Storytelling is a Great Marketing Strategy!
People love a good story! Let’s face it, we are drawn to the drama. They love to see, read and hear stories, which influences their emotions thereby influencing their buying decisions and ultimately their brand loyalty. Simply put, it helps consumers understand why they should care about something. This is why the most effective marketing campaigns start with listening, reading, watching, and observing.
In this blog, we will tell you what storytelling is (in terms of marketing your brand), the benefits of using storytelling in your marketing efforts, and how to effectively use it in your marketing campaigns.
What is Storytelling and Why is it Important?
Storytelling goes way back! We’re talking as far back as the caveman and how they used storytelling to communicate, educate, share and most of all connect with one another.
For a lot of brands, storytelling can be a very creative way to share a message and communicate important benefits about your enterprise. By creating content that is memorable, it is highly likely that people will remember AND share it.
Here’s why storytelling is so effective in marketing:
It helps build a stronger and more meaningful connection with your audience
It “humanizes” your brand
It builds trust, improves your reputation and increases the value for your brand
It increases engagement and facilitates conversions
This marketing approach is more common in B2C type businesses, mostly because it’s easier for consumer facing companies to sell products to individual consumers. But B2B businesses and professional service advisors especially will benefit too by “humanizing” their brand and using storytelling as a tool to engage with their professional audiences.
Here are two simple marketing campaign examples to show the difference between two scenarios, one of which uses storytelling:
Scenario 1: You have an advertisement promoting a sale event or discount on a product or service. If the savings is compelling, this may be sufficient to generate incremental sales. But if the offer is comparable to what your competitors offer, this might not be the best tactic.
Scenario 2: A similar scenario is presented, but in this campaign it chronicles a customer’s shopping journey that relates how they started with an internet search, then clicked a link to your website, then shopped at your store or called you to talk more about your services. The story resolves with a testimonial that they discovered you not only are an excellent provider, but that your prices are more competitive than other company’s offers..and offers the discount in scenario 1 as substantiation to their endorsement.
Stories help humanize our brands by recognizing that customers are more interested in buying experiences than they are buying products.
We love this example of how Airbnb uses a simple story to show the real value of what their service offers to travelers. This video tells an animated story through the eyes of a Parisian, who also happens to be your Airbnb host. It shows a woman’s experience of Paris, made personal and enlivened by the relationship she made through her Airbnb host.
At the end of the day, whether you're selling to Consumers (B2C) or to Businesses (B2B), your audience are still people. And people love a good story! It gets their attention, holds their attention and gives them a curiosity to learn more about your brand.
FACT: Over 90% of consumers want ads that feel like stories.
How Can You Incorporate Storytelling into Your Business Marketing Efforts?
By sharing a message in the form of a story, the reader is able to connect with this type of content more easily. You can personally choose a story that plays a role in creating your company image and your brand reputation.
A story includes characters, setting, conflict, rising action, climax, and an ending. When thinking of your story, think along the lines of believable, easy to understand, inspiring, useful and emotive.
Your story should always focus on your customers' needs. Let go of your brand ego and connect with your audience! Tell them your story and why it’s worth their time and money.
Here are some ways you can start thinking of how your story might go:
Clearly establish what your brand is – its purpose, intent, core values, and mission.
Offer the consumer more than just a product or service, but rather an “experience.”
Motivate them to be a part of that “experience.” Create content in such a way that your audience feels as if they don’t buy, follow, or sign up right now, they will be left out of this incredible “experience.”
Allow them to quickly form an emotional connection by focusing on an “experience.”
Look to your audience - what are their interests, struggles and questions?
Present a conflict and give examples of the pain your character is going through followed by a solution that your product or service provides.
Lastly, use language that is simple, yet powerful. Paint a clear picture of what you want them to feel.
It’s important to show them what your brand means instead of only showing what you sell. Through your story, you can inspire people to act with a clear and impactful message, leaving them emotionally invested in the narrative.
So, What’s Your Story?
RSC Marketing & Advertising provides small and medium size business owners with affordable and creative marketing services designed to increase sales.
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