Why Stories Sell: Using Storytelling to Market Your Brand
We’ve reached the age of marketing where it’s not about making your customers want something - it’s about figuring out how to be what they want. And these days, what they want is a great story. Disruptive advertising is on its way out. Consumers don’t want to be forced to watch a thirty second ad before playing their YouTube video and they won’t bother interacting with content that feels like it’s selling too hard. The answer is to create content that tells an interesting, inspiring, delightful story - and this involves creating a narrative thread through video that helps your audience connect to you.
Telling your story is a critical part of building your brand. It helps shape how people view you and gives consumers a way to start forging a connection with your company. The basic fact is that humans are hardwired for stories. They help us develop an understanding of each other and to trust in something. That’s why we convey important ideas to kids with fairy tales and other types of stories. Stories can help move us to experience emotions, to learn and to take action.
What is your story?
The trick is to figure out what your brand’s story is. You want to start with a great hook. This could be a single sentence or phrase that tells your audience why they should care. For instance, does your brand care about the environment? That could be the hook of your story. Are you the best/smallest/biggest/cheapest, etc.? Anything that makes you stand out from your competitors is attention-grabbing and is the best place to start building a story around.
Elements of a great story
Your story should humanize your brand and appeal to your audience because of its authenticity. Maybe your story is about how happy your employees are to work for such a great company. Maybe, like GoPro, your story is about empowering consumers to enjoy their lives more - they make a habit of posting GoPro owners’ videos on their own channel everyday to showcase their customers’ adventures.
Stories also need to be visually compelling. Airbnb does a great job of using striking videos of both neighborhoods and their users to craft stories about what it’s like to use the service as a host and a guest and to give a sense of what it feels like to travel to various neighborhoods around the world. They create trust in their brand and also invoke a sense of wonder and excitement in the viewer. A well-designed video can actually create an experience for a viewer - they get the sense that they are a part of something rather than just part of a passive audience.
Storytelling is an invaluable tool for companies to connect with their audiences. By shaping your brands’ story through video, you can capture attention, stir up emotions and forge strong connections that will help your company grow its audience and embrace more success.