Storytelling in Marketing : An Art Proven by Science

by VAIVAIMAGAZINE • 05 Aug 2016

Do brands create stories? Do stories create brands? Or is the power of storytelling for brands and branding simply so pervasive we can’t even begin to see the end and the beginning?

Storytelling of course is an ancient art (and part science) which is tackled in so many domains, from the study of ancient cultures to movie making, fiction writing and branding.

The facts and statistics behind Storytelling

Yet, storytelling has never been ‘hotter’ than today. The principles and success factors are closely related with word-of-mouth, social sharing, social media in general, brand perception and the very essence of content marketing.

Storytelling is so much more than telling stories in marketing and communications for businesses.

Storytelling, is an essential content marketing technique that has a crucial place in a content marketing strategy, the ‘conditio sine qua non’ for businesses that want to make the difference in these social and content-intensive times.

What is the difference between boring and soulless content as companies continue to create it on one hand and stories that don’t just stick but also engage on the other? How do you create stories, nurture them, stimulate them,…? It won’t come as a surprise that storytelling needs a strong focus on what people want to hear and share, once again shifting the view from the traditional ways of corporate messaging to a connected content strategy whereby people are key.

Some see storytelling as just a technique in the creation of written and visual content. Although storytelling is most certainly ALSO about that, it’s about much more and raises various important questions, each with their many answers. Furthermore, the use of storytelling in content marketing continues to evolve (visual, transmedia, two-ways and even collaborative).

Aaker says. “A story is a journey that moves the listener, and when the listener goes on that journey they feel different and the result is persuasion and sometimes action.”

That action is exactly what marketers work so hard to achieve. Within the content marketing arena, these six tips will help you incorporate sophisticated storytelling into your digital marketing efforts:

1. Develop a true understanding of your target audience. This goes deeper than a one-page “buyer persona”. You must speak to your customers and ask why they bought from you. What drove them to start searching for a solution? How did they find your brand? What questions did they ask your sales team? Once you understand their answers, you will be able to create material that truly speaks to your audience.

2. Through your conversations, identify emotional drivers your buyers experience. This emotional analysis will help determine what your customers truly care about and how to tap into that passion.

3. Prioritise authenticity as much as possible. Highlight stories from employees, customers and other industry folk. Don’t shy away from using details like names, settings and positive outcomes. The more relatable your story is, the more your audience will respond.

4. Whether you are using Facebook, a blog, Twitter, direct mail or even a billboard, use the strengths of your channel to tell your story appropriately. From two words to 140 characters, create a story that’s shareable across your channel of choice.

5. Give your stories credibility. “No one says facts and figures should be completely eliminated from your storytelling,” Aaker says. “When data and story are used together, audiences are moved both emotionally and intellectually.”

6. Encourage user-generated content to share different perspectives of your overarching story. Try hosting a contest, managing a hashtag or interviewing industry leaders to create third-party content with storytelling flair.

Finally this further suggests that the listener, may be a prospect of your products and services is experiencing a relevant story as if it is happening to them, it results in a deeper engagement before you own them.









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16 09 2017


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