Storytelling in Marketing: Benefits vs. Features

By Autumn Smith

Did you know that 47% of people read 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep?

If you think about it that’s 3-4 impressions you would need to make in order to keep that customer’s interest. What’s going to keep your customers reading and help them make the connection?


Storytelling allows you to connect with your customer in a way that sharing your features list or a discount coupon doesn’t. It helps your product become something that your audience can’t help but to think about because you have written it into their daily lives. It allows you to share your brand’s authenticity which helps to build connections and trust.

Your product does what?

If you had only a few seconds to tell someone about a bowl of soup, would you list all of its ingredients? Every vegetable. Every spice. Sure they might be great ingredients, but do they tell your prospect anything about the flavour? Why should they choose your soup over the other soups? Would they be able to put the ingredients together in their mind?

Chances are the ingredients alone won’t excite them. They won’t remember your soup come lunchtime. The same goes for features of a tech product or software. They want to know the result.

Be memorable

You might tell them your pumpkin soup with hints of ginger and almond is like a warm embrace on a crisp fall day. Or that grabbing a cup of your chicken noodle will give them a taste of home right in the office - after all, it’s just like mum used to make.

It’s all about understanding your audience, what type of content they want to see, and what emotion you want to inspire. By helping them paint descriptive picture in their mind, you are connecting your brand and product with their everyday lives in a meaningful way.

Be authentic

Write for people, with search engines in mind and not the other way around. Be true. Be honest. Avoid being gimmicky and most of all, throw your perfectionism aside and just be real.

If it’s overproduced it’s going to feel fake.

People want to connect with real people. Whether you are the narrator and writing from your own perspective, bringing the reader into the story with the second person perspective, or writing about a real or fictional character, if readers can relate to the story they are more likely to connect with the message. Being authentic will also earn their trust.

Be approachable

While people are learning about your product, they may run into questions or decide the want to speak with sales. By keeping the appropriate tone for your audience, they are more likely to feel welcomed in reaching out to a member of your sales or customer service staff. Remember what I mentioned before about trust? The whole team has to be on board with making those connections or your potential customer is going to be highly let down if they’re met with a grump on the other end of a live chat or phone call.

I feel I have mentioned this before in some of our other posts, but the way we like to think about it is extending you company culture to your customers as well. Treating everyone your company comes in contact with from strangers to stakeholders with the same friendliness and respect - and letting those “vibes" shine through in your content.


Every good story has characters, a conflict, and a resolution. Your audience can relate to the character and conflict. By sharing the resolution, you are letting them know the results or benefit of using your product. This could be told in first person, from your own perspective, second person, by bringing the reader into the story, or third person, telling someone else’s story - perhaps the story of an existing customer, or how the product came to be and what it was intended to solve. There are many possibilities! Get creative and you will find what best works for you and your brand.


How are you going to tell your company or product story?

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2019 Advisory Cure