Storytelling is overhyped. I mean, a Google search for “brand storytelling” generates 73.4 million results.
But here’s the thing: brands that tell stories will win. Brands that don’t lose. It’s as simple as that.
We live in a multi-tasking, always-on world. People have short attention spans – apparently shorter than a goldfish! People check their smartphones dozens of times a day. And everyone claims they’re super-busy.
As a brand, it’s nearly impossible to capture someone’s attention…unless you’re telling stories.
Our brains are designed to be stimulated by stories. Good stories trigger our emotions. They make us empathetic and motivated to help other people. Stories are compelling and they make people do things. People remember stories; they don’t remember facts.
If storytelling is such a good thing, why do so many brands struggle to embrace it?
A big part of the problem is making the leap from concept to execution. From the outside looking in, marketers and salespeople understand the power of storytelling and why it’s a good thing. But it’s another thing completely to actually make it happen.
So, what’s the solution?
From experience in working with fast-moving companies, the first step is making people realize that storytelling is a way of thinking. When a company is doing marketing and sales, it needs to think about what is interesting to prospects and customers. How could information about its products be delivered without being boring and corporate-speak?
I think it starts by adopting a customer-centric approach to marketing and sales. What would intrigue, entertain or engage customers? It’s certainly not details about prices, features or even benefits. Instead, it’s stories about customers and their success. It’s stories about what it’s like to experience your brand or product.
Think about how Airbnb, for example, does its marketing. Airbnb can talk about how it’s an efficient online service to book accommodation around the world. But that’s boring. Instead, Airbnb’s marketing puts the spotlight on the joys of travel and the idea of belonging everywhere and anywhere.
Ikea is another brand embracing storytelling. It created a video about a retiree who gets bored sitting on a bench with his friends at the park.
The man decides to buy a chair so he can sit in different places within the park. Inspired, he decides to travel around the world..with his chair.
It’s a funny and inspiring video that captures the beauty of storytelling. You’re immersed in the man’s adventures and what happens next. It’s not until the end of the video that you learn it’s an ad for Ikea!
While videos are a great medium for storytelling, stories are easily told on any marketing channel: Websites, infographics, blog posts, eBooks, photos, podcasts, presentations…and more. It’s any place where you can engage, educate or entertain.
Of course, stories are told in different ways depending on the channel but, stories meet the interests, aspirations, needs, and challenges of target audiences.
Marketing Spark Can Help
In my new book, Marketing Spark, I focus on the fundamentals of storytelling. What makes for a good story? What are the key elements? Who should tell your stories? Where should you tell your stories?
Marketing Spark is designed to help people understand the power of story-driven marketing. As important, it provides step-by-step instructions, templates, and tools to successfully leverage different marketing channels.
Marketing Spark can be purchased on Amazon.
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Does your B2B technology company need to attract more high-quality leads? I can jump-start your marketing powered by storytelling. My services include the development of marketing plans, strategic messaging, brand storytelling, and content marketing. Let’s have a conversation!