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Beyond content: The power of storytelling in modern marketing

examples of websites using storytelling to market their brand

Even as businesses evolve their marketing strategies, storytelling has remained an essential part of their overall customer experience. How are the best modern marketers using the power of storytelling to their advantage, and how are they maintaining this success? Let's dive into the best practices some of the most well-known marketing gurus have adopted in the modern age of storytelling.

Marketing keeps evolving rapidly since the rise of digital content, but one thing has remained a constant: Good storytelling stands out. Brands that can tell great stories have always led the way in marketing, thanks to the personal connections they make with their fans, followers and customers.

In fact, telling brand stories dates back more than 100 years, when John Deere began publishing The Furrow, all about farm life. (It’s still published today in digital form, by the way.)

Anne Neubauer
By Anne Neubauer
November 02, 2022
In the digital age, brand storytelling is upleveled to digital storytelling. Now, narratives must travel across owned, earned and paid content; translate to every channel, from desktop to mobile; and even be able to go offline to print content or in-store experiences.
6 Min Read

Today, with so many different channels and platforms, not to mention various content delivery options, from blogs to video content to short social media posts, modern marketing teams must stay agile and find tools to help them deliver a cohesive brand experience.

It all starts with a great story, but having the right content management system (CMS) is crucial to help facilitate narrative-driven content. Here’s a look at some storytelling best practices well-known modern marketers are using.

Centralizing content projects

Walmart has been partnered with Brightspot for over a decade to showcase the people and the stories behind the brand, helping to cultivate relationships with and connections to its customers. With 16 distinct websites, it was important to their overall content strategy to be able to share the company’s various stories and initiatives in a way that adheres to the brand values.

Having one platform for all its end-to-end publishing needs, from content creation and distribution to multiple channel management, has helped Walmart content remain true to the brand. With the right tools in place, it also helped the content team to shift toward “horizontal storytelling,” an approach in which every story connects back to Walmart’s core value of supporting their community.

Telling stories through sight and sound

Considering that in a recent survey 89% of people said watching a video has convinced them to buy a product or service and 91% said they want to see more online videos from brands in 2023, there’s a real marketing benefit to incorporating more visual storytelling.

When you’re a global travel brand like Marriott International, having plain-text posts makes it difficult to convey the uniqueness of each of its nearly 30 property brands. But while Marriott was still relying on its legacy CMS system, posts with little to no visual elements were the norm. A desire to provide more engaging stories about the corporate brand was one of the reasons Marriott International’s PR and marketing team decided to change content platforms and move over to Brightspot.

Today,Marriott’s news site regularly shares high-quality imagery and engaging videos to spread company news to stakeholders and media about its various initiatives, from the company’s commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance efforts to new property openings.

image of Brightspot employee Meredith Rodkey
By Meredith Rodkey
October 08, 2019
With Brightspot, editorial teams are empowered to deliver unique and engaging personalized experiences for their audiences via a simple three-step process.
3 Min Read

Personalizing content for different customer segments

Storytelling at its core is a dialogue between creator and audience, so it’s important that brands don’t lose sight of who the stories are intended for. One survey found that 65% of people will stay loyal to companies that offer a more personalized experience.

That’s why having the ability to easily customize, personalize or localize your content so that it is highly targeted to a specific group of users can set your content apart. Doing that manually is not a sustainable solution, however, as the rapidly expanding DispatchHealth discovered.

DispatchHealth, which provides at-home healthcare services in 55 U.S. locations (and growing), was finding it hard to manage its massive digital content library. They enlisted Brightspot to help them with several content needs, including migrating their existing content over quickly and making it easier to update, customize and deploy content modules for use in different customer markets.

Prior to Brightspot, every time the company expanded and the site needed updating, the content team had to ask their designers for support to make changes. Now, the CMS can facilitate quick customizations, including things like built-in key phrase replacement tools they use when launching a new regional page.


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