcoming. The reader should be curious, he should be worried about the hero. Even better, if the characters make some mistakes, the situation becomes more vital.

If there is no problem and its solution in the text for storytelling, then this story will not cause an instructive effect, and even less so it will not motivate you to take action.


The story must have an ending, good or bad. The reader should clearly trace the main idea and moral of the story. At the end of the story, encourage your followers to take action . You can ask to comment, share your thoughts or your own similar experience.

How to make storytelling interesting

In addition to the basic elements, there are auxiliary ones that will help bring life to the story and grab the reader’s attention to the end.


Fill the story with sensations. Tell us how cold it was that day or how unique it smelled of tangerines on New Year’s Eve. By adding sounds or smells to a story, you allow the reader to feel your feelings.


Don’t go overboard with details. Don’t forget the purpose of your story behind a poetic description. Details are important, but the main thing is to feel the measure and not overdo it, all the details should work to convey the main idea.

For example, there is no need for unnecessary details: “I invested 1 million rubles in my business, of which I earned 800 thousand myself, took 200 thousand on credit.”


Conversations. Dilute the story with character dialogue where appropriate. This will add life to your story, build relationships between characters and dilute monotonous text.


Use metaphors or comparisons. Use puns where appropriate to help the reader visualize scenes and capture the spirit of the story.

For example: “It was hot as hell outside” sounds brighter than “It was unbearably hot outside.”

Or such an example: “I understood that business is like a chess game, and I have to think several moves in advance” sounds more expressive than “In business, you need to think over every step in advance and in advance”.


And most importantly, evoke emotions. Add threats, anger, empathy, or euphoria in the reader of the story. Let him be imbued with the hero’s situation.

An example of storytelling

The sacrifices of family members should not be wasted.

Seryozha was the smallest in the class. For his short stature, classmates nicknamed him the offensive nickname “stump”. At the age of 12, he understood a lot for a child. For example, that my mother is forced to raise them with her brothers alone, work two jobs, if only they had something to eat and a roof over their heads. After all, there was no trace of my father, but in the courtyard of the 90s.

He also understood the sacrifices of his grandmother, who had long forgotten about her health, if only the cow would give more milk. She sold it and with the proceeds helped to buy clothes and accessories for the school. Therefore, every day Seryozha tried to forget about his offensive nickname and about the bullying of his classmates, because the victims of his family were above him.

– Education, my dear, is a future opportunity not to live as it is now. Every day, like a mantra, my mother repeated to him.
– I understand, mother, – answered Seryozha and hoped that he understood.

After school, many children stayed to play the ball, but Seryozha resignedly walked home, because he could not afford to spoil his only shoes and offend his grandmother’s work.

Now Seryozha lives in Moscow, he bought a big house for his mother long ago, and took his brother to his share in the business. He has a good wife, two beautiful children who playfully play ball around the house in a comfortable sports uniform. Sometimes difficulties in childhood temper our character and form an inner core. Seryozha remained small, but now he looks at it in a completely different way, because he is happy and has achieved a lot, despite his height and his poor position in childhood. He brings up priorities in his children such as his mother once laid in him.

An example of storytelling

Seryozha did not like going to school, because his classmates hurt him. Many have come across this. But my mother always told him that education is very important, which is why she worked two jobs to provide them with her brother. And my grandmother worked on the house, sold milk to dress them for school and buy school supplies.

Due to the fact that Seryozha was in a poor family, he could not afford a sports uniform and play a ball after school with other guys. Therefore, he obediently went home and did his homework.

Now Seryozha has a business and is happily married. He achieved all this thanks to education and upbringing.

In the second version, we see a simple life story. It does not motivate us, does not draw us in. And in the first version, we empathize with the hero, some of you even partially recognize yourself in this Seryozha. The evoked emotions to the described problem of the hero help to strengthen the story, lead to certain thoughts that the author laid down, and induce action.

Storytelling in sales and advertising

In the previous example of Instagram storytelling, I looked at a simple motivational story. But storytelling can be tailored for both business and advertising. It is, of course, difficult for a commercial account to adhere to all elements of storytelling, but the main thing is to preserve meaning and induce action, not just a straightforward sale.

