Marketing involves all the activities you deploy to get a prospect or a number of prospects to buy your product, and it is based on the story you tell, “no longer just the stuff you make”, says Marketing Wizard, Seth Godin.
These are critical times for a lot of businesses and brands, and gladly storytelling is a powerful strategic and tactical tool that successful brands are using to engage and connect with their audiences. According to Kimberly A. Whitler, storytelling is a fundamental human experience that unites people and drives stronger, deeper connections (www.forbes.com). Marketers leverage on storytelling to improve branding and increase conversion rates.
Storytelling, in any part of the world, is an ancient art that gets a hold of your imagination and emotions. Remember how we were raised with stories told us by our parents, to entertain; and to teach morals and culture… Well, I’m sure you agree that they made a huge impact on you and drove deeper connections, based on empathy. We identified with the major characters, and were able to connect to the stories; using our imagination to plunge in, as the protagonist at the end.
Stories are an important marketing tool because they are easily remembered, thus used for learning. In marketing, strong brands use storytelling to communicate their vision, essence, promise and benefits, thus heightening the meaning of the brand and better forming how they fit into our lives.
“People like to buy from other people – not nameless, faceless companies. That’s why brands that use stories in their marketing are more likely to form relationships with their audience. And those relationships result in greater engagement, loyalty, and sales” (Lauren Moreno in https://blog.socialmediastrategiessummit.com/10-of-the-best-brand-storytelling-campaigns/).
Gillette really nails it in their storyline campaign, based on their 30+ year old slogan, “The Best a Man Can Get”. This story got them over 33 million views in the first month of campaign break (watch the Gillette story here). The short video sparked conversation and controversy, about “how men can do better by pointing out toxic behaviour when they see one, intervening when appropriate and protecting children from bullies” (Lauren Moreno). Lauren says, “taking a stand on a social or cultural issue in a storytelling marketing campaign can pay off when you make a genuine connection to your brand, and lead with the intent to make a difference – rather than just make a buck.”
In conclusion, Joydeep Bhattacharya, in singlegrain.com lists some more primary reasons why storytelling is an absolute necessity for marketing:
- It adds a human element to your content and, thus, brand.
- Storytelling goes beyond advertising; it makes people trust your brand much more easily.
- It lets businesses engage with customers in a fragmented media world.
- Stories helps bind your content together which otherwise might seem scattered.
- Stories help share your brand vision in the most pleasant manner.
- A business with a great story is able to defeat its competitors easily.
- Stories are the most successful weapon to create brand loyalty, which means that people are much more willing to promote your product or brand by word-of-mouth marketing, which is the best way to popularize a business.
It’s still early in the year and you can make all the necessary business and marketing decisions/adjustments that will impact positively on your revenue. Plan to increase your customer loyalty by strengthening your emotional connection with them. Use a compelling storytelling campaign that will spark conversation and engender conversion.