Storytelling in Business: Definition and How To Draft a Good Story

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated August 30, 2022 | Published April 5, 2021

Updated August 30, 2022

Published April 5, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

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Storytelling in business is an effective communication tool that allows brands to connect with customers. By telling a story, businesses can share product information or introduce customers to a brand. Learning how to draft an effective story is important if you want to reach your customer. In this article, we discuss the benefits of storytelling in business, as well as how you can create the perfect story.

What is storytelling in business?

Storytelling in business is the process of telling a story, rather than listing facts, when communicating with current or potential customers. It helps businesses stand out from their competitors, providing their customers with a storyline in which they will remember them. Stories in the business help large brands connect with customers in a deeper, more meaningful manner.

By making a business more personable, customers are more likely to choose that brand. Storytelling may be used to communicate with customers of all types. It may be used to explain technical details or to demonstrate why a customer should choose your brand over. Storytelling in business leaves out the details that are not relevant to a customer's decision when choosing a business.

Instead, a story includes details like motivating factors of the team, the values and morals that the business holds, an understanding of the customer and a chronological flow of details and information that lead the customer through a story. Storytelling tells and shows customers that a business is much more than a big brand. It demonstrates that they have a story to tell.

Learn more: Storytelling: Elements of a Good Story and How to Develop Your Process

Benefits of using storytelling in business

Storytelling in business can be a powerful marketing tool. There are many benefits to using storytelling in business, including:

  • Engage customers and employees: Stories engage customers on a deeper, personalized level. They can also help employees connect with a business and better understand their values and morals.

  • Create a memory: The longer that a person thinks of a product, or brand, the more likely they are to become a customer. Because stories resonate with people, they are more likely to create a memory.

  • Trigger emotions and feelings: Triggering emotions helps brands connect with customers. Emotions are more likely to encourage action.

  • Develop customer loyalty: Customers become loyal to businesses that they emotionally connect with. Because stories communicate ideas in a way that customers are used to listening then, they are more likely to encourage loyal customers.

  • Gives businesses a competitive advantage: Storytelling gives businesses the opportunity to stand out against competitors by connecting with their audience. Stories allow them to leave lasting impressions.

  • Persuade customers to take action: The goal of most marketing projects is to get the customer to convert. Stories persuade customers to take action, like buying a product.

Learn more: 4 Steps to a Winning Call-To-Action

How to use storytelling in business

You can use storytelling in business with the following steps:

1. Determine your audience

Determining who you are telling your story to is the first step of storytelling in business. In this, you also want to determine your purpose, or goal, of the story. Are you trying to sell a product? Do you want to introduce your brand to customers? If you're trying to sell a product or increase brand awareness, consider who is most likely to use your brand.

Find out who your audience is by doing market research. Who are your current customers? What customers do you want to reach? Create a customer persona to better understand your audience before writing your story. Determining your audience can also help you decide where to publish your story. Will you write it in the form of an email? Will you publish a video shared across media?

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2. Fine-tune your message

Once you have your audience determined, consider what message you want to communicate to them. You might highlight a common problem among your customers or identify a moral you want to share. You can fine-tune your story by deciding things like, who's telling the story, what message you're trying to get across and what lasting impression you hope to leave with your readers. You also want to consider how you can use your message to connect with the reader's emotions. These details will create a baseline for your story.

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3. Choose a hero

Every good story has a hero. This is the person, or product, that is presented to solve the problem. Present the hero in a way that allows the reader, your customer, to connect with them. Consider this person your connection between your customer and your brand. Create them in a way that reflects the lives, needs and most common problems of your customers. The goal is for your target customer to relate to this person.

Every story also has a conflict and a resolution. By putting your hero in a conflict that is common among your customers, you are in a better position to connect with them on a personal level.

4. Draft your story

Once you have established the details of your story, it is time to write it. You might create a rough draft and then edit it until it is clear. You might also hire a copywriter to create your story in your brand's tone or voice.

Draft the resolution of the story around your product or service. This allows potential customers to visualize how your business products or services can help them. This step also includes creating a call-to-action. What specific action do you want readers to take when they have finished reading your story. Storytelling in business has the opportunity to convert more customers to take an action.

Tips you can use for better storytelling in business

You can use these tips to tell an effective, memorable story:

  • Keep it simple: Including too many details, or making your story longer than it needs to be, can lead your customers to lose interest.

  • Practice telling your story: The more you practice your story, the better you will become at telling it to others.

  • Be honest: Honesty and authenticity will help your story, and brand, better connect with your readers.

  • Add value: Choose details or parts of the story that add the most value to your reader's lives.

  • Make it entertaining: Entertaining stories have the ability to hold the reader's attention longer.

  • Make it universal: Stories that are universal are able to reach a wider audience base.

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