In marketing, storytelling is a proven, trusted method. It’s a traditional technique that has been used in print, television and radio for the longest time. But, times have changed. Everything has moved to digital, and everything is online.
Now, online marketers are using the age-old practice of storytelling. Stories can quickly connect with modern audiences. In turn, those connections lead to brand loyalty and sales. The competition is intense, but with good storytelling, any brand can gain a vital upper hand.
Through stories, businesses can control the presentation of their goods and services. They can even show how products can improve life for their users. Marketers create experiences through stories, to which audiences relate.
But, to fully reap the benefits of storytelling, you need to get it right. You need to understand how it works. Let’s walk through the five reasons that explain how and why storytelling works as a powerful marketing tool.
1. Storytelling gives your brand personality
Face it. Do companies excite people? Probably not. How about bland product descriptions? Hardly. In essence, the business world can often seem boring and unattractive. That can often be seen in the way brands market themselves.
Industry jargon and brand value presentations might supply information to shoppers, but do they create excitement? Often, the answer is “no.” Storytelling can change that.
To begin with, tell the story of your company. Write it down and let your character and values shine through it. Next, publish it on your website in the “about us” section and you have begun your storytelling career.
As you tell stories, you allow people to get to know your brand as though it were a person rather than a concept. As a result, your visitors will always want to return to find out the next part of your stories. Now they’re hooked to your brand.
2. Stories enable engagement with your audience
Research shows that stories “light up” parts of the brand that simple facts fail to stir. That’s why marketers who embrace storytelling accomplish more than they would with a standard presentation. Your stories can create laughter and tears and mold the attitudes of your audience.
The persuasive power of stories can create internal desires that motivate buyers more effectively than the cleverest sales pitch. In response, customers feel as though they are in control. Also, they may feel more satisfied after the sale than if they were pressured to buy.
Storytelling brings a new dimension to your business relationship. Rather than merely communicating facts and pitching sales on a objective level, you now engage minds on an emotional level. As a result, you captivate the attention of your audience. In the long run, this creates brand loyalty. That means your customers are more likely to choose you over your competition.
Storytelling engages people at every stage of the customer lifecycle, starting with brand awareness. Your stories should educate your target market, call shoppers to action and even provide support after the sale.
3. You can show how your brand is different from the competition
Create a personality for your brand. Think of business as a person, and determine its characteristics. Now, use that unique voice to communicate across social media. With a unique personality, your brand will stand out among the competition
When compared to brands that don’t use storytelling, your brand will look alive and dynamic. Even compared to others who do use storytelling, your unique voice will still make you stand out.
Storytelling has to be an integral part of your marketing plan, and each story a showcase of brand uniqueness.
4. They are more likely to get clicked
People love stories. Knowing this, you can expect website and social media users to click your links. But, you can expect that only if you add a call-to-action message to your stories.
Use your stories to introduce your products and services in realistic settings. You can also use them to prove the value that you provide. Address your audience. In other words, create interactions that can get your audience immersed in your brand.
One way to encourage interaction is to pose questions to your visitors. They can answer your questions and leave other feedback in the comments area of your blog and social media profiles. As you respond to them, you start meaningful conversations that add a new layer of depth to your brand.
5. Stories can give your brand new value
The value of your brand is determined by the quality of your products and services. When you use storytelling to showcase that quality, you are creating new value for your brand. What’s the upside of this? Eventually, you will be able to command higher prices, if you want to.
Furthermore, you extend the appeal of your brand and, therefore, its reach. As more people become aware of your reputation, they will prefer your brand even over your better-known rivals.
Essentially, your storytelling strategy becomes part of what your business sells. Soon people will buy your brand because of the experience that it creates.
Best of all, your stories have lasting value. From time to time, you can even reuse old stories – they may even add a certain nostalgia factor to your content, and that also enables emotional engagement with your audience. Plus, you will substantially cut down your advertising expenses.
Plan everything out, create a strategy and go!
We’ve covered the five main reasons what makes storytelling a powerful marketing method. But, don’t forget the most important thing – those actual stories. Analyze your business thoroughly and discover them. Talk about how your business came to be, how your products are used, what they mean to your customers.
Now, get started. Plan your storytelling strategy. Consult with experts. Hire professionals. You could use experienced copywriters or content producers on your marketing team. Your storytelling is content production, and it has to be consistent across all your digital channels.
Are your customers leaving you feedback? Engage with your audience. Your stories have unlimited marketing potential. Use it.
Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. She was rummaging through her grandma’s clothes before it was cool, and she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, but delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88