Make Marketing Your Business Blockbuster with Strong Storytelling

December 14, 2015 Merrie Beth Salazar

4 Ways to Engage Consumers with a Compelling Brand Story

Once upon a time...we created company-centric marketing materials that called out why customers should want your product or service. Even then, companies that could tell a great story and spark their customers’ imaginations were often the most successful.

Consumers’ emotional responses to advertising are far more influential than an ad’s content in determining their reported intention to buy a product, research says – as much as three times as important in TV commercials and twice as important in print advertising1.  What does this mean? Tell your story in a way that’s relatable and emotional.

Today’s consumers invest much less time in content that doesn’t engage them. We’re all busier, and there are exponentially more messages competing for our limited attention spans. Of course, television has always served businesses well (and continues to do so) when it comes to telling a compelling brand story. But social media and content marketing outlets offer new vehicles for getting your message out – and they demand your ability to tell a good story every bit as much as television does. Here are four tips for engaging customers with your brand story:

 

1. Be Honest.

Every story you tell in your marketing must stick to the truth. Consumers embrace authenticity, and they’ll flock to a brand that sticks to its promises. So your story should be rooted in fact, but sold with a personality that’s compatible with your brand’s voice. A party planning service should infuse everything with a sense of fun, while an accounting firm must maintain an image of authority and professionalism with every word.

 

2. Be a Hero.

You can’t throw a rock these days without hitting a marketer touting the importance of “customer-centric” advertising, and for good reason. Tell a story that customers want to hear, not the one you think they need to hear. Force-feeding your customers information simply doesn’t work. When you’re creating your marketing materials, design them to answer the most pressing questions you get from customers.

 

3. Be Everywhere.

Gone are the days when you printed thousands of business cards and glossy brochures and called it an advertising program. Your customers have favorite ways of searching for and digesting information, and you need to be there in the formats they prefer. Be prepared to tell your brand story in online video formats, infographics and TV commercials, as well as the social media sites where your customers gather their shopping intelligence – from Twitter and Facebook to Instagram and Vine.

 

4. Be Visual.

A picture is worth 1,000 words. A video is worth 10,000 words (or more). Fewer customers are willing to invest the time it takes to read a lengthy white paper or print ad to get the information they’re after. Break up text-heavy layouts with engaging images and video content to help you tell your story.

 

Every good story has a beginning, a middle and an end. If you need help getting started with your own brand’s story, we can help. Download our Marketing Health Check assessment for some great examples of brand storytelling, or click here to contact us for more information.

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/media-network-blog/2014/aug/28/science-storytelling-digital-marketing

About the Author

Merrie Beth Salazar

Merrie Beth Salazar is a marketing professional experienced in leading teams and projects to measurable success. With a background in research and storytelling, she looks for the untold insights behind marketing campaigns and brings them to life.

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