Storytelling in Marketing
Storytelling is an important skill for businesses, as it is one of the most effective ways to bring a brand to life. Good storytelling can forge emotional connections with customers, improving customer loyalty. Humans have always told stories as a critical part of communication. Storytelling is central to human existence and common to every known culture.
“We use stories to make sense of our world and to share that understanding with others. They are the signal within the noise.” – Frank Rose, Wired
Brands can use stories to convey purpose with a human approach behind it, allowing customers to connect with the brand. It’s a little different telling a story on behalf of a brand, so in this article, we lay out some simple tips for effective storytelling.
KEYS TO A GOOD BRAND STORY
- Make it meaningful by telling stories that are interesting and relevant to your audience.
- Clearly align stories with your brand’s purpose, core values, and mission.
- Add personality so that people can connect with your brand and understand how your brand will improve their life.
- Offer an experience rather than just push a product or service.
- Add emotion so that it resonates with your audience. If you can trigger an emotion early on in a blog or video you will have a better chance that they’ll continue reading or watching.
- Motivate people to step into that experience. You can do this by adding call-to-actions that incentivize your audience to buy, follow, or sign up or otherwise risk losing access to the experience.
- Keep it simple by focusing on one person or problem at a time so that it is easily digestible and avoids confusing readers or viewers with multiple topics.
- Use visuals—humans are visual creatures. We’re able to process images better than any other type of data. According to Brain Rules, pictures beat text by a mile because reading is inefficient for humans. “Our brain sees words as lots of tiny pictures, and we have to identify certain features in the letters to be able to read them. That takes time,” said John Medina, writer for Brain Rules. As you may have guessed, video is one of the most engaging ways to tell a story, but that doesn’t mean email, articles, and images don’t work as well.
ONE STRONG EXAMPLE OF BRAND STORYTELLING
Zendesk’s “I like it when he gives me the business” commercial from 2014 is a genius example of brand storytelling. This short commercial is about an older couple, known as “The Business” and “The Customer,” who tell their love story and how it didn’t get off to a great start, but with Zendesk’s help with customer service software, they fixed their relationship and have been happy ever since. This Zendesk commercial tells a simple story using people and humor to acknowledge common customer service struggles. The message is authentic to Zendesk, it’s comical but still demonstrates value, and it aligns with the brand’s purpose of strengthening businesses’ relationships with customers. For someone who hasn’t heard of Zendesk until seeing this video, they’ll likely think of Zendesk when they need a customer service provider, which is exactly what you should aim for with your content!
Good storytelling along with attractive visuals can trigger emotions that help people connect with your content on a deeper level, increasing engagement, traffic, and conversions. At Madak, we put a lot of emphasis on creating clean, consistent, and eye-catching imagery for our clients and pair it with strong, meaningful messaging that is relatable to their target audience and tells the brand story.