Since the dawn civilization, human beings have used storytelling as a means of communication. We are emotional beings, feeling love, hatred, joy and envy all in a days’ time. Though we may not always love the emotions we are feeling, we are drawn to them, as they are drawn to us. It is for this reason that storytelling has woven its way into every aspect of our lives.
Stories have the magical ability to transport us, taking on a ride of emotions that mimic the experience of everyday life. Our continued interest in a well-told story is the reason for the success of the entertainment industry. We turn to comedies when we want a laugh, many times reminiscing about similar moments in our own lives.
Given its influence on the human condition, storytelling has the potential to connect brands with their target audience, resulting in powerful and long-lasting relationships.
Why Do We Need Storytelling In Marketing?
When trying to sell a product, service, or general awareness in a brand, it’s important to form connections with people that lead to action. As smart as we are, often times we don’t know what we want until it is shown to us. And even then, we consistently need it portrayed as simply as possible. Enter storytelling. For all of the reasons mentioned above, storytelling has the ability to show us exactly what we want and what we need to do to get it. Who knew driving a Toyota RAV-4 could strengthen relationships while getting you across a mountain pass? I know I didn’t, but after seeing their advertisements, I know do and kinda want one. In all seriousness though, marketing at its core is about connections. Whether connecting brands with brands, brands with people or people with people, it’s all based around the simple feeling of connection. What better means to curate connections than through storytelling, easily the oldest trick in the book. As you continue reading, think about how you can use the following storytelling tips to connect with and grow your audience.
How To Use Storytelling In Your Marketing Campaigns?
Use the Data
If you’re a seasoned marketer, you’re all too familiar with the role good data plays in the success of a marketing campaign. And while storytelling is inherently less analytical than many other methods, the best data is still required to relay the right story to the right audience. Tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar allow you to monitor exactly who spends time on your site, helping you determine who’s taking action, and who may need a little push. Data such as average age, gender, location and average income(among others) are all important metrics to know when creating relevant content for your base. Once you’ve developed an idea of who your target audience is, you can then direct the best content towards them through the use of Google and Facebook targeting. Facebook specifically offers significant targeting options, allowing your campaigns to be as broad or specific as you need. In some cases, you can even target a specific zip code! When brainstorming campaign ideas, its always important to remember that data isn’t everything. While it’s valuable for the reasons mentioned above and many more, storytelling is still an art, and requires a bit of creativity as well.
Stay True to Yourself
One of the most common misconceptions about using storytelling in marketing is that you have to concoct this perfect narrative to be effective. We’ve all seen the drug commercials showing families having the time of their lives while the narrator rambles off a laundry list of side effects. We all know that what we’re seeing is a lie, and as a result, the commercials are less effective. When planning out content for your brand, don’t stretch the truth in the hopes of landing in the good graces of your target audience. It’s transparent and doesn’t work. Instead, stay true to yourself and honestly relay why they need you or your product in their lives. Notice what I just said there.. “You or your product”. Sometimes the best way to win over customers is by selling yourself and your company instead of and specific product you sell. In an age where everyone’s hawking the latest and greatest products, stand out and use storytelling sell the relationship that comes with buying your product or using your service.
Choose the Right Medium
Much like the importance of telling the right story to the right audience, it’s imperative that you also tell the right story to the right people THE RIGHT WAY. As it stands, there’s an endless array of media platforms available to reach an audience. From Pinterest to Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn the like, the options are certainly there. And with each platform comes a slightly different audience at your disposal. Social media giants such as Instagram and Twitter are often great ways to tell stories to a younger audience. More than 50% of Instagrams users are under the age of 35, a staggering number that’s only increasing. LinkedIn on the other hand trends a bit higher in age, with a number of other key demographics that make it unique. Utilizing analytics tools as mentioned above will help you determine who you want to target, and which mediums will be the best ways to reach them.