The Weekly Marketing Roundup: 10/09/19

This Weekly Marketing Roundup: 10/09/19 we discuss Brand Storytelling as the future of marketing.marketingnews sydneydigitalmarketing digitalmarketing weeklymarketingroundup Thank you for tuning into this Weekly Marketing Roundup: 10/09/19. Here we talk about Storytelling and its best formats. Join the conversation in the comments below.

Why is Storytelling important for marketing ?

Successful businesses are built on effective stories. People love to see, read or hear stories because it creates a human connection based on empathy. Brand storytelling is the future of marketing. When data and stories are used together, they are able to move your audience both intellectually and emotionally. Story is one of the most powerful mediums to convey your message because it is remembered much longer than facts and figures, and people are more likely to be persuaded. The best stories in the world are not necessarily your own. User-generated stories are often able to inspire people much more than brand stories. The best marketers in the world leverage the power of storytelling to improve branding and conversion rates. What do stories have to do with marketing? Well, people remember stories 22x more than facts and figures alone and, thus, storytelling can boost conversion rates by a significant 30%. storytelling-conversions-b2c-The-Weekly-Marketing-Roundup Now, why is Storytelling important for marketing ? storytelling-conversions-b2c-sale-The-Weekly-Marketing-Roundup

  • It helps to build a deeper and stronger connection with the audience.
  • It adds a human element to your content and, thus, brand.
  • Storytelling goes beyond advertising; it makes people trust your brand much more easily.
  • It lets businesses engage with customers in a fragmented media world.
  • Stories helps bind your content together which otherwise might seem scattered.

What is a Storytelling?

storytelling-definition-conversions-The-Weekly-Marketing-Roundup

It is simply the art of sharing a message in the form of a story.

A good story should be:

  • Contagious
  • Easy to understand
  • Emotive
  • Believable (unless it’s a fairy tale or a Quentin Tarantino film)
  • Useful
  • Inspiring
  • Inclusive

Storytelling is an ancient art form and a valuable form of human expression…. [It] is the interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the elements and images of a story while encouraging the listener’s imagination.” (National Storytelling Network).

Science Behind Storytelling

Storytelling is known to increase the levels of Oxytocin – a hormone that promotes the feeling of love, bonding and well-being – in your body. storytelling-science-oxytocin-cortisol-neural-coupling-dopamine-The-Weekly-Marketing-Roundup Oxytocin is released by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, a pea-sized structure at the base of the brain and is stimulated when people hug, bond socially or fall in love. As a matter of fact, our brains are actually wired to connect with stories. What do marketers want from their campaigns? A strong and happy bond with their customers. And storytelling is able to build that bond for them. 92% of consumers want ads that feel like stories!

What Makes a Good Story?

Words like “good” and “bad” are relative to user opinion. But there are a few non-negotiable components that make for a great storytelling experience, for both the reader and teller. Good stories are …

  •  entertaining. Good stories keep the reader engaged and interested in what’s coming next.
  •  educational. Good stories spark curiosity and add to the reader’s knowledge bank.
  •  universal. Good stories are relatable to all readers and tap into emotions and experiences that most people undergo.
  • … organized. Good stories follow a succinct organization that helps convey the core message and helps readers absorb it.
  •  memorable. Whether through inspiration, scandal, or humor, good stories stick in the reader’s mind.

5 Principles of Storytelling. In order to implement storytelling in your marketing strategy, you need to understand the principles of storytelling. 1) Choose a Relatable Main Character You need to choose a character that makes it easy for audiences to understand your story and you need to make him or her attractive (not as in “good looking”; as in “appealing”). Your entire story must revolve around this person. People remember unique characters and therefore your protagonist must be able to give your story that extra edge in order to remain at the forefront.

2) Put the Best Elements in the Beginning of Your Story

The title of your story and a short, snappy description plays a great role in making your story attractive. For example, instead of using a title like How I Became An Entrepreneur that doesn’t connect with the audience, use a title like How I Started Earning $100,000 Per Year. The second title is much better because here you have put the best element of your story – the juicy detail: money – at the beginning. Here is an example: storytelling-title-structure-The-Weekly-Marketing-Roundup

3) Create “Conflict”

Author Cathy Yardley uses a simple formula for this called GMCD:

  • Goal – What does your point-of-view character in the scene want to achieve or attain? In other words, what is the scene’s object of desire?
  • Motivation – Why does your character want to achieve that goal and why is it important?
  • Conflict – What is standing in the way of your character’s achieving their goal?
  • Disaster – What is the result of the scene’s conflict? Yardley outlines three possible options:
    • The character doesn’t get what they want.
    • The character doesn’t get what they want and something worse happens.
    • The character does get what they want, but something else goes awry as a result.

So, you need to make your customers or niche influencers the hero of your story and when we first see them, they have an issue or a problem that they want to solve, or a desire or action they want to achieve.

4) Understand the Relationship Between Listening and Telling

Identify the obstacles to getting your audience to listen to you, such as:

  • External obstacles
  • Physical obstacles
  • Internal obstacles
  • Psychological obstacles
  • Relational obstacles

Once you’ve eliminated as many of the obstacles that you can, make sure that you are implementing #1, #2 and #3 above.

