Why You Need Narrative in Content Marketing

Narrative is just the English major word for story. If I suggest that a piece of marketing needs a narrative arc, I’m just telling you that your piece needs to have a story with a beginning, middle, and end. That may not seem immediately applicable if you work with something very technical like AI, or biotechnology, but stories have the power to forge connections.

For some people, arranging information in story-form is completely natural. I have a hard time talking about anything without turning it into a story. I look for the stories in the things other people are saying. When I meet people, I hoard the information they reveal about themselves in order to create a story that will help me remember them.

Content marketing, even in the most staid industries, needs to tell a story in order to be effective. That story can be conveyed through a theme, a convention such as a metaphor or simile, or it can be a traditional narrative.

One example of a common way to use story-telling in content marketing is the use of case studies. A case study tells the story of how a customer uses a product or service to solve a problem in their business.

You’ve probably heard that good marketing requires good storytelling, but you may not have considered exactly how the two go together, especially if your product or service is particularly technical. Stories provide context, and having context helps people remember your brand.

Without a story, your content is like a barely open sunflower — it has plenty of potential, but it isn’t quite realized.

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