Once Upon a Brand: The Power of Storytelling in Marketing

medieval man uses scroll for storyteller marketing

Is storyteller marketing really the key to exciting and engaging an audience?

From the mouth of American author and expert business executive, Seth Godin, himself – “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories you tell.”

Storytelling has played a major role in human communication since the beginning of time. We use stories to share ideas, connect with strangers, and create meaning in our lives. It’s no surprise that storyteller marketing has become an essential tool for marketers who want to build meaningful relationships with their audience members.

Not convinced? A recent survey shows that 92% of consumers want brands to make ads that feel like a story. And according to Edelman, 63% of consumers said they remembered a brand story when making a purchase decision.

Storyteller marketing isn’t just about pushing a product or service. It’s about crafting a story around your brand that grabs your customers, stirs up their feelings, and gets them to take action.

But it’s even more than that. It’s about making an experience they won’t forget, one that hits home with your audience and builds connections that go way deeper.

graphic shows how storytelling works in brand marketing

Image Source: Smartsheet

Let’s take a closer look at why storytelling is so important and how you can elevate your brand with tips for great storyteller marketing.

Quick Takeaways

  • Be relatable. Facts and figures are the proof to the story, not the story itself
  • Tell engaging, emotionally relatable stories makes your brand more memorable
  • 65% of people feel an emotional connection to a brand after hearing their story
  • Trust is essential and is built through authenticity and continuity. It’s not what you say, but the actions that back what you say

Storyteller marketing has the power to make your brand more relatable, create an emotional connection, and get your audience to act.

Storyteller Marketing Makes Your Brand More Relatable

Oftentimes, marketers throw facts, figures, features, and brand attributes at their target audience, trying to appeal to a customer’s rational side. While these elements can be important, they can also overwhelm the consumer.

What’s more effective is creating stories and a relatable connection with your audience. People connect with stories because they provide context, emotion, and empathy. It humanizes your brand. Learning how to tell a brand story is possibly one of the most important skills marketers can have today.

For example, think about the success of Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign. By putting customers’ names on their products, Coca-Cola created a personal connection with its audience and made its brand more relatable.

Video Source: Talia Feldman

The campaign was a huge success, with more than 150 million personalized bottles sold. And, in the United States, the campaign was credited with increasing sales by more than 2%, reversing more than 10 years of decline in Coke consumption.

Our brains are hardwired to accept information when told engagingly, rather than spewing cold, hard facts.

According to Fast Company, “When reading straight data, only the language parts of our brains work to decode the meaning. But when we read a story, not only do the language parts of our brains light up, but any other part of the brain that we would use if we were actually experiencing what we’re reading about becomes activated as well.”

Bottom line: Consumers don’t want to be sold or overwhelmed by facts about your brand – they want a true, meaningful connection.

Storyteller Marketing Evokes Emotion

Brand powerhouses like Google, Nike, Apple, and Coca-Cola share something in common – they all rely on emotional advertising to strengthen their brand presence.

Emotion is a powerful motivator in storyteller marketing. When you effectively tap into your customer’s emotions, you can inspire them to take action. Successful storytelling can elicit positive emotions about your brand because it allows you to create a narrative that resonates with your audience.

Nike, arguably one of the best storytelling brands, elicits emotions in almost every ad campaign. For example, Nike’s “You Can’t Stop Us” campaign, which features a split-screen video of athletes from different sports and backgrounds, highlights the similarities between athletes and how they all face similar challenges and struggles.

Video Source: Marketing The Rainbow

Another Nike ad campaign called “What are girls made of?” encourages people to chase their dreams and become the best versions of themselves.

Overall, Nike’s storytelling is centered around pushing boundaries, overcoming obstacles, and achieving success, resulting in creating a brand that inspires and motivates its customers on a deeper level.

Bottom line: Evoking emotion, whether positively or negatively, can create deep connections with your audience and make you more memorable.

