What do great books, movies and marketing campaigns have in common? A great story. With the plethora of advancing technology—including one that limits our thoughts to 140 characters or less—it’s ironic that the hottest trend in marketing might be the ancient art of storytelling. A great story can entertain, inspire, ignite and even move people to tears. In marketing, stories bring brands to life, giving them perspective, context and personality. At a time when customers are bombarded day in and day out with fragmented media and messaging, it’s critical to build meaningful connections between brands and consumers. Every company that wants to remain competitive and relevant needs to be telling its story. Like ancient storytelling, brand stories can leave an indelible mark on people that can last for years, continue to grow and deepen relationships.
Storytelling delivers more meaningful messages
Brand storytelling isn’t a new concept. With the explosive growth of social media and a renewed attention to content marketing, however, companies are focusing on strategic storytelling as a way to convey marketing initiatives to consumers. Storytelling accomplishes what other forms of marketing can’t.
- It provides an emotional connection with the audience.
- It enables brands to make the complex simple by weaving together multiple messages.
- It helps customers connect with brands on a higher level that can drive buying decisions.
Three approaches to brand storytelling
Just as there are endless variations of a story in literature or film, brand storytelling can take different formats. The three basic forms of brand storytelling are:
- Origin – stories that tell of a company’s beginnings and recount memorable moments
- Vision and values – stories that demonstrate how a business contributes to the world, makes people’s lives better, and describes what the future holds
- Customers – success stories, testimonials and the shared experiences of valued employees.
We are all storytellers, but some of us are better at it than others. Americans consume more than 10,000 digital words every day. With
thousands of messages being distributed and received via multiple platforms every day, the success of brand storytelling lies in the creation of a story that connects with customers and prospects on a deeper, more meaningful level. Those marketers who continue to focus on keywords will soon go the way of the dinosaur. Today’s content creators will have the upper hand if they have a laser-sharp understanding of the audience, construct meaningful and expressive stories and measure the results.