Storytelling in Marketing is Effective
If you are creating marketing on facts and figures, then you are missing a huge opportunity to engage your customers and create loyal, even raving, fans.
Storytelling is the way to go. Because the emotions attached to using stories drive consumer behaviour in a more powerful way than data.
Use stories in your non-fiction book. And use them, especially, in your book marketing.
Stories Connect With Emotion
We buy brand names because of the emotions.
We are prepared to spend more, and we remain more loyal. It’s science.
Psychology Today reported that fMRI neuro-imagery shows that it’s the emotional areas of our brain that kick in when we are evaluating brands, not the information parts.
And you can reach those emotional parts with story. The research shows that it’s stories that stimulate the brain, and that change how we respond. Our brain responds differently when we read or see an emotional exchange, or an evocative description.
Emotion drives meaning…
And the reason that stories work so well is because they embrace meaning and not just facts.
…meaning engages customers
And that meaning drives loyalty and increases our willingness to spend.
People connect to brands that communicate with them on an emotional level. It’s no surprise, then, that storytelling is a key success factor behind some powerful brands.
And it’s something that you — as a writer — can easily adapt, no matter how big or how small your campaign.
Seeing is believing
You’re not convinced? Of course you’re not because I tried to use science to convince you. You need to ‘see the story’.
Let’s have a look at some powerful storytelling — that is really marketing… (and, by the way, we are not endorsing, nor are we associated with, any of these products or services. We just thought they were good teaching examples.)
1. Vodafone’s ‘Firsts’
You just have to look at the number of views and the comments to gauge the popularity of this video.
It’s a storytelling campaign packed with emotions, engaging, motivating and exciting.
Doing things for the first time keeps the world interesting.
And even if it doesn’t buy Vodaphone any new customers, do you think it makes the existing ones more loyal?
Learning point: make your message bigger than the story. Make it meaningful. ‘Doing things for the first time…’ is fantastic — it’s a mantra we can all get behind. It’s so good you probably want to share it with your friends and family!
2. TD ‘Thanks You’
TD Canada Trust created this heart-warming video to support their ‘Thank You’ campaign. And their ‘Automated Thanking Machines’ won the hearts of people the world over.
Actions speak louder than words in this one and using customer reactions drives home that authentic human experience.
Learning point: appreciation. We all love to be appreciated. TD’s campaign shows appreciation, understanding, compassion and spirit. Your story can do that too.
3. Expedia’s ‘Find Yours’
Travel is transformative, it’s aspirational. And this user-generated content shows the power of emotional, funny and wanderlust-inducing stories.
And adding a little drama helps as well.
It wasn’t a great time to go away.
Creating that family experience against the odds. Using a little ‘us versus them’ — the little guy busy at his job but still putting family first — it’s a winner.
Learning point: Expedia had a real multi-media campaign with this one. Integrating the same stories on multiple media platforms helped them connect with different segments of their audience. And you can do this too — blog, twitter, facebook, Pinterest, and more. They have a role to play and, if you have a great story to tell, tell it in multiple formats to make sure you are not leaving out a significant portion of your target audience.
And motivate with contests. Expedia used travel-related prizes which is obviously pretty exciting! But use what you have — giveaways and contests are a wonderful way to encourage sharing and participation.
4. Red Bull’s ‘Everything’
Red Bull are not new to this game of storytelling and they’ve crafted an evolving image, based on steady values — associating their high-adrenaline drink with high-adrenaline content and stories based around action sports and the people who do these daring deeds.
Learning point: relevance and brand consistency. The product and the story are connected. There’s a consistency, a flow between the brand and the action story so that one naturally seems to relate to the other (which of course is the marketing part — drinking Red Bull doesn’t make you into a person who can free-fall 24 miles!).
And personality; don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Being original is a great way to be memorable.
Lights, camera, action
You’ve seen how effective this can be. Even if you don’t use video — your medium might be words so use them to tell a story.
It can put a completely different perspective on your marketing.