If you want to succeed in today’s competitive marketing world, you need to be a great storyteller.
At a time when attention spans are dwindling and new channels are popping up every week, brands have to be laser-focused on breaking through the noise and establishing themselves in a niche. To do this, you need to add storytelling marketing to your strategic arsenal.
What is Storytelling Marketing?
Storytelling marketing is the use of narrative to get your brand message across. A good story captures your attention and holds it until the very end – it enthralls you. In a world where the word “advertisement” is synonymous with “annoying”, marketers must take advantage of the power of storytelling to get their messages across.
A story can be simple as the blurb on the back of a wine bottle about the vineyard it’s from or as complex as a short film or documentary.
According to Adobe and Goldsmiths, University of London, 61% of consumers purchase products and services that reflect their personal values, and 43% want to have a relationship with the brands they buy from. And that’s why storytelling marketing is so effective – stories don’t just say “Look how great my brand is!”, they foster a real emotional connection.
Is storytelling marketing always the right approach? No – like any strategy, there’s a time and a place. Warm and fuzzy narrative ads don’t work effectively without a solid foundation of audience awareness gained from more straightforward introductory ads.
Defining Your Values
At its core, storytelling marketing is about defining your values – what does your brand stand for in five words or less? For example, Apple stands for innovation and user experience, not computers and phones. What is truly important to you? Your value statement should be short, but that doesn’t mean that creating it is a short process. Take a few days to brainstorm with your team and gather third-party insights.
Having clearly defined brand values doesn’t just help you connect with consumers – there are internal benefits, too. When your employees believe in the values of the company they work for, they’re happier, more productive, and more likely to continue working with you.
Once you’ve defined your brand’s values, you have to live up to them – you can’t build your brand around stewardship of the earth and then not have a single recycling bin in your office. Your values should guide your actions, not just your ads.
The Benefits of Storytelling Marketing
Once you’ve decided on your value proposition, you can begin to incorporate storytelling into your brand strategy. Here are just a few of the advantages of this type of narrative marketing:
1. It can help you overcome media fragmentation.
Media fragmentation presents a challenge for marketers in the choice-rich digital age, but a growing range of media also presents new opportunities. Storytelling marketing is right at home on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, where people are looking for experiences instead of products.
Stories are also easy to cross-post on multiple platforms at once when accompanied by a video or interesting photo.
2. A consistent message builds audience trust.
You may sell different products or change up your service offerings over the years, but as long as your value message stays consistent, it will be easy for an audience to connect with your brand. Consistency builds familiarity, and the more people feel like they really know you, the more likely they are to trust you.
3. Your audience will remember you.
What’s the oldest commercial you remember? Odds are, it probably told a darn good story.
It’s been scientifically proven that the human brain loves stories, and stories are much easier to remember than facts. Not surprising, considering stories were used long before pen and paper to pass information from one generation to the next.
Humans are socially driven creatures. When we empathize with the characters in a story, it can even motivate us to take an action or make a change. This is why storytelling marketing is a particularly effective strategy for charitable organizations – empathy drives us to donate, and donating makes us happier.
4. Stories create positive associations.
We all like to think that we’re savvy shoppers, but our spending habits are actually quite emotionally driven. You might know in your heart that every dish soap on the shelf is basically the same, but you’re willing to spend a dollar more on Dawn because aww, there’s a baby duck on the bottle.
There have been countless studies on consumer behavior and how emotional links can influence the way we shop. Storytelling marketing helps to establish that crucial connection between your brand name and who you are.
5. You might (might) even go viral.
As every content creator knows, you can’t just sit down and make something that’s guaranteed to go viral. Internet virality is chaotic and random by nature. However, telling a genuinely engaging story is your best chance. Even if you don’t “blow up” on social, a story is going to get more shares and reach a wider audience than a typical sales ad.
Tell Your Story
Telling your brand story is important, but not everyone has the creative instincts needed to write and produce an eye-catching narrative ad. A professional post-production company is often needed to create high-quality content that leaves a real impact and ages well.
If you need help developing a video strategy that uses storytelling marketing, get in touch with Slice Creates to learn how our Tampa post-production team can bring your vision to life.