“Tell a story that helps to position your brand and sell the product”. With this simple principle storytelling was born. And what was once the marketing fashion trend in television has now crossed over into digital media.
Storytelling has gathered momentum thanks to social networks, but it has also spread to other channels and forms of communication so let us introduce you to the great benefits of this form of marketing:
What is storytelling?
Storytelling could be defined as the art of telling a good story. However its strengths lie away from the usual language of marketing and many companies are eager to embrace this technique because it allows them to put forward a new side of their brand image.
The main aim behind storytelling is to connect with the customers. It seeks to generate closeness, empathy and develop connections with users whose way of consuming products has changed and are not willing to consume the way they did before. This marketing technique is looking for new ways to communicate and tell the same stories in a different way so they can highlight the product to the new consumers.
This form of marketing can be used in emailing, newsletters, landing pages, spots, banners, retargeting, SMS or social networks. Story telling can transverse all forms of marketing and social networks are the place where this way of telling stories based on experiences and short tales has increased.
Social networks have fostered a way of communicating that is based on the “I have something to tell you” principle. This way of communicating through influencers, bloggers, Instagramers and YouTubers has made it easier for storytelling to become part of every day life. Its ability to connect with the public has raised this technique to a whole new level and its potential is enormous as the ability to connect with people is far greater than with the traditional “ buy my product” message.
In a scenario where users feel saturated with marketing, finding new ways of communicating that break the usual market trend is the ideal solution.
The benefits of storytelling in your digital marketing campaigns
- Have a better connection with customers: It’s a different way of targeting users so that they pay more attention to what you are telling them.
- It will give your brand its own identity: The stories that you create will be your own; your communications will become completely personal and unique and no one else will be able to say the same. It will help you to stand out from the competition and establish your brand as a benchmark in the sector.
- Help customers to better identify your brand: They will remember what you say and how you say it. An identifiable brand is the one that has something to tell beyond its wish for you to buy their products. It is important to have a system in place that makes a difference to your brand and an element that customers can relate to. Your brand will benefit by choosing a different way of doing marketing.
- Update the brand image: Storytelling is the way of telling stories in the 21st century. It has taken over the social networks and is the go to form of marketing for young people. Using this technique will help you to update your brand image and renew the perception that users and buyers have of your company.
- It’s applicable to all media: Storytelling has the great advantage of being a form of cross-communication. It can be applied to all aspects of digital marketing media, and its potential can already be seen in landings, emails, banners and social networks alike. It’s a completely novel way of telling things and its not complicated to use, but it does need a certain amount of planning in order to avoid making any mistakes.
Common mistakes in storytelling
Storytelling is an efficient way of communicating, but it requires a lot of careful planning. It is important to develop this technique well and not fall prey to some of the common mistakes that can easily be made:
- Contradiction in the message: This phrase comes from the world of cinema. This form of marketing is powerful when both the message and the person conveying the message are on the same wavelength, any contradiction between the message and the speaker ultimately makes this technique lose its power. If a beautiful model is used to tell a happy story, yet somehow conveys sadness in their eyes it becomes a contradictory message and effectively worthless.
- Lying: Along with contradiction, lying is another of the most common mistakes made in storytelling. There is a Spanish proverb that says, “The truth will out” and its true. If your brand has a number of elements, principles or preconceived ideas, it is not good to go against them. You can try it but the users will see that you are lying. If your brand or product project an idea you should empower it and not try to sell something that is not real.
- Failure in tone: It is easy to use humour and satire in storytelling to sell; it’s a common resource that helps to break down barriers and develop a greater customer-brand connection. The tricky thing is to find the right balance in tone in order to convey the proper message. Using humour well can be very difficult to do, more so than drama, you have to be really careful nowadays that the joke that you tell sets the right tone and example for your brand.
- Force a reaction: This technique can sometimes help you to strengthen the client-brand connection but it can also be a double-edged sword. You can’t force the reaction of your clients and you can’t force the sense of urgency either. Everything should be implied in the message, if you force the reaction you can end up loosing the power of the message.
What should your storytelling strategy include?
If you want this technique to be a success then your must include these 5 essential elements:
- Brand values: You must be able to convey the principles on which your brand is built. Sharing your brand values is necessary if you want to connect with your clients, as it is important to be able to express who you are and what you offer.
- Emotion: Emotion is the key to storytelling. It seeks to build a connection with the client and stir up something inside them in order to push them to consume. You must be able to use language that plays with emotions so that your speech ends up captivating the client, grabbing their attention and encouraging them to buy the product. Its not just positive emotions like joy or happiness that can be used to sell, so too can negative emotions like pity or sadness. It depends on the brand which emotions they opt for when they want to convey their message to their customer. Just keep in mind that the emotion you choose to convey will be linked to your brand in the mind of your customers.
- The strengths of the product: the same way you empower your brand image through the positive aspects or brand values, you should be able to highlight the product or service that you offer. Emphasize the good things about buying into your brands philosophy.
- A hook: Along with emotion, your story should be articulated in such a way that it is able to engage the customer; it should captivate and grab the attention of the audience. Hooking with your stories is the main goal of storytelling. If you can ultimately do this and hold the attention of the buyers, then you will have succeeded.
Catching up with television
While there are a number of brands that use storytelling in their emailing and landing pages, it is television that has really set the stage for this technique par excellence. Brands like Ikea, Cola-Cao and Campofrío have made use of storytelling in their advertising spots to great effect.
All of these brands employ a common denominator, which is to create a story and an ad to illustrate it. The potential comes from combining everyday stories in the form of short ads, and the production quality and freshness make them stand out from the other brands that are fighting for the same advertising space.
If there is one brand that has really excelled in storytelling it is Balay, the Spanish appliances company, who have used this technique to great effect over the last few years to promote its brand. Its workers have become the face of the brand and their testimonies of building the washers, refrigerators and kitchens is the great strength of these advertising spots.
The Internet is full of tools that allow you to communicate your storytelling strategy across a number of channels and media and there are a number of options for doing Cross-channel marketing, but there is only one tool that really stands out and that’s MDirector.
MDirector is a Cross-Channel platform that allows you to unify your email, SMS, landing, networks and retargeting strategies in one tool. The advantages of this platform are that it saves companies both time and money working from a single tool.