Unfortunately, few companies in Russia use storytelling in marketing, but foreign brands often use storytelling to stand out from competitors.

How public organization Charity Water personalizes the problem with a storytelling post on Instagram:

Similar to the Charity Water format, Nike is also personalizing certain posts on its Instagram account. Airbnb is a prime example of beautiful selling through stories:

Storytelling is not always a long post, sometimes this story can be short, but it can contain all the elements and be motivating / edifying for users.

Find out on posts with how many characters your subscribers respond best


Analyze posts

In Russia, storytelling is most often used by bloggers. Many of you have read sentimental posts in which something is described in detail, and at the end of the story we are neatly led to the advertisement of this or that product. That is, the reader is neatly brought to the climax by the story, he does not notice the catch and sincerely perceives the advertisement as a recommendation. But, unfortunately, many began to abuse this technique, and such stories are no longer perceived with confidence.

In addition to advertising, bloggers often use storytelling to build trust among subscribers, to show that they are also ordinary people with their own white and black stripes. Such stories often motivate comments, which in turn has a positive effect on engagement rates.

Storytelling: how not to do it

Most likely, you have seen many “stories” where the author pours out his soul in a publication, shares details and does his best to describe the situation in such a way that he would be supported, expressed words of support, said what a fine fellow he was, because he told a personal story to his heart. But storytelling is not written that way. You won’t be able to stimulate sales or build user trust by motivating them to feel sorry for you.

Selling storytelling is not written for the self-esteem of the author, but for the reader. The user must see himself in the story, empathize with the hero, and then draw the right conclusions. If you write “I pumped up the abs with cubes, look how great I am, come to me for individual training” – this is not storytelling. Or “I broke up with my boyfriend, this breakup was very difficult for me, but I was fine and I did it. Do you want coaching on the feminine principle and self-belief? ”

Storytelling is a fine line; there are no universal formulas for how to write it correctly. The main thing is to train and feel your audience, analyze its response, record the number of sales after each story.

Never write history for the sake of history. Always pursue the goal you want to achieve through storytelling.

What to write a storytelling business about

Storytelling is an unusual and interesting tool for business and building an emotional relationship between you and your customers. If you have a strong desire to use storytelling for your commercial account, but you don’t know where to get ideas, here are some options:


Tell us your success story. How you came to the profession, how you started your own business, the way from point A to point B. Try not to go into boring details, but do not forget to briefly describe the difficulties and mistakes – this is always interesting for users. You can even talk about some unpleasant situation, but beat it and show how your expertise came out of it competently.


Customers and their reviews. Feedback from customers is very important, it allows you to reinforce a positive image in the eyes of potential customers, especially if the person tells how they dealt with a problem with the help of your product or service.


Personal thoughts. To be closer to users, sometimes try to share your experiences, dreams and what drives you. Tell us how you want to improve your business for the good or about a dream to open a branch in another country. Motivation and passion for your own business energizes, because when it is clear that the owner is “sick” with his business, it attracts customers and works for the reputation.


Hero of the brand. Come up with an advertising persona that will act as an intermediary in communication between you and your customers. It’s always easy for a character to come up with some interesting fictional situation he finds himself in.

In addition to the ability to come up with any story, the advertising character of the brand allows you to evoke the necessary emotions from customers, affection and a positive reaction.


Stories of company employees. Stories written in a sincere and simple language from your employees will allow your business to become more transparent and show how many people are working to create a product. You can also tell how they got into the company, their path and mistakes.

At the end of the story, always formulate a call to action. What a person should do after reading: share his experience in the comments, find out more details, or order from the link in the profile header. A call to action is also an important part of storytelling, because a story needs to evoke emotion and motivation, and a call to action makes it complete.


Never write history for the sake of history. Always pursue the goal you want to achieve through storytelling. After all, it gives us a feeling of sincerity, real emotions, something that no advertisement can give. We can immerse ourselves in history, become its hero and empathize with it.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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