5) Keep Your Story Authentic

People love authenticity, which is the fastest way to connect with another human being. It is up to you to produce a story that is genuine and unique. As long as you stay true to your brand, it will be easy for people to react (and connect) to your story. Have a look at the below example from Patagonia, the outdoor clothing brand. Patagonia shares authentic stories from real customers called “The Stories We Wear” on their website: storytelling-story-authentic-The-Weekly-Marketing-Roundup People buy products after reading the stories associated with those products, so what is more authentic than this?

Here are 2 brilliants example of how brands use storytelling 

Dannijo (jewelry brand founded by sisters Danielle Snyder and Jodie Snyder-Morel).

Connect with Your Audience with Inspirational Videos.

The brand has grown in tremendous popularity because of the storytelling strategy they’ve used. The sisters say that authentic storytelling is key to creating a successful lifestyle brand. On their Instagram account, they share pictures of their own lives along with photos of celebrities wearing their jewelry. They also post inspirational videos by interviewing other influencers in their niche. All these efforts of user-generated content storytelling helped Dannijo acquire new customers and generate referrals from their existing customers. Key Takeaway: Remain authentic and share something inspirational with your audience. Invest time in interviewing others or being interviewed by others. Stories based on real life are some of the best in the world. Nike – Reach Out to Your Audience with a Web Series Nike has gone a step ahead in storytelling by launching an 8-episode mini web series on YouTube. The series was named Margot vs Lily in which Lily challenges Margot to make a fitness web show that gets 1,000 followers and Margot challenges Lily to find at least three real friends. Here is a preview of the first episode entitled Resolutions. Nike decided to invest in creating actual content (as opposed to ads) as a new way for them to inspire fans and persuade them to exercise and live a healthy life. As a side note, the characters in the series are seen wearing Nike products, but it is not a sales pitch. The series focuses on the emotions that are part of the personal fitness journey (frustration, dejection, lack of motivation). The result was amazing and people liked the show very much. It had a rating of 7.4 on IMDb! Key Takeaway: Think of your target audience when you are storytelling and identify the channels where they spend most of their time. Think ahead to the future: Nike created a web series back in 2016 when the trend of watching web series was slowly catching up among Millennials. It smartly capitalized on the channel by investing in master storytelling that resulted in tremendous brand success. 

Storytelling Formats

1) Mini Ads

This is a form of storytelling where advertisers create mini video ads to connect with audiences and deliver their message. The videos are about 6-10 seconds long and have the power to drive customer engagement without content overload. As people become content weary, attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Having understood this new wave of behavior, Facebook announced its intention to launch six-second ads that will allow brands and businesses to tell a condensed story to their target audience – the Mini-Ad. Jumping on this trend, YouTube recently launched its ‘Six-Second Story Challenge’. These new ads not only have the power to bring a brand’s story to life but this snappy six-second format will tap into a content overwhelmed audience which in turn, will drive engagement. “What can you say in six seconds? Most likely, more than you think. Many large brands are using bumper ads to drive upper-funnel goals like ad recall and awareness. Bumper ads are a cost-effective way to reach your target audience, ensure your message is seen and heard (with nearly all YouTube ads viewable and audible), and keep you top of mind.” (Google).

2) Data-Based Storytelling

Often, the story is automatically created just by compiling some data and presenting to users in a presentable format. Here is an example of data-based storytelling where Google shares the year’s biggest moments and the questions they inspired.

3) Long-Form Storytelling

If you are using text and images to tell your story, then you must opt for long-form stories. For video stories, short and crisp is preferred. Research by Orbit Media revealed that bloggers who create stories of more than 2,000 words reported stronger results. long-form-storytelling-conversions-The-Weekly-Marketing-Roundup Here is an example of long-form storytelling on the topic Modern Women in the Land of Genghis Khan created by BBC. It uses parallax scrolling to provide a 3D effect to the story and makes reading it fun: long-form-storytelling-The-Weekly-Marketing-Roundup

4) Personalized Storytelling

With this form of storytelling, you allow the reader to choose the story that matches his/her interest. It’s more of a personal choice than what you as a brand would offer. Have a look at this story of Policing the Schools created by NBC: The reader chooses the school district where they live and the content automatically adapts itself based on that choice. personalized-storytelling-conversions-b2c-The-Weekly-Marketing-Roundup personalized-storytelling-conversions-b2c-The-Weekly-Marketing-Roundup

5) Audio Storytelling

Stories can also be told through recorded conversations. You can create podcasts and allow your audience to listen to it. A great example of this form of storytelling is StoryCorps, an oral history project that started in 2003. With just one story booth, they  recorded interviews and preserved the recordings to be heard at a later date. The best stories in the world are not necessarily your own. User-generated stories are often able to inspire people much more than brand stories. Storytelling is an art. It’s also a process worth mastering for both your business and your customers. Stories bring people together and inspire action and response. Also, today’s consumer doesn’t decide to buy based on what you’re selling, but rather why you’re selling it. Storytelling helps you communicate that “why” in a creative, engaging way. Plus, isn’t storytelling more fun?