Storytelling is becoming an increasingly popular marketing strategy. It makes it easier to attract customers’ attention and gain their sympathy. Although storytelling requires creativity and an often unusual approach, more and more brands are choosing to be successful. Learn about the advantages of storytelling and learn how to use it effectively.
Storytelling – definition
It is difficult to find a person who has not yet encountered such a concept as storytelling. What is this? It literally means creating, telling a story that engages the audience, allows you to build context around something and understand it better. Storytelling, often also known as narrative marketing, is a tool used by many companies. It gives the opportunity to attract attention, but in a non-intrusive way, without the need to directly persuade customers to buy products.
In fact, storytelling is not a recent phenomenon. Stories have always been told, this is how the acquired knowledge was passed on to the next generations. Thanks to such messages, it is easier to establish contact with customers, referring to their emotions, and then build a strong bond. Storytelling becomes part of creating a brand image and, if well thought out, allows it to be presented in a positive light. He very often uses human-centered stories about his transformation and behavior. Motives of failure, making mistakes and drawing conclusions for the future appear here often.
Other types of stories are also used in storytelling, for example:
– Presenting a vision – evoke great emotions, their aim is to inspire to action, encourage creativity and implement new ideas.
– Showing activities and solutions – they are to arouse the trust of recipients. Such stories focus on cause-effect relationships, ideas and ideas.
– Knowledge transfer – through them you can clarify certain issues, especially on the basis of the examples provided.
Marketing and storytelling
A story told in an interesting and original way can become an effective marketing strategy. Good storytelling means that ordinary products offered by the company become something more, evoke specific, positive associations and customers choose them more willingly. The story can evoke different emotions. It is not only laughter, but also, for example, compassion, longing, nostalgia or emotion. Importantly, the recipients do not remember entire sentences or specific words of the story, they focus on the images that arise in their minds while reading it. The most important thing in storytelling is to arouse emotions. They make the company will be remembered for a long time, and a strong bond will be created between the company and its customers.
Creating a story allows you to present your brand in a less typical, engaging way. Storytelling offers many possibilities. It makes it easier not only to evoke positive associations, but also to stand out from the competition. In addition, a well-told story makes the audience want more and demand its development. Narrative marketing has been successfully used by the world’s largest brands for several decades, such as John Deere, Coca-Cola and Apple. Its significant advantage is that it can be used in various messages. Storytelling appears not only in texts posted on websites, but also in newsletters, videos, posts in social media and podcasts. It makes the advertising message more attractive, but not obtrusive. It is an appropriate way to create a brand image, promote products, and convey the values professed by the company within its structures.
The use of storytelling in marketing brings many benefits. It is very interesting for the recipients, and at the same time prompts to respond, i.e. to perform a specific call to action. Often it is more effective than traditional forms of advertising, which are not only more intrusive, but also less trustworthy and not entirely creative. In addition, narrative marketing refers to the needs, dreams or plans of recipients, provides information and builds a bond in an unusual way. It allows you to better understand the brand and see why you should take advantage of its offer.
Storytelling – the most important rules
If you want to build a lasting, unique relationship with your audience using storytelling, you should remember a few important rules. Above all, it is necessary to act on emotions, the story must leave a mark in the minds of customers, otherwise the strategy will not be effective. Only the emotional message will be remembered for a long time and will trigger the desired reaction. It is worth considering how the audience is going to feel while learning about the story. Usually, storytelling moves or makes you laugh, but it can also appeal to other emotions. Much depends here on the sense of the story shown and the effect it is supposed to provide.
Influencing your emotions is just one of the things you need to keep in mind when creating narrative marketing. The other important rules are:
– Authenticity – the story told must not only be interesting, but also authentic. If recipients find out that storytelling is credible, they will quickly identify with its message. There is no place for manipulation and lies in it, these are the elements that will immediately discourage potential customers from the brand. When creating a story, you do not need to hide your main goal, i.e. increasing product sales. If it is properly presented, it evokes specific emotions and is true, nothing will negatively affect its reception.
– Setting the message – you should think carefully about the purpose for which the company plans to use storytelling. Usually it is an incentive to buy products, but narrative marketing can also be an effective PR or branding activity. You need to know what you want to convey to your audience before you start creating your story. It should also be remembered that the story told cannot completely overwhelm the message.
– Defining the recipient – narrative marketing requires the definition of the target group. This requires an analysis of the company’s needs and goals, and then creating a customer profile (or several profiles). You should think carefully about who the people the story is supposed to reach, how old they are, what they are interested in, where they live and work, etc. This is valuable information, because on the basis of it you can choose the right language of communication, understandable and reaching the audience.
– Choosing the right medium – storytelling occurs in various communication channels. These can be blog or website texts, case studies, YouTube videos or social media posts, there are many forms to choose from. This is important because the shape of the story depends on it.
– Creating a call to action – or call to action. It is necessary to determine what the recipients should do after reading the story: buy a product, sign up for a newsletter or something else entirely? A proper call to action should be included in the storytelling, it must be understandable and as simple as possible so that it does not raise any doubts. It is, for example, “go to our website and place an order!”.
The story on which narrative marketing is based should have:
– a hero – at least one. You have to present it in such a way that the recipients can identify with it, then the story will arouse the desired emotions,
– a problem to be solved – this ensures dynamic action, the hero encounters a problem on his way that he can solve, for example, with the product offered by the company,
– ending with a call to action – the last stage of the story is a transformed fate of the hero, in this part you should encourage the audience to perform a specific action.
Storytelling makes the advertising message more attractive and interesting for the recipients. It attracts attention, arouses emotions and motivates to act, and thus to achieve the goal set by the brand that uses it. Narrative marketing can be successfully used not only by the largest enterprises, but also by small companies, including those that are just entering the market. In this case, success is primarily determined by creativity, credibility and adapting the message to the recipient. It is worth breaking the mold and looking for unusual ideas. This causes surprise and makes it easier to remember the message.