What Does Brand Storytelling Do?
Brand storytelling on social media influences customers by increasing the overall brand awareness, reach and attracting new followers. People remember a company for its story which is why building a unique brand story on social media involves telling it through a variety of platforms.
Of course, brand storytelling can be challenging, the trick is to figure out the best way to translate the brand story you are familiar with inside your company to social media. We have grown up in a story culture and there is no reason that cannot be used to promote your company.
Storytelling should remain at the forefront of a marketers mind because a good story evokes emotions which can heavily influence a consumer’s purchasing decisions. A person’s emotional response to an advertisement has a much more significant influence on their reported intent to buy than the ad’s actual content.
Therefore, in addition to communicating key marketing points and staying on brand, it is essential to take a humanistic approach that will tap into the hearts and minds of your target audience. This way they will want to know more, investing more time into your brand.
When a story is told well, a neurochemical called oxytocin is released in the brain which increases a person’s trust in a situation or storyteller. If a brand masters its storytelling strategy, it helps to develop a much needed strong relationship between the company and the consumer.
While brand features, attributes and information are important, consumers evaluate a brand based on how it makes them feel. Emotions and positive experiences drive sales and as stories elicit an emotional response, the storytelling approach is absolutely essential.
Stories Are More Memorable Than Facts & Figures
The Stanford Graduate School of Business found that stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts and figures alone. Capital One saw this firsthand when the company decided to activate its popular, “What’s In Your Wallet?” campaign on Instagram.
It was a top performing campaign for them and the company increased its ad recall by 16% by partnering with Instagram influencers to visualize their #walletstories. In this campaign, the influencers created visuals of the personal keepsakes in their wallets and paired them with personal, humorous and quirky stories behind them.
The effort allowed Capital One to not only reach a younger customer base, but the use of storytelling made the campaign more memorable than its other ads.
Our Neural Activity Increases 5X When Listening to a Story
Storytelling lights up the sensory cortex in the brain, which can make you feel, taste or even smell the story. Research shows that storytelling activates a process in the brain called neural coupling, which results in the listener to empathize with the story and relate it to their own thoughts and experiences.
If you really want to light up your customer’s brain activity, you need to invest in emotionally-charged storytelling. A good example of this comes from Toronto stationery store, Take Note. The company created a video to tell the story journey of one couple’s relationships through the notes they left for one another.
It was simple, poignant and highly relatable. This video elicited a very strong emotional response.
Stories Increase Our Likelihood to Purchase Products
Research from Headstream says that stories have the power to sell us in the moment or in the future. The company found that if people love a brand story, 55% are more likely to buy the product in the future, while 15% will buy the product immediately.
Refinery29, a lifestyle outlet targeting women, uncovered the power of storytelling to increase its subscriber base. The company tested a sequential storytelling ad campaign to one customer segment, while another was targeted with traditional ‘subscribe’ ads.
In the storytelling ads, Refinery29 first told its story, then provided product information, and last invited people to subscribe. Over a 12-day period, the sequential storytelling ads blew the traditional ads out of the water. Refinery29 reported an 87% increase in people visiting the landing page from the storytelling ads and a 56% increase in subscription rates.
How to Implement a Storytelling Strategy
1. Brand Character- Successful stories tend to have a protagonist. Therefore, integrating a brand character into your marketing strategy is a great place to start as it helps to boost shares and engagement. For example, Compare the Market enjoyed an 80% jump in internet traffic thanks to the TV ad introduction of meerkat Aleksandr Orlov.
The return of Go compare’s moustached Italian opera singer, Gio Compario, to TV screen in the UK contributed to a 26% increase in customers looking for quotes. Insurance revenues rose 17%. Another example of a strong brand character in action is Alfac Duck.
The idea first came to light when an agency creative realised that the brand’s name sounded like a duck’s quack. The duck has featured in many ads and now has 784,000 followers on Facebook as well as 65.5 followers on Twitter.
According to the company, the Alfac Duck catapulted the brand’s awareness to where 9/10 people in America and Japan recognised the brand. When creating a storytelling marketing strategy for a business, it is important to think about your target audience.
2. Increasing The Emotional Impact
If a consumer feels good when interacting with your brand, it can increase sales and interaction. To increase the emotional impact of your campaign, you can:
Tell Personal Stories
Whether you are documenting your journey as a brand from the very beginning to where you are now, or interviewing important members of staff, personal stories are easier to relate to than corporate content. They can also improve the brand’s authenticity. Fintech brand Revolut does this well with their RevInsider series which gives behind the scenes insights to the individuals and teams behind this popular platform.
Interact with Consumers
Interaction is highly necessary, you want to take your consumers on an interactive journey as this helps them to feel part of your story. By making people feel wanted, you are essentially keeping them engaged by tapping into a human’s need to feel useful and appreciated. Being an interactive storyteller can be enhanced by polls and quizzes, live question and answer sessions and by integrating feedback into your overall business strategy.
There is a huge amount of power in brand storytelling and every brand should be telling their stories on social media. A brand’s story is what the customer remembers and connects to. It shows that people are running the brand and they are no longer just looking at a big company billboard. Your brand’s story needs to be told in a way that appeals to your customers and your community to make people feel apart of your brand story and connected. Your brand’s story will engage customers so begin to work on defining your story. Finally don’t understand how powerful this marketing tool can be!