How To Tell A Story in Digital Marketing
Everyday people wake up around the world, bleary eyed and reaching for their phones. As they scroll through their feeds, they’re bombarded with advertisements from every direction.
It’s almost impossible to use the internet without being sold something. Whether it’s hard sell ads you click away from within seconds, or more subtle product placement shots in instagram stories.
Today’s consumers are worn out from the overwhelming force of marketing that assaults our senses each day.
Traditional forms of marketing and advertising certainly still have a time and a place, but with the increasing atmosphere of distrust towards lifeless corporations, and a shift in the way younger generations choose who to buy from, innovation is needed to thrive in the current market.
That’s where storytelling in digital marketing enters the picture. You’ve probably heard of brand storytelling at this point, but telling a story in your marketing goes beyond just your branding campaigns.
Stories for many people are a form of escapism, an outstretched hand urging them to run away from the pressures and struggles of adult life in the current world, and escape into a world that’s a lot more magical and carefree.
Many people are desperate for this escape.
When you tell a story in your marketing campaigns, you’re no longer just selling a product or service, you’re selling something deeper. You’re selling the picture you have painted for them, whatever that may be.
We all have stories that have touched our hearts, brought us laughter in tough times and given us the strength to continue on; whether it’s a beloved children’s book, read to us from the comfort of our parents’ arms, or a favourite movie that we’ve seen so many times we can recite it word for word.
Harnessing the power of storytelling in your marketing campaigns is going to help you stand out from all the other ads that people are seeing day after day.
It’s going to help you build true connections with your audience.
Here are some tips to telling a story in your digital marketing.
Create something unique
As the years go on, our attention spans have been dwindling. Books are shorter, movies with less dialogue and more action dominate the cinemas, and people enjoy watching shorter form videos online.
You have mere seconds of your customers’ attention to grip them, and make them stay.
You need an idea so unique, so interesting, it’s as if you’ve zip tied them to a chair and they can’t look away.
So many ads are copy and paste, nearly the exact same thing as their competitors. People just ignore, skip or click away from these.
To combat this dwindling attention span, we can use storytelling. An effective story will make your target audience pay attention. They’ll be drawn in and compelled to keep listening, and you’ll have a better chance at getting them to do what you need, whether that’s going to your website or following your page.
Personify Your Brand
Brand stories have been growing increasingly popular, as consumers become weary of unethical corporations. Being able to strongly communicate your mission statement and your values will help you customers understand and connect with you.
Many companies are now personifying their brand with a person, or some form of character, such as the owl from Duolingo.
With a great story surrounding your brand ‘person’ or ‘character’, you can connect with people, without it feeling super cold and corporate.
Many brands are now using this technique with varying levels of success.
If you miss the mark, it can have a negative impact on how people view your brand. However, if you do your job properly, you can boost your brand visibility and build positive relationships with your customers.
People may laugh at the Duo owl, but when it comes to where they will go to learn a language, Duolingo will be at the top of their mind.
If you think about all the ADs that have stuck in your memory, they are probably full of storytelling techniques.
There is also an increasing trend for customers to shop with brands that match their personal morals and ethics.
Personifying your brand can also help you narrow down your target audience, and advertise with techniques that they can relate to. If your customer base is all women in your 20’s who love astrology, you may not want to personify yourself as an elderly man who hates star signs.
Use emotion to your advantage
You want your audience to connect to your content marketing on a personal level. Use emotion to your advantage. If you tell a story that makes them laugh, tugs on their heart strings or even makes them angry, you are more likely to garner a response.
Humans are very emotional creatures, and rigid and corporate language won’t always land well in your marketing strategies.
Whereas using more evocative language, you can grab their attention.
People might not be interested in listening to you talk about accounting or insurance, but if you can explain it to them through a story, and evoke emotions within them, they are more likely to understand your product and it’s value in their life.
Emotions can play a big role in a consumers’ purchasing decision. If you build an emotional connection with your customers, you will be increasing the chance of them spending their money with you again in the future.
Target customers pain points
Digital stories in your marketing efforts are all about addressing your customers’ pain points.
What problem is your product or service solving?
If you can effectively communicate how your product will improve their life, you are one step ahead in the sales process.
Influencer marketing is a great way to get your product seen by more of your target audience, and show your services as desirable and relevant.
If they already have a connection with this influencer, and then the influencer uses your products, they will be more likely to want to buy your product. Customers are more likely to trust what someone else is saying about your product, over what you are saying.
Show, don’t tell
If you’ve taken any kind of creative writing class in your life, these words may make you roll your eyes and scoff, because you’ve heard it time and time again.
The reason so many people parrot this phrase is because for the most part, it’s true. It’s a very simple and straight to the point way of saying you need to prove to people what you are saying, not just state it.
You need to show them that you are everything you claim to be, not just tell them you are.
Rather than trying to hard sell your product or services to your potential customers, you can use storytelling to paint the picture of what their life could be like with your products.
Storytelling is a great way to show your customers how their life will be different if they buy from your business.
Storytelling in digital marketing isn’t going anywhere any time soon, so the sooner you join in, the better it will be for your business.
If you want to begin your journey into the world of digital storytelling, start here.