Just how important is storytelling in marketing?
One of the key elements of a content marketing strategy is storytelling. A powerful component of a brand’s toolkit, storytelling in marketing can be used to effectively capture potential consumers at the perfect moment within the buying journey.
Regardless of age, people respond to tales and anecdotes. At this time of year, there is no better example than that of the celebrated Christmas advert. Big names such as John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer’s spend huge budgets on telling a story to their customers about the magic of Christmas and how this can be entwined with their products.
As soon as November swings around, the general public waits in anticipation for the much-loved Christmas commercials, which are often remembered long after their initial release. An example is Coca Cola’s “Holidays are Coming” advert; a timeless classic which due to its ongoing success, doesn’t alter much year on year.
Providing customers with a narrative, rather than a sales pitch humanises a brand; it provides something for the consumer to relate to, evoking emotions and breathing life into a product or service.
Customer loyalty has been known to skyrocket due to storytelling in marketing. One brand that knows how to tell a story is Guinness. How does a local brand, from a tiny country in Europe resonate with so many people around the world?
Sixteen years on, one of the company’s most famous ads, The Surfer is still remembered by many, as a stunning depiction of relationships, triumph and emotion.
For Guinness, commercials promote a sense of community, making it a people’s brand that continues to grow from strength to strength. The company is selling a brand with a specific set of values rather than just a drink you might buy at your local. It’s much, much bigger than that.
So how can a small business harness the benefits of storytelling?
The most common missing ingredient among small businesses in their sales messages is a good story. A business should try to show, not tell. Instead of boring your prospective customers with information about yourself and your business, try using stories and testimonials about your customers to convey expertise, relevance and values.
Additionally, what problems can you solve? Getting inside the mind of your customers is the most important thing; it’s all about listening, identifying pain points and knowing how to let your customers understand that your products/ services could resolve some of their problems.
Set yourself apart from competitors by talking about your customers… not solely about yourself. Fitness entrepreneur, Kayla Itsines transformed her tiny business idea into a very successful multi-million-pound venture through placing her customers at the centre of her brand. Kayla has managed to cultivate a huge social media following through showcasing the hard work and determination of her brand evangelists, which has, in turn, lead to increased recommendations, referrals and positive brand sentiment.
Giving your products and services an identity and sharing their story takes your target audience on a journey with your brand. A journey that consumers will buy into, forming emotional connections with your brand and leaving them thirsty for story number two. How an individual feels about your brand typically determines whether or not they will buy your product.
Stories must be authentic, creative and inspirational. Quality products are obviously essential, but the success of many businesses is linked to emotion. A strong story brings your business to life in a way that a consumer can believe in. The marketer that can paint a vivid picture for a customer is well on their way to establishing long-term customer loyalty.
If you need help with storytelling and bringing your content marketing strategy to life, get in touch.
Storytelling in marketing