Is Storytelling Effective for Marketing?
Marketing is not just about sales copy, product descriptions, and calls to action that make a consumer click on something. A successful marketing campaign doesn’t just sell the product. Instead, a successful marketing campaign will give the customer something strong to associate the product with. Emotion sells, and being able to trigger the right emotion in a customer’s mind with effective storytelling is a powerful thing for any brand or business that wants to be heard.
Is Storytelling Effective for Marketing?
The most successful marketing campaigns of all time are things we remember because there is an emotional connection to the stories they tell. Ask yourself which advertisements or marketing campaigns you remember from your childhood or younger days. What was the product, and what was the story/brand message?
Coca-Cola pulled off a marketing campaign so effective that they brought Coke, Christmas, and the character of Santa Claus with great storytelling to form a bond that still holds today.
Here’s what to know about the use of storytelling in marketing, and how to use the power of storytelling in marketing to sell.
SEO Isn’t Enough
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a common copywriting technique that lets search engines such as Google see more of your business, brand, or keyword. However, don’t forget that the base of any marketing campaign is still selling products to humans.
Sure, you’ve got the wonder of SEO to convince a search engine, but what have you done to sell the product to your real-life customer?
Storytelling offers a way to connect with potential clients, create specific associations with your product, and trigger the right emotions in your target audience.
While your customers might forget a simple ad, they won’t easily forget a great story.
Ancient Myths & Fables
Storytelling strategies work because they create associations and emotions in the mind of the customer.
Are you scared of clowns for no reason, or are you scared of clowns because you read or saw Stephen King’s IT?
Ancient myths and fables can tell us exactly why stories are so effective. We had storytelling before we had marketing or anything to sell.
When trade took off in later time periods, items came from far and wide. It wasn’t uncommon to trade fabric or dye or spices that had crossed oceans. During this time, they weren’t just selling items, they were selling stories and products together.
Is it really a surprise that modern marketing can use the addition of a good story?
The Storytelling Ad
Brand storytelling sells, and it sells better than straight advertising thanks to personal connections and emotions.
Great stories make people talk. When they ask, “Have you seen this ad?” it also asks if they’ve seen the product. Nowhere does it become pure marketing or sales talk, making it more effective.
Storytelling ads make people feel like they aren’t being advertised to. People who would normally be opposed to direct forms of advertising can be reached through a good story behind the product.
There’s one more thing: storytelling ads stick.
Can you remember an ad that told a story, and can you recall what the associated product was?
Almost everyone has a nostalgic ad (or two) from their young days. Almost surely, the story the ad helped to tell is part of the reason why it worked in the first place.
Tell the Story
Storytelling in marketing isn’t guaranteed to work for every potential customer. However, statistics show storytelling is more likely to work on customers than plain, keyword-driven ads.
A plain ad can make someone disregard a product, while storytelling speaks to a different part of the brain that wants to find out how a story is concluded. Once we spot a story, our minds can’t help it, and we’re absorbed.
We all know soap operas aren’t the best scripted. Nonetheless, people continue to watch them today to chase the storylines and characters.
BUY THIS doesn’t trigger emotion in the same way that a story would. Instead, BUY THIS (BECAUSE YOUR GRANDMOTHER DOES) is better.
Find a story to tell that goes with your product. Always consider your target market, and who you are advertising your product to.
Creating Your Story
It’s a fair assumption to say that not every business owner or CEO is a storyteller – and you don’t have to be in order to find a good story that can sell your product. This is where every company can use a good marketing team.
Approach a reputable advertising agency to help you come up with a story that will strike it right with your relevant market. Look at their samples, and see what they have done for other companies (compared to what they can do for you).
If you have any ideas of your own, be sure to make your voice heard during the initial meetings. Copy agencies almost always appreciate input, and you can make their job a lot easier if you are able to provide some direction.
A reliable, local digital marketing agency like Omaha SEO Company can help you to turn any product into a story that will sell!
Additional Information: Why Brand Storytelling Moves Us – American Marketing Association (AMA)
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