In today’s world of instant gratification, the playing field has shifted, and marketers must captivate their audiences through powerful visuals and great content – and, do it quickly. As social media and content marketing platforms continue to expand in number and value, the opportunity (and necessity) for storytelling as part of a strategic marketing plan also increases.
As a marketer – of your brand, company, service, yourself – it’s your job to sell an idea, a knowledge base, a reputation. What better way to help you move beyond the mindset of simply selling a product or service, and right into the mechanics of connecting with your audience, than powerful brand storytelling.
There simply is no better way to connect with another human than through intrigue, emotion, and passion. When done correctly, in collaboration with a strategic plan – knowing who your audience is, where they are, and what story they want to hear – the power of storytelling can provide great engagement with your content and your brand.
The digital age has reduced human-to-human connection; something that we, as people, crave. That craving for interpersonal connection doesn’t go away just because society has made smartphones and online chatting the new norm.
So, how do you stay on trend, but find that connection with your audience?
Hook your audience early.
All good stories begin with a hook – a question or problem that needs resolution. Challenge your audience, pique their curiosity, and keep them interested. A captivating brand story confronts conflict and offers a solution.
Your audience becomes the hero, not your product.
Your customer is the main character of your story; the hero. Your product or service simply supports your hero. Allow your audience to identify with your story – the conflict and the resolution – by targeting them, specifically, through profiling techniques so they can see themselves in that hero role in connection with your brand. Show your customer why he is the protagonist of your story; the main character your brand revolves around.
The story doesn’t revolve around you.
By knowing who your audience is – what they need and desire – you can craft a story that resonates with them. Are they on a tight budget, but want luxury in their lives? Do they have limited time, but desire relaxation? How can your brand resolve their unique dilemmas?
Connect with emotional impact.
Without an emotional connection, it’s hard to make people care. Humans are not rational beings. We often shoot from the hip and make decisions to appease our present state of mind, only to try to rationalize the decision later. Brand storytelling pinpoints these emotions and connects to the heart of your audience, encouraging brand loyalty and positive purchasing habits. Think about Budweiser’s annual Super Bowl commercials and how they connect with humanity. We remember how they made us feel. For the non-football fan, only tuning into the Super Bowl for the commercials or Half Time show, these stories offer Budweiser a new audience – an audience that correlates the brand with a feeling.
Make business personal.
Technology has allowed us to better understand our customers, their patterns, and even the human emotions that trigger the need to buy. But at the end of the day, business is personal; we buy from brands we like and trust. Brand storytelling continues to prove its power in helping companies and their marketers establish and nurture those customer connections – growing our business relationships and reputation.
Storytelling is a fundamental human experience that unites people and drives stronger, deeper connections. The internet is crowded; it’s a noisy environment which makes it increasingly harder to reach and get through to a target audience. Storytelling can be an important tactical tool that allows you to engage consumers in a fragmented media world and provides your customer with a unique invitation into your brand.