By Sadeah Haroon Qazi Digital Marketing Specialist at Smart IS International
Storytelling is an ancient medium for transferring knowledge. Most stories we heard when we were young were passed down from our grandparents to parents; from one generation to the next. It is a powerful communication tool that has been used to communicate valuable life lessons. Before people learned how to write, they would tell each other stories. They are much easier to remember than simple facts in an enjoyable manner as they stimulate your imagination.
Now you must be thinking what storytelling has to do with marketing? Well, this article will give you an interesting insight into how an age-old tradition can be used as a modern-day tool for a successful business.
STORYTELLING AS A MARKETING STRATEGY
During pre-COVID times businesses were using a mix of multiple mediums and platforms to advertise and market their products and services, from print to tele-ads, guerilla marketing, hoardings, and digital platforms. While due to CoVid, both big and small businesses were all left with only digital platforms to advertise, share, and inform through, it limited their interactions with consumers and customers through just one medium. As human face to face interactions also became limited, the dependence on digital increased, it changed the tone and the way we all communicate with one another.
Big Businesses took this as an opportunity to explore how communication through digital platforms can be made as human as possible. Not that storytelling was not used for marketing before, however, these challenging times definitely increased the need for it more than ever before.
Product commercials today are no longer about product features, but in fact, it’s more about the consumer experience. If you can put a story that is capable of evoking emotions in your viewers, they will never forget the experience! It can bridge the gap between the consumer and the producer while keeping in mind that it’s important to be real. The human element in the story is what makes it worthwhile for the audience. These audiences may love superheroes, but they also want to see their vulnerability as a validation of their choices. So, keep in mind to create stories that are easy to relate to and transform human weakness to encourage strength. Such as, recent videos and stories of random acts of kindness that are flooding social media platforms.
IDENTIFYING STORIES TO TELL
Like we discussed earlier, stories must be personal. Think about how your brand was born, what inspired you to create the company, and what your personal mission is. But most of all think about what the needs of the ‘audience’ were when doing so. The story must be captivating and factual. While it is important to tell your own story, client stories have the largest long-term impact on brands. Keep the customer as the main character, with your company serving as the supporting character that offers tools to help them create successful resolutions. Rather than a testimonial that is just a few sentences long and forgettable, instead, a story that delves into a customer’s personal life and challenges documents the lengths an employee goes to solve the problem and demonstrates the positive outcome achieved will stick with readers long after they move on from your marketing materials.
Even though we’ve got more tech at our disposal than ever before, the power of a simple story holds firm. However, you choose to tell stories, as long as, you tell a good tale – with compelling characters, an interesting plot, and plenty of emotion, you’ll keep your audience captivated. Storytelling marketing not only opens a world of creativity for marketers, but it also allows brands to communicate key messaging in a way that needs no explaining.