The ability to narrate something effectively and uncover the details tactfully is a skill in itself and a technique that sells. Some of the leading brands have been incorporating this technique and don’t seem to be wanting to let go of this marketing technique. The most interesting advantages of storytelling in marketing statistics is that it makes an instant impression on the mind of the target audience about a certain brand or product. I implemented this same logic to my platforms for content marketing. My platforms focus on health myth busting, entrepreneurship and digital marketing. So I have a wide variety of audiences that I usually target for various aspects of my content.
Why storytelling is so important for content marketing?
The fact that a story attaches emotions and sentiments to a particular product works well with most people. Marketing and communications researchers have long since discovered the significance of emotional value attached to a brand or product. Studies support the theory that emotions play a very significant role than any or all other elements such as quality and quantity of a product put together.
The entire life of an individual revolves around how he or she feels about something. Do they “feel” hungry? Do they “feel” happy? or angry? or thrilled? Every action of an individual revolves around how he or she feels about something and this is what needs to be strategically worked on. As a reader you need to “feel” something positive about a particular content and connect with the concept. Below listed are some reasons that have made this time-tested marketing technique widely adopted and successful and more importantly, why I adapted it personally for my content marketing efforts.
For a marketing tool to work, it has to be something that a reader or viewer finds so fascinating that it is retained in the memory effortlessly. This is possible only when the concept has sufficient clarity, and is easy to understand and to recollect. It is now a known fact that storytelling is an effective memory technique and is widely used by even the teachers and academicians worldwide.
The human mind is tuned to listening and remembering stories since an early age, probably much before one even learns how to read and write. This ability to recollect sequential data with an emotional string weaving through it is what the marketing strategy of storytelling successful and unique.
So for example, I use the story of how an Indian Fakir helped to bring coffee from Arabia to India, hiding the coffee beans in his beard in my book about coffee myths and also in my video post about why coffee addiction is a myth. This story of the origin of coffee in India to help you understand the various types of coffee you can find in the country, you are more likely to remember the story which will help you remember the facts.
Builds direct relationship with the reader or viewer
Nowadays, businesses are working hard towards building a relationship whether it is a B2B or a B2C. To do this some businesses have developed and implemented strategies such as punch lines and campaigns that work towards enhancing B2B and B2C relationships. For instance Fiat says Driven by Passion, Austrian Airlines says Fly with Friends, and LG that says Life’s Good.
In the present era where building a relationship is so important, storytelling works out to be an effective solution. A story has characters and events taking place and that instantly creates a rapport between the seller and the target audience. At times the reader or viewer even strikes a chord with the characters or events of the narrative. This is because most storytellers adopt concepts that have simple everyday life situations, which are easy to connect with.
Keeps the target audience engaged
Whether it is a written piece of content or a video storytelling, the storytelling technique is one of the most useful techniques that keep the audiences engaged until the end. This is a great way to deliver some very important info about the product or service that a company is desirous of disseminating to customers or prospective customers. It is the first six seconds of the video storytelling that make a high degree of audio visual impact on the mind of the viewer.
Imagine being told how to use an Apple Ipad and what you can do after you buy one and more geeky technical stuff about the famous Apple product that most people care very little about. It does not sound appealing at all and a viewer is most likely to stop watching, walk away or change channels. On the other hand, Robin William’s voice asking the audience ‘What will your verse be?” is not just engaging, but also interactive video storytelling technique that gets the viewers much needed attention quite easily. While the viewer wonders of all the stuff he wants to do, or can possibly do with that device, the key here is that Apple has got the audience engaged.
Motivational factor for Content Marketing
A story could be one that speaks of a dignitary, fictitious narrative, animated version or a corporate story. The common element in all of these types of storytelling is the motivational factor and exists in each and every type of storytelling but in different degrees. For example, narrating a story about John F. Kennedy’s real life incident and relating it to a specific product or brand is likely to be a motivational for the viewers who admire this legend. Motivation is again an emotional element that works extremely well when it comes to marketing.
One may recollect the Nike’s “The Chance” advertisement that is wonderfully filmed, scripted and projected. The advertisement goes on to narrate the story of this wannabe soccer player who does not give up and works with firm determination towards his goal. In short, the advertisement sends the message that if you are ready to work hard, then you can achieve what you seek. Such motivational messages remain imprinted in the memory as they are positive and clear.
Makes the content lively
Boring technical content can be a drag for any viewer and that means a waste of resources of the company. In marketing, you need to develop content that is entertaining, lively and informative too. This blend is the key to any effective marketing strategy and to put it more clearly, you may recollect the Lego advertisement where the Father-son duo bond over playing Legos. The joy and brightness of the moment makes the content lively and also promotes the product creating a positive feeling about the brand in the minds of the target audiences.
Adds a refreshing angle to the story
A man sitting on a couch with his family and then suddenly the family is driving in the rain in their new car. Going out in the rain is possible for this family only because of their brand new XYZ car. This is what storytelling does to a concept by adding a whole new dimension to it. This dimension is emotional, fun and something most viewers are likely to be craving for. That is what makes storytelling technique a great marketing tool to implement in audio visual advertising.
Storytelling technique uses characters, situations and events that can be real and connected to the brand, or merely fictitious. These characters and situations are designed to be ordinary, engaging and stuff that a layman can relate to. The key here is that the viewer must relate, connect and feel one with the characters that are developed by the storyteller and his team.
Key essentials to using the storytelling technique
To use storytelling technique as an effective marketing tool, you need to ensure that the content is adeptly designed to incorporate the below-listed essentials.
- Develop a story with a human interest element to it.
- Blend the story with the product right from the start.
- Engage and involve the target audience into thinking about the product.
- Keep it simple yet mysterious till the end.
- Give out a positive message of hope or success.
Brand storytelling for Content Marketing
Brand storytelling is a great way to establish what your brand is all about. The key focus of brand storytelling is on adding value to the brand and emphasizing on what sets you apart from your competitors. Corporate storytelling is all about narrating what already exists. And brand storytelling focuses on gaining an edge over one’s competitors. It also focusses on conveying what the company is capable of delivering to ensure customer addition and retention.
A great example of brand storytelling would be Maggi. It is the world’s most popular brand of instant noodles. The brand boasts of a USP of being cooked in a matter of two minutes. This advertisement depicts the product’s ability to deal with the two-sided task. One is to provide the hungry child with food that the child appears to relish. And then also how the busy mother saves up on time. Finally there are other kids that drop by and all kids have a great time slurping the instant noodles. This is what sells and this is a time-tested marketing tool that most corporate adopt.
Benefits of storytelling technique
Storytelling has several benefits attached to it and these have been widely adopted by pros from all Industrial sectors. There are official corporate storytellers that are hired by some of the top-notch corporates. Then again one gets to see this concept adopted in a 30 second television or internet commercial. Below listed are some benefits of why this marketing tool is one of the most sought after techniques.
- Creates a picture in the mind of the target audiences.
- Can keep the target audiences hitched until the end, if used effectively.
- Throws clarity on the corporate culture and work culture of an organization.
- Effective brand building technique.
- Grabs the attention of the target audiences instantly.
I adopt storytelling in my books to simplify the data and scientific facts. The stories also add a bit of humor that breaks the monotony of a large content format such as a book. Here the story narrates the specific product’s strengths, purpose and mission in an inspiring manner. This ensures loyalty, commitment and also ignites the fire within the existing customers and is valuable in attracting prospective customers.