Why Storytelling is Your Key to Successful Marketing
by Al Gomez
When you have established your brand, it is time to market it to the world, especially in front of your target customers. Storytelling is an ancient art that is as old as the human language. It is used for a variety of reasons, including sharing knowledge and passing down traditions and culture to the next generation.
We also love it because it can help us make sense of our lives.
Anyone can tell a story. It is a skill that can be acquired from childhood and enhanced in adulthood. We just can’t stop.
All the time is the best time to tell stories. Whether we engage in small talks or deep conversations, we always find time to bring up a story. Venting out frustrations and gossips are forms of storytelling, too.
Storytelling makes things more interesting. Stories have a huge influence on people. In fact, stories affect our brain deeply that messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than facts.
McDonald’s Powerful Storytelling
Since 1980, McDonald’s had been using storytelling in marketing their brand. They first released a commercial that featured a young man with Down Syndrome.
It had a powerful and positive impact on the audience. Instead of making the young man look like a victim, the commercial made the audience passionate and understand his life and situation.
Some people might not be comfortable talking about this subject. However, using storytelling is a strong method to promote brand awareness, as well as people’s different and special circumstances. Rather than relaying a brand message through traditional ways, companies should use a story to strengthen their message and make it more emotional and engaging.
Storytelling in marketing is about tapping into raw human emotion to make a real difference. At the same time, stories would naturally link to the brand and the product or service it can provide to people.
The Filipino audience like to watch stories with a “kilig” or romantic excitement so the commercial below is very popular there.
Besides, McDonald’s implied that availing their products and services are great and effective ways to move on from a heartbreak or simply indulge.
Dove’s Social Media Storytelling
Dove had also done a great job of tapping into emotions and kindling insights to their audience and customers. They especially focused on women who are ‘real’ and far from the supermodel image. They have been telling stories of the beauty of real mothers, daughters, and wives for years now.
Yet, the company decided to include men in their marketing. They recently released a commercial that tells a compelling story of a father who only wants to see his child. It is effective because the story stirs up deep and sometimes unrecognized emotions. Then, it links those emotions to the power of Dove soap.
Dove has been promoting its purpose of selling soap to help people feel taken care of, specifically in terms of skincare.
Like McDonald’s strategy, simply using relevant and realistic stories to link to your brand is the key to successful marketing.
Nike’s Genius Storytelling
Equality is not a new topic but the way Nike used this to link their stories to their brand is genius.
This recent campaign focuses on equality and respect that are found inside pitches (playing fields) should also be applied on the streets.
The video features sponsored superstars. One thing you may notice is the whole video is in black and white.
This is an example of a storytelling that invites the audience to respond to the call to action—get involved and wear Nike products—or at least engage in social media by sharing their inspiring stories.
In a way, the campaign shows that the company is a strong force for positive social change. Moreover, the campaign shows that they offer more than just a pair of sneakers to today’s athletes.
Top 3 Essential Strategies in Storytelling
See how effective storytelling is? Especially when you only have 30 seconds to engage your audience and consumer.
Based on the examples above, below are essential strategies to use storytelling in marketing your brand.
Don’t even think about fooling your customers. They are smarter than you think. Being true is also respecting them and valuing their time.
Instead of looking for over the top stories or incredible tales, try to focus on genuine, relatable ones. An authentic narrative will more likely hook your customers and make valuable connections.
Also, by showing the imperfections of your business, you are introducing your consumers to the human aspect of your brand. Don’t worry if some people may think that your trying to gain their sympathy or pity and would respond negatively. Most of your customers will appreciate your authenticity and may respect your cause.
Have a Clear Focus
To gain the customers’ attention, your story should be engaging. And for your story to be engaging, you must have a clear focus.
Be clear and create content right at the start of your story. To do so, describe the following elements and start making your brand story.
- the narrator of the story
- time and place of the story
- purpose of the story
- characters in the story
- challenges the characters face
- purpose of the characters in the story
Make sure your brand is organized to avoid confusion. Keep your brand consistent across all media channels. Apply the same logo, colors, font types, and slogan for both digital and print marketing materials.
The repetition and consistency will make customers remember your brand easily and vividly.
You should also be consistent in telling the story of your brand. Don’t suddenly add irrelevant information that would make the customers dizzy.
Yet, revealing the story gradually can be a good strategy to build up the tension or stir your customers’ curiosity and imagination.
Your main purpose in marketing your brand should be to develop a deeper connection with your customers. Doing so produces effective and long-lasting results.
Keep in mind that storytelling is a fundamental human experience. It is a powerful method to communicate.
If used and established well, your business will succeed. Whatever product or service you provide, it will have a complex and profound image if it has a well-told story.
August 8, 2018