In marketing, there are a few emotions that marketers try to invoke, in order to increase sales and revenue. Perhaps you’ve tried to get your audience to feel a sense of urgency, or maybe a sense of shock. If you manage to hit the right notes, your limited time offer or surprising new product should start to get some traction, and your sales numbers should go up. However, these are likely to be one-time sales. The emotions you’ve invoked will only relate to a particular product or service, and won’t do much to increase brand loyalty.
This is where storytelling comes in. This method of marketing helps to build trust, as it speaks to people on a deeper level. Rather than your audience simply thinking of your business as an organisation offering certain products, they should feel like they’re a part of your brand’s wider community. Essentially, storytelling can humanise your brand, as well as simplify complex concepts.
If you’ve not tried using storytelling in your marketing efforts before, we’ve explored a few of the main advantages below:
Generally speaking, people won’t resonate with a faceless corporation, and need something to relate to. Storytelling can offer this, humanising your brand and allowing you to show your audience your personality. Try to talk about individuals within the company, rather than the business as a whole, and let your audience get to know what your brand is about. Who is your team made up of? What are your values and aspirations? By offering these insights into the company, people are more likely to connect with your brand and return to it in the future.
By creating a narrative, you’re also moving away from a completely sales oriented approach. People don’t always want to be faced with ‘buy now’ messages, or be bombarded with calls to action. Using storytelling and humour can make your sales pitch feel more like a conversation, rather than an advertisement.
Another benefit of using storytelling in your content is that you can pull on emotions other than shock or urgency. You can delve into deeper topics and create a meaningful emotional connection with your audience. If you’re weaving a story, instead of sending out a few throw away lines, you have the chance to really engage your audience.
The best thing to do when it comes to speaking to people on an emotional level is to consider your target demographic. What topics or values appeal to them, which also align with your own values? Once you’ve answered these questions, you can consider what sort of content you can create that will speak to your audience and make a lasting impression.
We all know that it’s much better to retain customers than it is to constantly market to new ones. So it’s important to inspire loyalty in terms of your brand, which can easily be done through storytelling. People are more likely to return to your brand again and again if they feel like you’re speaking to them directly, appealing to their likes and interests.
Lots of businesses use their blogs to speak to their customers about such topics. Here, you can carefully curate posts which appeal to your audience and will hopefully make their lives a little easier. ‘How to’ guides and informative content through storytelling will hopefully make your audience feel seen and heard, inspiring loyalty and repeat business.
Inspiring loyalty within your customer base can actually lead to your audience growing. Loyal customers will often become brand advocates, telling others about what your business has to offer, as they feel connected to it and believe in your product or service. But storytelling can take this even further – by creating engaging content that’s easy to share, you’re bound to get a lot more referrals coming your way.
The content you create for shareability doesn’t have to be too long – in fact, many people will lose interest if there is too much content! You instead need to concentrate on making it speak to your audience, and ensure that it’s easy to share. Include a link at the bottom of the post, or encourage people to share the post with their friends on social media.
There’s a reason novels, TV series and films are so popular – we love a good story. And we’re happy to invest time into any stories that interest us and that we can relate to. Using storytelling in your marketing can make your content more exciting and innovative, even if there aren’t really any new tales to be told.
Using classic tales can actually be a good tactic. It can be comforting to be retold a story you already know the ending to, as you know there won’t be any nasty surprises. And by basing your content on a familiar format, you can more easily break down complex information, weaving it into a classic story or fairy tale.
When it comes to incorporating storytelling into your narrative, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The first is that you need to get to know your audience. If you’re just making assumptions as to what appeals to them, you probably won’t get very far. Research the relevant demographics, and make sure that the content you create is personal and relatable.
The second thing to remember is that you can’t stray from your brand. Your brand will have a personality of its own, with a voice that could be playful, informative, quirky or humorous. Make sure that this comes across in your storytelling. It’s also important to be authentic – don’t write about something your business doesn’t really believe in, even if it might appeal to your audience. You’ll probably get caught out, and your audience won’t appreciate being pandered to.
Finally, try to evoke emotion through your stories. Show your own emotion, as consumers enjoy having something to relate to, and know they’re not alone. Showing a strong emotional connection to particular causes will not only make you feel good about sharing a positive message, it will also encourage others to support the same cause and invest in your brand.