It’s human nature to enjoy stories. People love to constantly read, listen and learn about anything and everything; from someone’s opinion of an experience they’ve been through, the weekly office gossip and even how their favourite celebrity couple ended up together.
But storytelling can also be a very powerful tool for marketers and content creators. With some captivating copy, corresponding imagery and a great hook, you can often find that your audience are drawn in by your campaign, transitioning from stranger to brand advocate.
However, storytelling is much more than simply inventing a story around your business, product or service. With your campaign, you’ll want to inspire, educate, entertain and inform your audience, whilst connecting with them on a personal level, allowing your audience to get to know you and your business inside and out.
There are a few ways to approach storytelling in your marketing activities, however, one of our favourites is the ‘problem, action, solution’ technique.
Many brands use this style of storytelling to demonstrate case studies, where customers and clients talk about the issue that they ran into, how they worked with your brand to solve the issue and what impact the solution had.
This could also be used in a ‘hero’s journey’ style that we know from most of our favourite films and TV series. Your hero embarks on a journey, comes across a crisis, solves said crisis, and is handsomely rewarded for their conquests!
This style works well to implement the storytelling technique over quite a short amount of time, just like this example from SalesForce.
With this in mind, we’ve collated some of our favourite ways to incorporate storytelling into your content strategy...
Sharing your brand story
Like we said, everyone loves to hear a story - and more often than not, the ones that most people will want to hear is your brand or business story. Ask yourself:
‘How did we get started? Who came up with the idea? How have we gotten to where we are today?’ And the answers will provide the foundation of your story.
These may seem to be very simple and trivial subjects to you, but for your audience, it allows them to feel like they know a little secret about your business. This in turn helps them to feel more engaged with your business and become a brand advocate - leading to more referrals.
A great example of this storytelling technique is done by Starbucks. Thanks to their individual style of marketing, most people will know how the company got started, where they source their coffee beans, and some people even know how to make some of their recipes.
The brand has now also dedicated an entire campaign to storytelling, known as Starbucks Stories:
Allowing your audience in ‘behind the scenes’
Sharing your brand story is a great way to begin the process of letting your audience ‘behind the scenes’ of your business, but once they’re engaged with your brand, people will want to know even more about what goes on in the day to day life of your business.
You can utilise storytelling to let them in further by sharing content such as ‘A Day in the Life’ either in a blog, a video or an Instagram or Facebook ‘story’. This gives your audience a peek into the brains behind the business!
Share your customer's stories
As well as knowing, liking and trusting your brand, your audience will also look to real life experiences from your past customers in order to help cement their decision to purchase from you.
Share your customer's stories by featuring user generated content (UGC) on your social media accounts, creating case study and customer testimonial style videos, or even running an Instagram/Twitter take over of a trusted customer or client.
Brands who have nailed their storytelling strategy
A firm Ecrubox favourite for storytelling is Innocent Smoothies. With their quirky take on the technique through their social media marketing, their product range is brought to life in front of your eyes.
A key campaign from Innocent that utilises this is their Big Knit campaign, in partnership with Age UK. The audience is introduced to a few key members, hear their stories and then how they were impacted by the work that was undertaken by the brands.
This Girl Can
Celebrating active women who are doing their bit, This Girl Can utilises storytelling to showcase the real stories of those involved in the initiative, as well as encouraging new people to join.
A different take on the traditional banking campaigns, Nationwide utilised sister act Flo and Joan to put a more informal spin on their products and services.
Using a slightly different twist on the storytelling technique, audiences saw the duo act over a range of adverts throughout the campaign, rather than in a single piece of media.
Are you interested in how storytelling can help transform your digital marketing strategy? Contact our friendly team and discover how we can help you.