Turns out, we’re not the only ones. Fast Company reported that 92 percent of consumers want marketing materials that take the form of a story.
Tell a story with your marketing strategy for exponentially better results.
Consumers have strong reactions to storylines. Fast Company noted that consumers have an innate desire for personal connections when they gather any information at all. Marketers can deliver this narrative, leaving customers happy and engaged with their brand.
Storytelling is also an extremely versatile form of marketing. Businesses of all sizes can tell a story because the formula lies in creativity, not money.
Let’s take a closer look at how storytelling can benefit your business.
Engage those emotions:Tug on those heartstrings and watch your customers fall in love with your brand. Forbes contributor Steve Olenski explained that storytelling is the best way to appeal to your customers’ emotions. Your marketing efforts will travel far considering emotionally-charged materials increases memory retention. When the brain comes in contact with emotional materials it releases dopamine and thus makes the product easier to remember accurately. Take advantage of this tactic and sprinkle your marketing with some good old fashioned emotive storytelling.
Customer connections: Stories are relatable. A story told by your brand makes your business relatable. People like relatable. When consumers read a story they see little bits of themselves in the characters. The technical term for this process is called neural coupling, according to Fast Company. Consumers project their own ideas and experiences onto your content therefore creating a stronger connection with your company. In an era of brand loyalty, storytelling can be a great tool to use to your advantage.
Dazzle with your personality: Stories can also help businesses convey their brand personality. Do you take a friendly, next-door neighbor relationship with your consumers? Or are you more of a wise sage full of thought leadership and advice? Whichever direction you take, your stories can help translate that into marketable content. Be careful to align your storyline personality with your overall brand values in order to ensure consistent marketing across platforms.
Creating strong marketing stories
So you’ve got the why but what about the how? While there is no cookie-cutter approach to storytelling, there are a few basic principles to keep in mind when telling a story through a marketing platform.
1. Keep it short: Consumers are flooded with material every day. Keep your storyline short and sweet to get maximum views. No one wants to sit through a 20 minute video, so aim for the 1 to 2 minute range and get to the point. Try incorporating a strong title for your material in order to draw your customers’ attention right off the bat.
2. Show, don’t tell: Keep your story heavy on the visuals and light on the words. According to Fast Company, a brain processes images 60 times faster than text. Let the imagery do the work for you. While written stories can have an impact, in this fast-paced digital environment things like videos or an album of images may translate better across audiences.
3. Make it shareable:This sometimes has to do with the platform more than the content. However, letting your customers’ share your material is always a good move. Encourage your followers to retweet your latest video or share the Facebook link or their newsfeed. In terms of content, make sure your storyline is relevant and can reach a broad audience. Don’t get too stuck in pop culture, and remember reusable content can help your company get the most bang for your marketing buck. Try universal themes like love, friendship or comedy.
4. Stay on topic:While the idea of creating a story can be fun and interesting, make sure you don’t get lost in the excitement. The ultimate goal of this technique is to have customers connect your engaging storyline to the benefits of your offerings. Get creative but always remember to keep your end objective in sight.