Storyteller Marketing Builds Trust

Authenticity and trust are essential components in marketing. When customers trust your brand, they’re more likely to do business with you and recommend your products or services to others, and it can build brand loyalty over time.

Patagonia is a great example of a brand that successfully uses storytelling. They have clearly defined their brand’s mission, values, and expertise, which is clearly communicated through their showcase and commitment to environmental sustainability and ethical business practices.

Video Source: Patagonia

As a result, Patagonia has built a loyal following of customers who trust its brand and support its mission.

The key to building trust with your target audience is ensuring the message is authentic. Your brand story should be true to who you are as a brand, not fabricated or exaggerated. Transparency and authenticity show that the brand is honest and open about its operations, which can help customers feel more confident in their relationship with the brand.

Bottom line: Successful storytelling can help you build trust with your target audience as consumers relate to the brand’s value and mission.

Storyteller Marketing Delivers ROI

Because storytelling taps into the power of human emotion, it makes your brand more relatable and trustworthy. We buy from brands we know, like and trust. And so, brand storytelling delivers better ROI.

Stories make your customers the heroes and not your product. Your customers love seeing themselves as heroes. This makes them much more likely to buy from you than from brands that shamelessly promote themselves.

9 Tips for Great Storyteller Marketing

A recent study shows that 65% of people feel an emotional connection to a brand after hearing their story. Here are five things to consider when trying to craft your own engaging brand story:

graphic shows important elements of storyteller marketing

Image Source: Unspun

1. Create a strong narrative

If you’re unsure where to begin, try starting with the basics of brand building. Identify your brand story by defining who your brand is, what it stands for, and why it exists. The story you craft should be authentic, compelling, and easy to understand.

2. Know your audience

This is marketing 101. You’ve got to know who you’re talking to.

What do they like? What are their pain points? The better you know your audience, the better your stories will resonate.

3. View your consumers as the heroes

So often, marketers try to make their brand their hero, but this can come across as too sales-y, and we know that consumers don’t want to be sold.

Put your consumers and the problems they need to have solved at the center of your narrative, then define their challenges and motivations. This will help you craft a compelling story that resonates with your target audience.

4. Be authentic

Nobody likes a phony. Be real, be you.

Authenticity creates trust and people love brands they can trust. Share your brand’s journey, its ups and downs, and its victories. Authenticity is about being human and relatable.

5. Make it emotional

The best stories tug at the heartstrings.

Remember, if you can make your audience feel something, they’re more likely to remember your brand.

graphic shows that brand stories can be 22x more memorable 

Image Source: StorySoft

Tap into emotions like happiness, excitement, or even nostalgia to create a strong connection with your audience.

6. Clearly define your marketing channels

To be effective, your brand story needs to be communicated across multiple channels. While some channels may be better suited for long-form content, like websites and videos, short-form content is better suited for social media platforms, email marketing, and advertising.

7. Consistency is key

To reinforce your brand story, keep the message consistent across all channels and touch points. Not only will this create a unified brand message, but it will help build brand recognition.

8. Make it visual

A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Consumers love a strong visual. Pull them into your story using engaging and compelling creativity to support your overall narrative and reinforce your message.

9. Show, don’t tell

This is a golden rule in storytelling. Don’t just tell your audience about your brand’s values or mission – show them through stories. Use real-life examples, case studies, and testimonials to illustrate your points.

Perfect Storyteller Marketing Today

When storytelling is done right and authentic stories are shared across multiple channels, it can be an effective tool for building long-term relationships with your audience.

By making your brand more relatable, evoking emotion, creating a memorable experience, and building trust, you can use storytelling to create a powerful narrative that resonates with your audience and inspires action.

Looking for more examples of amazing brand storytelling? Check out 6 Examples of Genius Brand Storytelling You Have to See.

Want to learn more ways to build trust with your audience? The first step is creating high quality content consistently. Get started today by checking out our weekly blog content service, or schedule a free consultation now to learn more!

The post Once Upon a Brand: The Power of Storytelling in Marketing appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

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