Why do we find stories so intriguing? What makes some stories better than the rest? And how do digital marketing agencies use the power of narratives to build relationships with customers?
Writers and marketers alike have been trying to demystify the magic of storytelling for decades. Some have been more successful than others. But one thing is undebatable – stories have brought people together since the dawn of civilization. They play a key role in passing down information from one generation to the next. Sure, the way we tell stories may have changed. From sharing legends around campfires to people huddled around a screen watching an interesting video, we have come a long way.
Storytelling has evolved and taken many different shapes and forms over the years. However, the idea of narratives to drive the human thought process still remains unchallenged. Clever marketers have been using narratives as a tactical tool to build lasting relationships with customers.
THE SCIENCE OF STORYTELLING
Our brain is a smart mass of neurons that are capable of logical thinking, reasoning, feeling, and imagining. The left side of the brain is analytical and is capable of complex logical processes. It is probably even questioning the facts behind what you are reading right now. The right side of the brain, on the other hand, is more creative; it is driven by the power of imagination and loves a good story. Stories trigger your creative juices and make you a part of the narrative, by secreting endorphins that make you enjoy the experience. Cortisol keeps you attentive, dopamine keeps you happy, and oxytocin helps you empathize with the story.
This beautiful chemistry inside your brain is activated every time you see an advertisement of a motivated athlete or a happy individual dancing in hip jeans, helping you connect with the brand; this is what a smart digital marketing agency leverages to connect with customers.
THE INGREDIENTS OF A GOOD BRAND STORY
A good story is one that is memorable which leaves a lasting impact on the readers. Stories can be written by anyone, but like an exquisite dish with a recipe, a good outline is required to cook up a good story. If you are looking to write good content for a brand, here are some guidelines followed by the best brands to spice up their storytelling content strategy.
1. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
While this may seem like an obvious statement, many brands fall short of truly understanding their audience, missing out on their brand messaging. Gather as much information and insights as you can on your target audience. You can better align your goals by strategically funnelling the research on your audience based on the demographics and personality types. You can design a campaign specifically for the youth between the age of 18-28 or maybe even specific to the women in that age group. Digital tools have enabled us with an array of resources we can leverage to identify what customers like and dislike.
Knowing your audience persona will help you empathize with them and their needs. This provides an opportunity to narrate honest and transparent content that resonates with their sentiments – building customer confidence in your brand.
2. COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
With numerous companies competing in the online market, there is a rising need for fresh content that differentiates a brand from the crowd. Competitive analysis lets you understand and analyze what others in the industry are doing. It provides you with an opportunity to deliver better products and services. Running a competitor analysis lets you find lapses in communication which you can better fullfill?
By running a thorough and well-researched analysis, you can gather more insights for your content marketing strategy to develop unique narratives that cater to the needs of your audience better – to deliver something new and exciting.
3. PERSONALISE YOUR BRAND MESSAGING
Once you have established user personas for your brand, you will need to communicate your brand’s products and services. Establish a brand personality and a voice that resonates with your audience. Set the tone, you can choose to be friendly like KFC and keep your audience entertained with humorous creative posts or motivational and inspirational like Nike’s “Just Do It” motto.
Emotionally connect with the audience is more likely to bring in loyal customers. Emotional connect in your storytelling is key to building strong relationships with the customer as it is perceived to be more trustworthy and secure – boosting customer loyalty to the brand.
CREATING A VALUE DRIVEN STORY
Creating a story is easy. The challenge brand’s face is how to create stories that provide the reader with something new and exciting. Like all good fables, stories must have a good message the audience can take away. Here are some ways you can add more value to your brand’s storytelling strategy:
• Data-driven storytelling: While emotions are essential building bonds with the client, facts and figures from reliable sources provide valuable insights and play a key role in customer decisions.
• Educational storytelling: It is always interesting to learn something new. Keep your audience informed by providing them with the information they are not aware of.
• Customer-led storytelling: Customers are more likely to consider buying your product after seeing the results of other consumers. In a social media dominated era, customer testimonials provide stronger trust in a brand’s deliverables.
• Visual storytelling: Visual mediums are unparalleled when it comes to delivering meaningful stories. Make the user a part of the story with images, videos, and modern interactive technologies. The world is headed towards AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality); leverage these technologies to create extraordinary customer experiences.
A STORY TO REMEMBER/LONG STORY SHORT
We have seen how stories have a powerful influence on the decision-making process. Understanding the audience is a key to creating content that matters to them. With a well-developed story, a brand can easily sway customers off their feet by tapping into their emotions – fostering strong relationships. A good digital marketing agency taps into the customer’s power of imagination to create captivating content. With a good story, a brand can empower customers, to be perceived as an enabler in helping them see their potential, leaving a stronger emotional impact – building a legacy of loyal customers.