Most marketers have begun shifting away from data heavy advertising messages to focus instead on storytelling to form a lasting and intimate bond with consumers and create an emotional link. Using online video as a storytelling medium is an incredible opportunity we can all take advantage of.
The reason is simple. When it comes to decision making, most consumers are influenced more by their emotional responses to video marketing, rather than the cold logic and facts presented in those videos. While the rational part of our brain seeks out convincing arguments when making a purchasing decision, the evocation of emotions through storytelling and narrative, reaches out to something far deeper in us. As a result, savvy marketers are using stories to build genuine relationships between consumers and brands that are both long lasting and loyal. To any company, this is gold dust.
From the beginning of time humans have always loved a good story. Stories have the power to create powerful emotions. They inspire us, make us laugh and cry and motivate us to change.
They are able to connect, to entertain, to engage and to delight. Unlike unsophisticated advertising pitches, a good story has the ability to both arrest and hold our attentions. It’s why so many companies are attempting to become publishers of narrative content as well.
For the marketer, powerful stories are the opportunity to cultivate a very personal and emotional relationship between a company and the consumer. Research has shown that a positive emotional connection with a brand is one of the greatest influencers on customer loyalty, and the emotion of ‘likeability’ is the greatest predictor of an advertisement’s success. The difficult part is discovering what makes a good story, and how to tell it.
Here are some suggestions to help you integrate storytelling into your marketing strategies.
#1 Know your Target Audience
If you don’t possess a deep knowledge of your audience then you won’t know what kind of stories will most appeal to them. What inspires them, what are their passions, how do they want to be seen in the world? Once you know your audience, you will be capable of crafting the types of emotional stories that truly appeal to them.
#2 Make it Shareable Across Platforms
A story doesn’t have to be lengthy to be influential. Sometimes two words attached to an image are all you need to create an impact, but the story does have to be shareable. Whether words, photos, video, or a combination, make sure your story can be told over and over using a wide array of social mediums.
#3 The Story needs to be Credible
Listing dull statistics doesn’t go far towards creating an emotional bond with an audience, but when you integrate real facts and figures into a passionate story then the potential is there to create a credible story. It affects the audience on both an emotional and intellectual level by entangling the mind in an affair of the heart.
Whether the stories you use are of employees, customers, or recent events, the general public should be able to relate and share in them. Struggle and triumph are two potent topics that resonate with every audience. The more relatable the story the stronger the connection between your brand and their reality and the more likely they are to respond.
#5 Include your Call-to-Action
The most emotional appealing story in the world won’t do your campaign much good if you fail to include a call to action (CTA). So engage your audience emotionally initially, but don’t forget to squeeze in an impactful call to action before concluding your story with an emotional link to your brand.
Marketing is no longer about merely selling a product, but about creating a long lasting relationship through an emotional experience. Consumers will forget facts and figures as quickly as you can spout them, but they will remember your brand if you can evoke laughter, pride, excitement, or even sadness or fright. The emotional direction you take is entirely dependent on your brand and message, but if you can emotionally ‘connect’ with your audience through a captivating story, then you are well on your way to marketing success.
About the Author: Jon Mowat is the MD and founder of British video production company, Hurricane Media. Check out their award winning videos on YouTube or download their new whitepaper, on how to stand out in the content soup.