Brands that use stories to communicate with their audience tend to sell more. Why? Because, stories are way more digestible. Stories are easier to understand than traditional direct marketing pitches are.
Studies suggest that consumers are 22 times more likely to remember a brand if it is pitched to them through a story. Surprisingly, only 5% of customers can recall stats and figures mentioned in marketing pitches. On the other hand, 63% of customers can remember a brand through stories it tell.
Now you know why you can’t remember an offer on a pamphlet you saw last week in your newspaper, but you can recall an entire ad which you watched on TV last month!
That’s the power of storytelling!
Storytelling has become an essential aspect of an organization’s marketing efforts. It is a way of communicating your brand message through efficaciously-woven stories that people (your audience) can relate to.
There is a human essence in every story that makes the audience feel a connection with it. It is like humanizing your brand. Stories help inspire the viewers to take an action.
If you believe that stories can be told only through videos or audios, you are probably wrong. You can tell stories through texts and images as well. Additionally, stories can be told on almost every marketing channel including television, radio, cinema, plays, emails, pamphlets, banners, billboards, and social networks. And above all, it works for any brand or organization whether small, medium, or large.
Importance of Storytelling for Brands
Leading businesses are already using storytelling to increase brand awareness among their target audience. You can tell stories from customer point of view, which helps serve that purpose pretty well. With your stories, you build not just customers, but tribes (or communities). Storytelling marketing is indeed the future of marketing – all forms of marketing.
Storytelling helps marketers develop deeper connection with their target audience through meaningful, relevant, and humanistic stories. The reason why people love stories more than traditional direct marketing pitches is that, stories are a powerful way of learning. Further, in an era dominated by digital and social, marketers can pitch their stories to their specific audience and improve engagement and conversion.
Storytelling Strategies That Work
Smart marketers use storytelling as a weapon to steal customers from their competition. They tell stories that have the potential to catch the attention and hit hard on the minds of their lookalike audience.
Everything in this world is a story – starting from how dinosaurs disappeared from the planet and how humans appeared on the earth and evolved to how a brand came into existence and how a customer felt after your brand! Everything around us has a great story behind.
It’s just, you need to put the story you want to tell in words that have a human and emotional touch.
Here are some of the storytelling strategies that actually work –
Understand Your Product
You will first need to learn what your product is. Businesses believe that they know their product. But the fact is, they don’t. You should try to find out how your product helps people or how they feel when they use your product.
This will give you real-life ideas to create stories around.
If your product helped improve the lifestyle of an individual, this is your story. If your product didn’t help or made a customer feel awful, you can improve the quality of your brand, and then again, this will be your story.
Stories like these connect with your prospects more.
Just take inspiration from how your brand transformed the lifestyle of your consumers!
Sell the Idea behind Your Product
Here again, you will need to have a great understanding about your product, but from a different point of view. You can tell the story about your brand and how and why you started it.
Doing so, you will be inspiring and motivating for countless souls.
Let’s take the example of iCustomLabel, a website that sells custom designed printed materials like stickers and labels for individuals and businesses. Their unique stickers with random funny quotes like these catch a huge attention from young audience.
But they never say they sell. They show their audience what they do, and why they do it, i.e. to make packaging or product labeling easier, more creative, and affordable. They use storytelling techniques on their social network updates and email marketing campaigns to encourage and re-convince their customers to click and avail their offers.
To get started with that for your brand, write down the very purpose your brand serves and why you do it. Now, you will have so many stories to tell.
Show That You Care
There is no better feeling than being loved and taken care of. As a brand you can do that with your products, and service, especially if a customer is unhappy, unsatisfied, or discontented be it for whichever reason.
For a brand, it is a common situation. But you can leverage from such situations too.
First, you must not ignore bad reviews or negative feedback from customers. Instead, try to find the reason why that customer felt that way. Put in every possible effort to resolve the issue, and then, you will have a truly genuine story to tell your audience and build trust.
These kinds of stories receive loads of appreciation from everywhere, including from customers, from prospects, and from competitors, as well.
While trying to tell a story, the choice of words and your approach matter a lot. You should try to keep your stories as short and precise as possible.
The tone of story should be something that can be shared.
To end with, make sure every story you create has a central message. This central message should explain how your brand or product transformed the life of the user. The pitch of the story should never be promotional. In fact, never act like you are selling in your storytelling marketing efforts.
Just like every story, your story too should have a clear structure involving a beginning, an explanation or middle, and an ending or a happy ending.
Don’t forget to engage (or engage back) with your audience. Like, comment back, and appreciate the people who react on your stories. This increases the reach of your story and shows that you care for your audience.