Storytelling is one of the oldest and most powerful social activities humans can engage in. It is a fundamental part of the human experience. And storytelling is at the heart of marketing – it enables us to develop a stronger, deeper connection with our audiences. Knowing how to do this effectively can help you to create more engaging and effective campaigns.
Here are five tips to leverage storytelling in your marketing communications.
1. Understand the purpose of storytelling
Before jumping into telling your brand or product story, you need to understand the role of storytelling. In marketing, you are using it to advertise your services by making a connection with and influencing your audience. Let connection be the driving force of your campaigns and allow the more sales-focused aspect to follow as part of additional tactics in the buyer journey.
2. Consistency is key
When utilising storytelling in marketing, your visual identity, tone of voice and messaging need to be consistent across all content and channels. Consumers on average need to have seven interactions with a brand before they make a purchase. Map out what these seven interactions could look like across multiple channels and ensure the look and feel are recognisable and consistent to generate familiarity and build brand awareness and connection.
3. Know your audience
As with any marketing activity, you need to know the audience you are targeting. The story you are telling will need to be adapted based on your target personas, while also appealing to a wider potential audience. Monitor sentiment analysis and interactions to adapt your creative and communications where relevant to optimise the engagement, reach and performance of your campaigns.
4. Showcase your benefits
The core of your story should align with the benefits your customers get from the product or service you are offering, but it also needs to resonate with your audience. Look at insights from previous marketing campaigns or issues that your consumers have reported. Develop your story – settings, characters, challenges – around appealing to and addressing your audience’s pain points and passions.
5. Create a hero’s journey
Your story should show your product or service and your target customer as the heroes. The hero’s journey is a storytelling structure that is used for novels and films. Show the hero’s current situation, their obstacles and challenges, an adventure they go on where they learn lessons, and then a victory that fresh knowledge has enabled them to win – and that victory just so happens to include your products and services. This can be a big ask but, when done well, it can make a huge impression.
Strategic, customer-focused storytelling is extremely powerful in marketing. It can deliver significant brand affinity, reach, awareness and, ultimately, sales. Why not get creative and have a bit of fun while telling your brand story?